2003.....Age 17.....46 IP added to the innings he pitched that year in High School.
2004.....Age 18.....103 IP.
2005.....Age 19.....54 IP. Major Arm Surgery.
2006.....Age 20.....21 IP.
2007.....Age 21.....133 IP.
In order to prevent damaging a pitcher's arm during his developmental years, it's been proven that an appropriate increase in a pitcher's total number of innings pitched from one year to the next remain around 20%...25% tops. After that, it's time to shut him down.
This doesn't even take into account Major Arm Surgery. The 133 IP Thompson threw last year was probably the maximum number of innings that he should have thrown. But, only 2 years removed from the surgery, Thompson's on pace for throwing around 190 Innings. That is way too many innings for this young and inexperienced pitcher. When Thompson gets to 170 Innings pitched this year he should be shut down for the year and his arm be given the chance to recover the rest of the off-season for what it's gone through not only for the 300 Innings pitched over the last two years, but for the amount of pitching that his arm has never done before in a single season.
By the REDS starting Thompson at the Major League Level this early in the season, all indications are is that they intend to use him through the end of September with no inclination to shutting him down. If they do that, then he'll surely reach 190+ innings. You just can't do that and not see bad results down the line, whether it's in 2 years or 4 years, but bad results will surely happen.
Harang was used more than any pitcher in the Majors each of the last 3 years and it's finally caught up with him. He's getting pounded so hard that the only answer to why is because his arm is tired, and the only solution is it needs to be shut down.
Many of you don't know it, but most of you do. Bronson Arroyo has always had below average stamina for a starter. He's always been a 6 or 7 Inning pitcher (90 pitches actually). No amount of stretching out was ever going to make him anything more than that. The last two years he was used too often on the season for too many innings and each start he was used for too long. The damage has been done and Arroyo is also getting pounded because of a tired arm. His only solution is to be shut down also.
Harang would have been fine with 210 Innings each year, but those extra 20 innings were too much. Arroyo would have been fine with 190 Innings each year, but the extra innings by him were too much. Now, the REDS are going to use Thompson for too many innings this year, and probably next year, too. Dick Pole doesn't take care of his pitchers properly. We've all seen it. It's time to get a better pitching coach in here at the Major League level or it doesn't matter how many prospects we have. All of them will be worthless after three years in the Majors.