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Thread: Pitch counts

  1. #1
    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
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    Pitch counts

    Like many others here, I've been interested to see what Dusty will do with pitch counts, especially with the young guys. I noticed this quote in the Enquirer today:

    PITCH COUNTS: Baker kept Cueto and Volquez below 100 pitches in their first outings.

    "It's not a strict pitch limit," Baker said. "But the first couple of outings, we'd like to keep 90 to 100 pitches. Hopefully, they can use pitch efficiency and get us deep into the game."

    Baker says, despite charges to the contrary, he's always watched pitch counts.

    "I'm not doing anything differently than I've always done ... I always keep track in my head," he said. "(Pitching coach Dick Pole) has a counter."

    Baker was asked if he keeps his fingers crossed when his young starters, Cueto and Volquez, are pitching.

    "Sometimes you've got to do that with older guys," he said. "If you've got stuff, stamina and guts, you can go a long way. Jim Leyland always says: If you got a choice, you go with the talent. There's no substitute for talent, especially talent with some guys."
    I'm hoping that this 90 to 100 pitch conservatism lasts more than just the first few starts, especially with Cueto, who is in the under-23 danger zone.

    In terms of pitch count, I'm not sure what that last quote means about there being "no substitute for talent." Does that mean that sometimes the talent of a pitcher forces Dusty to keep him in a game regardless of health risk? I hope not.

    Thoughts?
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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  3. #2
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Pitch counts

    Promising but curious. Why only the first few starts? Does he believe they will build enough stamina to justify higher counts in a few weeks? My understanding is that the injury nexus is due to a combination of filtering out the weak and simple body development. Guys who simply will never be able to go past 90-100 effectively aren't going to be helped by a few weeks and guys who in their early 20s who simply aren't done developing won't be helped by waiting a few weeks.

    Seems like yet another case of Dusty having the right information and coming to curious conclusions.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  4. #3
    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: Pitch counts

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Promising but curious. Why only the first few starts? Does he believe they will build enough stamina to justify higher counts in a few weeks? My understanding is that the injury nexus is due to a combination of filtering out the weak and simple body development. Guys who simply will never be able to go past 90-100 effectively aren't going to be helped by a few weeks and guys who in their early 20s who simply aren't done developing won't be helped by waiting a few weeks.

    Seems like yet another case of Dusty having the right information and coming to curious conclusions.
    I agree. The way I read his comments makes me think that he's going to keep C and V under 100 pitches for a few weeks, and then let them surpass that point later on after they are "warmed up." This, as I understand it, is missing the whole point of pitch counts, which are more about development over the long term and less about letting a pitcher prove who hearty he is.
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

  5. #4
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Pitch counts

    While I think its a good thing to keep them on counts, I think they are lower right now than they will be (although I hope its never more than 110 on Cueto or 115 on Volquez) just because of the colder weather.

  6. #5
    Member top6's Avatar
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    Re: Pitch counts

    I'd put the over/under on the number of times Cueto goes over 120 on 5. And if the Reds are still in something like a playoff hunt in September, I'd put it at 8.

    And I'd take the over.

    (Note, I'm not referring to the pitch count that Dusty keeps track of in his head. I'm referring to the actual pitch count.)

    As I think I've said in other threads, it's pretty clear that Dusty hasn't changed, and doesn't think he did anything wrong when he managed the Cubs. He will continue to manage in the way he always has, and that means starters - even young starters - will have to go deep into games.

  7. #6
    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: Pitch counts

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    While I think its a good thing to keep them on counts, I think they are lower right now than they will be (although I hope its never more than 110 on Cueto or 115 on Volquez) just because of the colder weather.
    Yes, and also because it is unknown what kind of workloads their arms can bear. All pitchers are different, obviously. These guys are both unknowns, and need to be extremely coddled in their workloads. Personally, I wouldn't let either of them go a single pitch over 109 (which is admittedly as arbitrary as 110 or 115). But as they mature and throw more, it can be seen how they recover from throwing 100 pitches every 5 days, and that number can be individually adjusted accordingly.

    A horse like Harang, or even a rubber arm like Arroyo, is a guy you can stretch out a bit further, because they have track records of being able to throw 120 pitches and recover nicely. Although we did see how long it took Arroyo to recover from the 129 pitch outing last year- nearly 6 weeks until he was pitching well again. Thanks again to Cyclone for helping me to come around to that last year.

    This is fascinating stuff to me, pitch counts, exactly because it is not proven science. It's all individualized, and what works for one pitcher will not necessarily work well for another. A lot of it seems to be the stress placed upon a pitcher during those last pitches of the game. If he's out there cruising at the end of a game with a 6 run lead, it seems to be a lot different than if he's really battling, with guys on base in a close game.

    My opinion is that ultimately this will come down to a matter of anatomy, and imaging of some kind (MRI, CT scanning, or something totally new?) will be able to identify those pitchers who are actually built well for heavier pitching workloads.

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    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: Pitch counts

    The only thing Dusty has said or done so far that has concerned me is that he has been using Burton a lot early on.

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    Re: Pitch counts

    Quote Originally Posted by top6 View Post
    (Note, I'm not referring to the pitch count that Dusty keeps track of in his head. I'm referring to the actual pitch count.)

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    Member VR's Avatar
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    Re: Pitch counts

    Who keeps track of the pitches thrown between innings?
    Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand

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    Re: Pitch counts

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    The only thing Dusty has said or done so far that has concerned me is that he has been using Burton a lot early on.
    What's wrong with Burton? Who would you use instead?
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  12. #11
    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: Pitch counts

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    The only thing Dusty has said or done so far that has concerned me is that he has been using Burton a lot early on.
    Okay... but this is a thread about pitch counts.
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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    Member top6's Avatar
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    Re: Pitch counts

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    The only thing Dusty has said or done so far that has concerned me is that he has been using Burton a lot early on.
    You don't have a problem with batting Patterson and Castro in the 1 and/or 2 spots? I just bring that up to prove that he is making the same mistakes he did on the Cubs (in Patterson's case, the exact same mistake, with the exact same player). So why wouldn't he keep making the pitch count mistake?

    BTW, I just made my over/unders up off the top of my head, then I went and checked Prior's 2003 pitch counts:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi...&year=2003&t=p

    Absoultely terrifying. You'll note that Baker kept them down early on. Then, 3 starts w/ 120+ pitches in May, 1 in June and none in July or August. (Pretty close to my guess of 5 if there is no stretch run.) Prior's September pitch counts were: 131, 129, 109, 124, 131, 133. This is in his second year in the big leagues (his first full year), when he was 23.

    If the Reds are somehow in the playoff hunt, they sure as heck better win the World Series, because Cueto and Volquez will probably be done after that.

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    Re: Pitch counts

    Volquez will be 25 this year. Run him hard as possible. Literally. So we shorten his career a couple of years.

    Cueto needs to be handled with babyfingers. He starts losing it after 90 pitches and as teams see more of him, they will adapt to him and make him work harder. At 22, we don't need to see Cueto get overexposed.

  15. #14
    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: Pitch counts

    Quote Originally Posted by redsrule2500 View Post
    What's wrong with Burton? Who would you use instead?
    There is nothing wrong with him, he's been all kinds of nasty this year. Actually, after I look at it now it's not as bad as I thought. He's thrown 4.2 innings in 4 games, I thought it was more than that. However I was more concerned about overuse than the type of pitcher Burton is. He's been great.

  16. #15
    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: Pitch counts

    Quote Originally Posted by top6 View Post
    You don't have a problem with batting Patterson and Castro in the 1 and/or 2 spots? I just bring that up to prove that he is making the same mistakes he did on the Cubs (in Patterson's case, the exact same mistake, with the exact same player). So why wouldn't he keep making the pitch count mistake?

    BTW, I just made my over/unders up off the top of my head, then I went and checked Prior's 2003 pitch counts:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi...&year=2003&t=p

    Absoultely terrifying. You'll note that Baker kept them down early on. Then, 3 starts w/ 120+ pitches in May, 1 in June and none in July or August. (Pretty close to my guess of 5 if there is no stretch run.) Prior's September pitch counts were: 131, 129, 109, 124, 131, 133. This is in his second year in the big leagues (his first full year), when he was 23.

    If the Reds are somehow in the playoff hunt, they sure as heck better win the World Series, because Cueto and Volquez will probably be done after that.
    I was talking about use of the pitchers.


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