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Thread: When less is more.

  1. #1
    ZCTRMTP!!!!! texasdave's Avatar
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    When less is more.

    Pitcher Abuse Points (PAP) may not be a thing of the past in Cincinnati, but under new skipper Pete Mackanin they have come way down. Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo were among the most abused starters in NL during the first half of the 2007 season. That is starting to change. Mackanin is having them throw less pitches and Reds' fans are liking the results. Here is a breakdown between their first and second half performances:

    Code:
    Harang	ST	IP	IP/ST	ERA	PIT	PIT/ST	PAP	STRESS	115+ST	115+%
    1ST HF	17	113.7	6.7	3.80	1852	108.9	49,292	26.6	5	29.4%
    2ND HF	13	89.0	6.8	3.44	1312	100.9	22,234	16.9	2	15.4%
    										
    ARROYO	ST	IP	IP/ST	ERA	PIT	PIT/ST	PAP	STRESS	115+ST	115+%
    1ST HF	17	105.0	6.2	4.89	1769	104.1	51,190	28.9	5	29.4%
    2ND HF	14	87.3	6.2	3.61	1369	97.8	20,895	15.3	2	14.3%
    Some observations:
    1)In spite of both pitchers are throwing less pitches per start, they are still completing the roughly the same number of inning pitched per start. Basically, they are getting the same amount of work done using fewer pitches.
    2)Their arms are being stressed to a lesser degree. The stress column is computed by dividing the number of PAP by the number of pitches. During the first half both Harang and Arroyo were in the mid-to-upper twenties stress-wise. Baseball prospectus states that when the stress level reaches 30 a pitcher is more likely to injure or fatigue his arm. Both Reds' pitchers were nearing that threshold. During the second half both stress levels have dropped into the more-manageable mid-teens.
    3)Starts with 115+ pitches thrown are particularly hard on a pitcher. During the first half they both had 5 such starts out 17 - close to 30% of their starts. Once again we see that in the second half the percentage of such starts has been basically cut in half.
    4)The ERAs for both pitchers have dropped in the second half.
    5)It is interesting to note that Aaron Harang has had only two starts of 115+ under Mackanin. These came in consecutive starts.
    Not so coincidentally, the first start after that was the game in which Harang had to leave after only one inning with a stiff back. He also missed his next start. Was this related? The second of those two 115+ starts raised his PAP stress level to just over 30. Right where Baseball Prospectus tells us a pitcher is more susceptible to injury. You make that call.
    6)Bronson Arroyo follows a similar pattern. After his first six starts, none of which he threw more than 108 pitches, his ERA was 2.59. Then came consecutive starts of 120, 117 and a killer 129 pitches. The three following starts showed Bronson giving up 20 ER in just 11 IP. His PAP stress level after that 129 start was 39.4. Definitely in the area for a pitchers arm to be injured or fatigued. His second-half high pitch count was 123. At that time his PAP stress level for the second half was once again over 30. His very next start showed him giving up 7 ERs in less than 2 IPS.

    Pete Mackanin has seemed to learn as he goes along. After Bronson's blow-up in the game following his 123 pitch start, he has started 8 more games and has thrown over 100 pitches just once. And has not had a single start of 115+ pitches. Similarly, since Harang has come back from his one missed start he has not been asked to work past the 115+ pitch barrier. It seems Mackanin is learning. And the Reds are finding out that less really can be more.

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  3. #2
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    Re: When less is more.

    Despite throwing only 92 pitches, Arroyo was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the Cincinnati half of the sixth.

    "Late in the year, I wanted to make sure he didn't get into trouble," Mackanin said. "Also, I wanted to try and tack on another run or two. He could have probably gone back out there, but I just made the decision."

    Probably? Arroyo felt he definitely could have kept going.

    "That's the first time all year I've been pulled out and I didn't want to be pulled out," Arroyo said after his fourth consecutive quality start and 20th for the season. "I thought he was going to let me hit. He said he wanted the extra run, which we didn't get anyway, but that's the way it goes. I wanted to pitch the seventh inning. I felt like I was good for another 20 pitches. We won anyways."

    It sounds like Arroyo was upset he was taken out too soon. Let's hope Mackanin does not go too far the other way, and takes them out before they want to come out.

  4. #3
    Member Moosie52's Avatar
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    Re: When less is more.

    Ah, he just likes to hit.

  5. #4
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    Re: When less is more.

    Quote Originally Posted by texasdave View Post
    Pitcher Abuse Points (PAP) may not be a thing of the past in Cincinnati, but under new skipper Pete Mackanin they have come way down. Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo were among the most abused starters in NL during the first half of the 2007 season. That is starting to change. Mackanin is having them throw less pitches and Reds' fans are liking the results. Here is a breakdown between their first and second half performances:

    Code:
    Harang	ST	IP	IP/ST	ERA	PIT	PIT/ST	PAP	STRESS	115+ST	115+%
    1ST HF	17	113.7	6.7	3.80	1852	108.9	49,292	26.6	5	29.4%
    2ND HF	13	89.0	6.8	3.44	1312	100.9	22,234	16.9	2	15.4%
    										
    ARROYO	ST	IP	IP/ST	ERA	PIT	PIT/ST	PAP	STRESS	115+ST	115+%
    1ST HF	17	105.0	6.2	4.89	1769	104.1	51,190	28.9	5	29.4%
    2ND HF	14	87.3	6.2	3.61	1369	97.8	20,895	15.3	2	14.3%
    Some observations:
    1)In spite of both pitchers are throwing less pitches per start, they are still completing the roughly the same number of inning pitched per start. Basically, they are getting the same amount of work done using fewer pitches.
    2)Their arms are being stressed to a lesser degree. The stress column is computed by dividing the number of PAP by the number of pitches. During the first half both Harang and Arroyo were in the mid-to-upper twenties stress-wise. Baseball prospectus states that when the stress level reaches 30 a pitcher is more likely to injure or fatigue his arm. Both Reds' pitchers were nearing that threshold. During the second half both stress levels have dropped into the more-manageable mid-teens.
    3)Starts with 115+ pitches thrown are particularly hard on a pitcher. During the first half they both had 5 such starts out 17 - close to 30% of their starts. Once again we see that in the second half the percentage of such starts has been basically cut in half.
    4)The ERAs for both pitchers have dropped in the second half.
    5)It is interesting to note that Aaron Harang has had only two starts of 115+ under Mackanin. These came in consecutive starts.
    Not so coincidentally, the first start after that was the game in which Harang had to leave after only one inning with a stiff back. He also missed his next start. Was this related? The second of those two 115+ starts raised his PAP stress level to just over 30. Right where Baseball Prospectus tells us a pitcher is more susceptible to injury. You make that call.
    6)Bronson Arroyo follows a similar pattern. After his first six starts, none of which he threw more than 108 pitches, his ERA was 2.59. Then came consecutive starts of 120, 117 and a killer 129 pitches. The three following starts showed Bronson giving up 20 ER in just 11 IP. His PAP stress level after that 129 start was 39.4. Definitely in the area for a pitchers arm to be injured or fatigued. His second-half high pitch count was 123. At that time his PAP stress level for the second half was once again over 30. His very next start showed him giving up 7 ERs in less than 2 IPS.

    Pete Mackanin has seemed to learn as he goes along. After Bronson's blow-up in the game following his 123 pitch start, he has started 8 more games and has thrown over 100 pitches just once. And has not had a single start of 115+ pitches. Similarly, since Harang has come back from his one missed start he has not been asked to work past the 115+ pitch barrier. It seems Mackanin is learning. And the Reds are finding out that less really can be more.
    I think this post should be forwarded to Wayne Krivsky. Excellent analysis and the results speak for themselves.
    Who's on first?

  6. #5
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    Re: When less is more.

    Quote Originally Posted by AmarilloRed View Post
    Despite throwing only 92 pitches, Arroyo was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the Cincinnati half of the sixth.

    "Late in the year, I wanted to make sure he didn't get into trouble," Mackanin said. "Also, I wanted to try and tack on another run or two. He could have probably gone back out there, but I just made the decision."

    Probably? Arroyo felt he definitely could have kept going.

    "That's the first time all year I've been pulled out and I didn't want to be pulled out," Arroyo said after his fourth consecutive quality start and 20th for the season. "I thought he was going to let me hit. He said he wanted the extra run, which we didn't get anyway, but that's the way it goes. I wanted to pitch the seventh inning. I felt like I was good for another 20 pitches. We won anyways."

    It sounds like Arroyo was upset he was taken out too soon. Let's hope Mackanin does not go too far the other way, and takes them out before they want to come out.
    Pete can't win with you guys. If he leaves BA in and he gets shelled, then you say Pete should have known better. You guys say you want a manager that will be tough with the players. Then you imply that perhaps he made the wrong decision because a pitcher said he could have gone another inning. It is late in the year, he does not want to hurt BA's arm, and sometimes the pitcher is not telling the whole truth. It is up to the manager to make the decision. Pete did - Reds won.

    Remember that Pete has managed almost 2,000 games. He knows how to handle pitchers and the bullpen. BA should take the win and shut up.

  7. #6
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    Re: When less is more.

    Quote Originally Posted by texasdave View Post
    ..........

    Pete Mackanin has seemed to learn as he goes along. After Bronson's blow-up in the game following his 123 pitch start, he has started 8 more games and has thrown over 100 pitches just once. And has not had a single start of 115+ pitches. Similarly, since Harang has come back from his one missed start he has not been asked to work past the 115+ pitch barrier. It seems Mackanin is learning. And the Reds are finding out that less really can be more.
    This was one of the best posts I have ever read, period!

    I think your last paragraph is interesting - stating that Pete is "learning" as he goes. Pete knows how to handle pitchers, and he has demonstrated that fact for almost half of a season. A good manager knows his pitchers and knows when they have it and when they don't. He has to adapt to the ever-changing physical abilities and conditions of the players, especially pitchers. Pete has "learned" this amazing skill over the course of managing 2,000 games.

    (As an aside, for anyone who thinks Girardi could handle pitchers this way, think again. He would have had them all on the DL by the end of the season.)


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