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Thread: Dusty Baker: Arm killer?

  1. #1
    Mr.Redlegs is my homeboy Eric_the_Red's Avatar
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    Dusty Baker: Arm killer?

    This article was linked in CTR's blog today:
    http://mlb.fanhouse.com/2010/02/23/d...erating-table/

    The criticism stings Baker, but not so much because of what it means to him. Baker said he feels empathy for the pitchers who have gotten hurt under his watch.

    "I'm a responsible person," he said. "If anything, I might be overly responsible for things that aren't in my responsibility realm. That's how my dad was. That's how he taught me to be. ... I feel badly for whoever gets hurt in this game. Anyone who knows me knows I'm not that hard-hearted of a person. You put it past you and move forward. I haven't changed."

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Dusty Baker: Arm killer?

    Billy Martin killed more arms in 10 years than Dusty could in 30.

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Dusty Baker: Arm killer?

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Billy Martin killed more arms in 10 years than Dusty could in 30.

    And his partner in crime Art Fowler.
    The Rally Onion wants 150 fans before Opening Day.

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Dusty Baker: Arm killer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    And his partner in crime Art Fowler.
    Without a doubt, Art did some work on his own in California in 64-65 too

  6. #5
    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: Dusty Baker: Arm killer?

    The PAP "pitcher abuse points" that they reference is sketchy science as well. Baseball Prospectus came up with that one.

    Nearly every year, the best pitchers in the league wind up being "the most abused."

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/st....php?cid=68783

    Most Abused of 2009: Verlander, Lincecum, Edwin Jackson.

    2008: Lincecum, Sabathia, Halladay

    2007: Matsuzaka, Zambrano, Burnett

    Daisuke followed up his year of non-stop abuse with an 18-3, 2.90 ERA; Lincecum followed his up with a Cy Young Award!

    Sounds more like a "pitching studs list" than a pitchers abuse list to me.

    Abuse does happen; but IMO, this is not very scientific, nor accurate.
    Last edited by Always Red; 02-24-2010 at 12:49 PM.

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    HS Athletic Director alexad's Avatar
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    Re: Dusty Baker: Arm killer?

    Pitchers are babies. Pay them 10 million a year to pitch 175 innings. Come on!? Love the guys who pitch 200 plus innings and go 7-8 innings a game.
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    Socratic Gadfly TheNext44's Avatar
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    Re: Dusty Baker: Arm killer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Always Red View Post
    The PAP "pitcher abuse points" that they reference is sketchy science as well. Baseball Prospectus came up with that one.

    Nearly every year, the best pitchers in the league wind up being "the most abused."

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/st....php?cid=68783

    Most Abused of 2009: Verlander, Lincecum, Edwin Jackson.

    2008: Lincecum, Sabathia, Halladay

    2007: Matsuzaka, Zambrano, Burnett

    Daisuke followed up his year of non-stop abuse with an 18-3, 2.90 ERA; Lincecum followed his up with a Cy Young Award!

    Sounds more like a "pitching studs list" than a pitchers abuse list to me.

    Abuse does happen; but IMO, this is not very scientific, nor accurate.
    Their cut off line is 100 pitches, every pitch beyond that gets abuse points, and the further you get from 100 the more abuse points each pitch is worth.

    I really would have expected more from BP, since they clearly just picked a big round number, instead of using actual research to determine what the real breaking point is for pitch counts and arm injuries.

    Back in the 80's, when pitch counts really started to matter, the number that seemed to lead to the most injuries was 120 for pitchers 25 years and younger. There was a big SI article about it and how Gooden was likely to have arm problems as he got older.

    As far as I know, there really is no evidence that pitching too many pitches per start for pitchers older than 25, or that young arms throwing less than 120 pitches per game lead to injury. IIRC, many older pitchers in the 60's and 70's threw as many as 200 pitches a game somewhat regularly, with no ill effects.

    And even that 120 mark for young arms is not absolute, as evidence by the Cubs of 2003. They had Prior, Wood and Zambrano all throw over 210 innings, over 3200 pitches and all had almost the same number of games with 120+ pitches (Prior 14, Zambrano and Wood 12 each). Prior and Wood blew out their arms and Zambrano is still a TOR pitcher today. I do think that Dusty "abused" all three arms, but Wood's mechanics and Prior's "abuse" in college probably had has much or more to do with their injuries than Dusty.

    And it seems to me that just as many arms get injured today, as they did back before pitch counts started to be in fashion, but that more guys recover today due to advances in surgery and training.
    Last edited by TheNext44; 02-24-2010 at 01:54 PM.
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    Socratic Gadfly TheNext44's Avatar
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    Re: Dusty Baker: Arm killer?

    Quote Originally Posted by alexad View Post
    Pitchers are babies. Pay them 10 million a year to pitch 175 innings. Come on!? Love the guys who pitch 200 plus innings and go 7-8 innings a game.
    In 1970, in Gaylord Perry's last 14 games of the season, he threw 10 complete games, four shutouts, and on three days rest 9 times. That was his ninth year in the majors and he only was able to pitch for 13 more seasons after that.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Dusty Baker: Arm killer?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNext44 View Post
    In 1970, in Gaylord Perry's last 14 games of the season, he threw 10 complete games, four shutouts, and on three days rest 9 times. That was his ninth year in the majors and he only was able to pitch for 13 more seasons after that.
    Joe Coleman and Steve Busby say that's an outlier right there.

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    Socratic Gadfly TheNext44's Avatar
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    Re: Dusty Baker: Arm killer?

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Joe Coleman and Steve Busby say that's an outlier right there.
    Perry definitely was a freak of nature, the definition of an outlier.

    But I would love to see some research done on arm injuries pre and post pitch count days. I know post will have fewer, because of better and smarter training, medical advancements, and the 5 man rotation. But I would still like to see the numbers.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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    Mr.Redlegs is my homeboy Eric_the_Red's Avatar
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    Re: Dusty Baker: Arm killer?

    The trouble with trying to find any solid "evidence" in pitch counts is that there are so many variables: pitcher mechanics, types of pitches thrown, velocity, physical differences between different pitches, number of pitches thrown on the side/during warm-ups, previous use in amateur ball/minors/overseas, etc. I just don't see any way to come up with a tried and true rule about the number of pitches thrown.

    Maybe Dusty has it right- ask the pitcher while trusting your eyes, and make a decision.

  13. #12
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Dusty Baker: Arm killer?

    Carlos Zambrano is the #1 contender for breakdown every year.

  14. #13
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: Dusty Baker: Arm killer?

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    Carlos Zambrano is the #1 contender for breakdown every year.
    Though, if you keep predicting the same thing over and over, it's hard to take a lot of credit when you're right.
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  15. #14
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Dusty Baker: Arm killer?

    Quote Originally Posted by alexad View Post
    Pitchers are babies. Pay them 10 million a year to pitch 175 innings. Come on!? Love the guys who pitch 200 plus innings and go 7-8 innings a game.
    Pitchers aren't babies just to be babies. They are conditioned differently now than ever before. The guys that used to fall off the table before reaching the majors before aren't doing so as often because they are now babied in high school, college and the minors. It used to be the guys who could handle the large workloads would all make the majors because the ones who couldn't never made it there as they fell off with injuries in HS, college and the minors. So you generally had the rubber armed guys at the majors because they were the only survivors. Top it off with that the guys were throwing more and at a younger age, which also led to built up arm strength for the guys who could get through the gauntlet.

  16. #15
    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: Dusty Baker: Arm killer?

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Joe Coleman and Steve Busby say that's an outlier right there.
    yep- the ole bell shaped curve.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNext44 View Post
    Their cut off line is 100 pitches, every pitch beyond that gets abuse points, and the further you get from 100 the more abuse points each pitch is worth.

    I really would have expected more from BP...

    And even that 120 mark for young arms is not absolute, as evidence by the Cubs of 2003. They had Prior, Wood and Zambrano all throw over 210 innings, over 3200 pitches and all had almost the same number of games with 120+ pitches (Prior 14, Zambrano and Wood 12 each). Prior and Wood blew out their arms and Zambrano is still a TOR pitcher today. I do think that Dusty "abused" all three arms, but Wood's mechanics and Prior's "abuse" in college probably had has much or more to do with their injuries than Dusty.

    And it seems to me that just as many arms get injured today, as they did back before pitch counts started to be in fashion, but that more guys recover today due to advances in surgery and training.
    I am loathe to defend the Duster, but I've read in many places that it was a front office decision to ride Woods, Prior and Zambrano. So how much of it is Dusty's blame? I don't know, but he has taken the rap for the entire organization.


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