PDA

View Full Version : "Old School" Nolan Ryan Eliminating Pitch Counts...


WhiteSoxFan84
12-15-2008, 03:37 AM
Link to Article (http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081215/SPORTS/812150312/-1/NEWS)

Nolan Ryan, a very hands-on club president, wants Texas' starting pitchers to work deeper into games. He's eliminating pitch counts at the higher levels of the minor leagues.

Jump all the way down to the last paragraph labeled "SHORT HOPS".
This is a bold step he's taking especially for a team that has been dying for pitching since one can remember. But I like it. Pitch counts are becoming way too relevant in too many people's eyes.

HomeFish
12-15-2008, 05:19 AM
Ah, the Dusty Baker school of pitcher development.

oeo
12-15-2008, 05:41 AM
This is a bold step he's taking especially for a team that has been dying for pitching since one can remember. But I like it. Pitch counts are becoming way too relevant in too many people's eyes.

If they've been on pitch counts their entire lives, this is going to be disastrous.

whitesox901
12-15-2008, 08:59 AM
ah, the dusty baker school of pitcher development.

:d:

Steelrod
12-15-2008, 09:13 AM
Dr. James Andrews, be on alert!

Lukin13
12-15-2008, 09:20 AM
Dear Nolan,

Need to develop some pitching? Break the freaking lawnmower at Rangers Ballpark. NO ONE is going to succeed pitching in a bowling alley.

Love,
Dan

WhiteSox5187
12-15-2008, 10:14 AM
It's an interesting idea, but I don't think the results will pan out. I do kind of like the idea of teaching pitchers from early on in the minors how to go deep into games rather than fretting about pitch counts. If your mechanics are sound, I don't think it would really matter much what one's pitch count is...but I'm not so sure about that as my baseball background (minimal as it is!) is certainly not a pitching background.

Lip Man 1
12-15-2008, 11:22 AM
A number of quality MLB pitchers like Fergie Jenkins, Goose Gossage and Jerry Koosman (in his WSI Interview) have all spoken out against pitch counts.

Lip

michned
12-15-2008, 11:35 AM
Nolan talked about this in an interview on the XM MLB channel last week, but he implied that it was something that they would implement in the low minors when they first would start to work with their young kids. He did mention it would be a challenge to eliminate pitch counts for the guys that have played pro ball for a few years already.

jabrch
12-15-2008, 12:19 PM
It will be interesting to see how this works out for them over time.

dickallen15
12-15-2008, 12:25 PM
It won't totally work unless every team or at least a majority does. You are always going to be getting players from other organizations. If they aren't used to it, it will not work.

WhiteSoxFan84
12-15-2008, 01:27 PM
If they've been on pitch counts their entire lives, this is going to be disastrous.

How? It's mainly mental. Unless a manager leaves a guy in a game after he has thrown 150 pitches or MORE, the pitcher probably never will realize how many he has thrown.

Say a guys real pitch count is 125 pitches, the pitching coach goes out to the mound, the pitcher asks "How many have I thrown?" and the coach tells him 98, do you really think the pitcher will know the difference? Heck no. It's ALL mental and these pitchers today are being spoiled with this crap. I WANT TO SEE THE SAME PITCHER THROW BOTH ENDS OF A DOUBLEHEADER IN THE SAME DAY!! :redneck

NLaloosh
12-15-2008, 01:30 PM
That's the way it should be. Get these guys to start throwing more in the minors.

Jpgr91
12-15-2008, 01:44 PM
Bottom line is this will never happen. The business of baseball has dramatically changed over the last several years. There is way too much invested in these players to risk injury. In a day and age when 8 million a year for a pitcher can be considered a bargain, why would you want to risk your investment?

Oblong
12-15-2008, 03:02 PM
I sure hope for the sake of these kids coming into the Rangers system that there's some type of reason for this beyond "Well this is how we used to do it".

By the way, anyone see a photo of Nolan Ryan lately? To me he looks just like Ty Cobb.

http://refrigeratorlogic.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/100207nolanryan.jpg

http://www.freeted.com/Ted%20Williams%20and%20Ty%20Cobb.jpg

Eddo144
12-15-2008, 03:07 PM
How? It's mainly mental. Unless a manager leaves a guy in a game after he has thrown 150 pitches or MORE, the pitcher probably never will realize how many he has thrown.

Say a guys real pitch count is 125 pitches, the pitching coach goes out to the mound, the pitcher asks "How many have I thrown?" and the coach tells him 98, do you really think the pitcher will know the difference? Heck no. It's ALL mental and these pitchers today are being spoiled with this crap. I WANT TO SEE THE SAME PITCHER THROW BOTH ENDS OF A DOUBLEHEADER IN THE SAME DAY!! :redneck
Um, what? The pitchers aren't pulling themselves from the games. In fact, most players would pitch as long as they could, pitch counts be damned.

As others have pointed out, unless these pitchers have not been on pitch counts their whole careers, this could get ugly. Pitchers are physically conditioned, from the time they're teens, to avoid throwing too many pitches. It's only mental in the sense that they're aware of it; it's not like they imposed pitch counts in the first place.

And yeah, older pitchers like Jenkins, Gossage, and Ryan didn't have pitch counts. But guess what: the game has changed. The older generations didn't do weight training, but no one is suggesting current players stop lifting weights to build muscle, are they?

soxinem1
12-15-2008, 03:14 PM
A number of quality MLB pitchers like Fergie Jenkins, Goose Gossage and Jerry Koosman (in his WSI Interview) have all spoken out against pitch counts.

Lip

I agree with them. But we are comparing apples to oranges.

The arm and leg conditioning that Seaver, Ryan, and Carlton used is not even mentioned by most modern pitchers and pitching coaches, and even though all of them had rotator cuff issues later in their careers, the results speak for themselves.

Fergie never had any serious arm issues until later in his career (though he missed more time for his personal indescretions).

Seaver always said that the keys to sucess are that pitchers need to throw more, use their legs more, and throw properly (mechanically).

The thing is, this culture is used to such regualtion of pitches. All of these guys I mentioned, and Koos as well, haven't pitched in over 20 years, and a lot has changed.

Plus, the investment clubs make in pitchers now financially motivates them to safeguard these guys more.

Hawk always says that teams will wake up and go back to the old days with this stuff, that the era of CG's will return.

I wish it would too. I remember when guys would start what they finished, and AVERAGE 20+ CG's a year. Now, starters are lucky to get 20 CG's in a career.

WhiteSox5187
12-15-2008, 04:26 PM
I agree with them. But we are comparing apples to oranges.

The arm and leg conditioning that Seaver, Ryan, and Carlton used is not even mentioned by most modern pitchers and pitching coaches, and even though all of them had rotator cuff issues later in their careers, the results speak for themselves.

Fergie never had any serious arm issues until later in his career (though he missed more time for his personal indescretions).

Seaver always said that the keys to sucess are that pitchers need to throw more, use their legs more, and throw properly (mechanically).

The thing is, this culture is used to such regualtion of pitches. All of these guys I mentioned, and Koos as well, haven't pitched in over 20 years, and a lot has changed.

Plus, the investment clubs make in pitchers now financially motivates them to safeguard these guys more.

Hawk always says that teams will wake up and go back to the old days with this stuff, that the era of CG's will return.

I wish it would too. I remember when guys would start what they finished, and AVERAGE 20+ CG's a year. Now, starters are lucky to get 20 CG's in a career.
While you're right that the ways of Seaver, Ryan and Jenkins has gone by the wayside, I can't help but wonder if a team that no one is expecting anything from, like say the Nationals, decide "What the hell? Let's go back to training our kids the way they did thirty years ago and see how that pan out." If a team does that and all of a sudden they wind up getting great results from their pitchers, then you might see a return to that form of training. So if this works for the Rangers I wouldn't be surprised to see other teams adopt it.

Eddo144
12-15-2008, 04:36 PM
While you're right that the ways of Seaver, Ryan and Jenkins has gone by the wayside, I can't help but wonder if a team that no one is expecting anything from, like say the Nationals, decide "What the hell? Let's go back to training our kids the way they did thirty years ago and see how that pan out." If a team does that and all of a sudden they wind up getting great results from their pitchers, then you might see a return to that form of training. So if this works for the Rangers I wouldn't be surprised to see other teams adopt it.
The problem with that is that there's just so much player movement that teams can't rely on their system only. What happens in the Rangers organization when they trade for some prospects who have been on strict pitch counts since they were 14?

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see more complete games and less need for relief pitchers, but I can't see this move working out for the Rangers.

Oblong
12-15-2008, 10:15 PM
What will happen is this:

The Rangers will eventually develop a decent pitcher in this system and people will say: "See! It worked. Bunch of pansies today!"

Also, the Rangers will have pitchers with arm injuries and people will say: "See! This is no way to develop pitchers. They're killing the careers of these kids."

I hope they have people with advanced medical and training backgrounds advising them on this. I'd hate to see them basing this on logic of "Well, this is how we used to do it." Most teams use pitch counts and I have to think there's valid reasons behind it and not just because everybody else is doing it.

oeo
12-15-2008, 10:19 PM
How? It's mainly mental. Unless a manager leaves a guy in a game after he has thrown 150 pitches or MORE, the pitcher probably never will realize how many he has thrown.

Because, you can't suddenly take that limit off the arm when it's been on them their entire lives. How does your arm adjust to that?

I think pitch counts have become a part of the game, mainly because a pitcher's arm is so valuable. We'll see, maybe this will work out, but I have to think that taking the limit off has to start earlier than what they're proposing.

Scottiehaswheels
12-15-2008, 10:21 PM
Just a gut feeling but, I imagine agents such as Borass and his ilk will demand clauses be put in to contracts of recent draftees/free agents disallowing this as well. It will probably involve the players union and such before all is said and done.

champagne030
12-15-2008, 10:43 PM
Just a gut feeling but, I imagine agents such as Borass and his ilk will demand clauses be put in to contracts of recent draftees/free agents disallowing this as well. It will probably involve the players union and such before all is said and done.

I think that Texas will be the only team to deal less with Boras, than the White Sox, if he tries to put a clause like that into future contracts.

Jpgr91
12-15-2008, 10:50 PM
Just a gut feeling but, I imagine agents such as Borass and his ilk will demand clauses be put in to contracts of recent draftees/free agents disallowing this as well. It will probably involve the players union and such before all is said and done.

No way that this would happen. This would open up the door for the MLBPA to be able to insert specific work rules into the CBA. For instance, player A agrees to only play in X amount of innings artificial turf. There is no way the owners would allow an agent or the MLBPA that much control over specific work rules.

oeo
12-15-2008, 11:11 PM
I think the only thing silly about pitch counts is the whole cut off at 100. Why was 100 chosen?

Every guy is different. Some guys might be able to throw 100 more every fifth day, while others might need to throw less. The ceiling at 100 for every guy is absurd, but other than that, it can be used to limit the wear and tear on these multi-million dollar men.

HomeFish
12-15-2008, 11:40 PM
A number of quality MLB pitchers like Fergie Jenkins, Goose Gossage and Jerry Koosman (in his WSI Interview) have all spoken out against pitch counts.

Lip

A lot of grizzled veterans with great careers behind them were also against batting gloves, increased protection for catchers, etc.

WhiteSoxFan84
12-16-2008, 02:42 AM
Just a gut feeling but, I imagine agents such as Borass and his ilk will demand clauses be put in to contracts of recent draftees/free agents disallowing this as well. It will probably involve the players union and such before all is said and done.

As someone already noted, this won't happen. Players can get things put into their contracts about how they can spend their days off and how much time they can have away from the team/with their families but they will not be able to tell teams how to regulate their use. Incentives are about the only performance based pieces you'll find in contracts.

TDog
12-16-2008, 04:36 AM
I think the only thing silly about pitch counts is the whole cut off at 100. Why was 100 chosen?

Every guy is different. Some guys might be able to throw 100 more every fifth day, while others might need to throw less. The ceiling at 100 for every guy is absurd, but other than that, it can be used to limit the wear and tear on these multi-million dollar men.

Basing pitching moves on pitch counts is arbitrary. What a pitcher is capable of doing depends on the pitcher. Originally it was believed that pitchers would lose their effectiveness after a specific number of pitches, but the threshold at which pitchers lose their effectiveness varies. The first I heard about pitch counts being used to protect pitchers from physical strain involved David Cone who had a bad outing after throwing 140 pitches.

Back in the day I often read that sinker pitchers such as Tommy John especially, were more effective late in the game because as they tired, , but that they got more sink. There were hard throwers who didn't lose anything on their fastball would be less effective in the later innings as hittings acclimated to catch up with him the third time through the order. Of course, movement is the key to pitchers being effective.

If you followed John Dan ks last year, before late September, you see that he generally lost effectiveness after six innings regardless of his pitch count. He could go into the seventh having thrown fewer than 80 pitches in a great game only to fail to hold the lead. I was at a game in Oakland where he went into the sixth having thrown 100 pitches after getting the last four hitters out and retired the side in order to hold the lead at 3-2.

Mechanics is more often to blame for arm injuries than overwork. I have no problem not relying on pitch counts to decide how long a pitcher should stay in the game. That isn't as controversial as going back to four-man rotations, which I had read Nolan Ryan was interested in doing.

Craig Grebeck
12-16-2008, 08:12 AM
Mechanics is more often to blame for arm injuries than overwork. I have no problem not relying on pitch counts to decide how long a pitcher should stay in the game. That isn't as controversial as going back to four-man rotations, which I had read Nolan Ryan was interested in doing.
Well, overwork often leads to a mechanical change, often for the worst. I don't agree with what Nolan is doing, mainly because I believe in the four man rotation. I'd much rather see him experiment with a four man, albeit with pitch counts, than just have these guys throw 20-30 more pitches a game. I'm sure there's more to his plan, but I hope it's a comprehensive five day program in which the pitchers are doing a lot more throwing altogether.

FedEx227
12-16-2008, 09:20 AM
A lot of grizzled veterans with great careers behind them were also against batting gloves, increased protection for catchers, etc.

Thank you.

Ex

TDog
12-16-2008, 01:42 PM
Well, overwork often leads to a mechanical change, often for the worst. I don't agree with what Nolan is doing, mainly because I believe in the four man rotation. I'd much rather see him experiment with a four man, albeit with pitch counts, than just have these guys throw 20-30 more pitches a game. I'm sure there's more to his plan, but I hope it's a comprehensive five day program in which the pitchers are doing a lot more throwing altogether.

The idea that there is a standard pitch count that marks overwork in a pitcher is flawed and actually has led to overwork among some pitchers, especially relievers. Bullpens wear out, not so much by the number of pitches they throw, but the number of times they are used because off days for bullpens are rare anymore. It happened to the White Sox last season, and it happened to most other teams as well.

A pitching coach should be able to tell by watching a pitcher's mechanics if he is overworked. The fact is that many of the best pitchers who come out of college are overworked by the standards of most people who follow major league baseball.

Iwritecode
12-16-2008, 01:58 PM
The arm and leg conditioning that Seaver, Ryan, and Carlton used is not even mentioned by most modern pitchers and pitching coaches, and even though all of them had rotator cuff issues later in their careers, the results speak for themselves.

Fergie never had any serious arm issues until later in his career (though he missed more time for his personal indescretions).

I've always wondered how many pitches suffered arm injuries prior to pitch counts simply because they over-worked.

Lip Man 1
12-16-2008, 04:50 PM
From Jerry Koosman's interview with WSI:

ML: Former Sox relief pitcher Rick White caused some controversy this year when he publicly accused Jerry Manuel of not knowing how to set roles for his pitching staff. Is having a role overrated? When you pitched for the Sox you started, threw long relief and even saved five games.


JK: "I donít know Rick personally but he was right to some extent. You have to have a role because you have to be able to train accordingly. Each role requires different training. In 1982 for example, I didnít know what my role was going to be. Itís tough to do your best if you donít know how to physically train for it. Pitchers need to run a lot and if they donít know if they are starting, working long or short relief they donít know how much to run and how often."


ML: Lots of fans, and Iím one of them, accuse the Sox of "overrating" their young pitchers and rushing them to the big leagues. What makes a successful major league pitcher and have the qualities changed since you played?


JK: "No they havenít changed. The game is still played the same. You have to have the talent, you have to have your body in condition to perform and you have to study the hitters. You run into problems when youíre not in shape, and lose your focus and concentration."


ML: How do you feel about "pitch counts?" Manuel seemed to be a pretty firm believer in them even if it meant taking out a starter who was doing well.


JK: "You have to trust your judgment. There were games when Iíd throw a 120 pitches and feel fine, there were other games where Iíd start to lose it after 80. You can sit and watch and know when a pitcher is starting to lose stuff. Thatís what statistics have done to baseball. Itís made the game more complicated and you have some managers now that do everything strictly by the numbers. Iíve seen managers bench a hot hitter simply because the numbers say that the guy doesnít hit this pitcher very well, but the fact is that right now heís hitting everybody well or he wouldnít be on the hot streak. So why bench him?"



Lip

Vernam
12-16-2008, 10:21 PM
Watch footage of old games, e.g., the 1968 World Series. You'll be amazed by how generous the strike zone was (not to mention how high the mound was). Also notice how limited the pitchers' repertoire was -- fastball, sweeping curve, and changeup. Sliders back then (exception being the Sain slider) were way less stressful on shoulders and elbows than what pitchers throw today.

Factor in that, with rare exceptions, players were utterly replaceable -- there were fewer teams, there was an endless supply of minor leaguers, the teams had little invested in any given player, etc.

Sure, compared to what qualified then as an "innings eater," today's guys like Javi are just hothouse flowers. But now way were those the good old days, IMO. Sports medicine is now light years better. Only a crusty old coot like Ryan would try to turn back the clock on pitch counts.

Vernam

TDog
12-16-2008, 10:30 PM
... Sports medicine is now light years better. Only a crusty old coot like Ryan would try to turn back the clock on pitch counts.

Vernam

The idea that professional pitchers should be limited to arbitrary pitch counts did not grow out of sports medicine.

Frater Perdurabo
12-17-2008, 06:01 AM
Watch footage of old games, e.g., the 1968 World Series. You'll be amazed by how generous the strike zone was (not to mention how high the mound was). Also notice how limited the pitchers' repertoire was -- fastball, sweeping curve, and changeup. Sliders back then (exception being the Sain slider) were way less stressful on shoulders and elbows than what pitchers throw today.

Factor in that, with rare exceptions, players were utterly replaceable -- there were fewer teams, there was an endless supply of minor leaguers, the teams had little invested in any given player, etc.

Sure, compared to what qualified then as an "innings eater," today's guys like Javi are just hothouse flowers. But now way were those the good old days, IMO. Sports medicine is now light years better. Only a crusty old coot like Ryan would try to turn back the clock on pitch counts.

Vernam

Great post.

Ryan ought to lobby MLB to raise the mound and force umps to call the rulebook strike zone.

Craig Grebeck
12-17-2008, 07:24 AM
Great post.

Ryan ought to lobby MLB to raise the mound and force umps to call the rulebook strike zone.
Why raise the mound?

Frater Perdurabo
12-17-2008, 07:44 AM
Why raise the mound?

To re-balance the current imbalance (smaller parks, lower mounds, teacup-sized strike zones, not calling the high strike, DH, etc.) that so strongly favors hitters over pitchers.

Craig Grebeck
12-17-2008, 08:57 AM
To re-balance the current imbalance (smaller parks, lower mounds, teacup-sized strike zones, not calling the high strike, DH, etc.) that so strongly favors hitters over pitchers.
That's a horrible idea.

Frater Perdurabo
12-17-2008, 09:21 AM
That's a horrible idea.

Why?

soxfanatlanta
12-17-2008, 10:48 AM
Why?

Because chicks dig the long ball. :tongue:

I am in favor of at least calling the rulebook strike zone, or at least something close to it.

Railsplitter
12-17-2008, 11:37 AM
Good idea. Could a four man rotation be next?

ode to veeck
12-17-2008, 12:05 PM
About 20 years ago baseball statistician Craig Wright and Rangers pitching coach Tom House authored a book The Diamond Appraised based on Craig's statistical analysis of pitching longevity from MLB modern records back to and including 19th century early days, showing a clear pattern on talented pitchers who were heavily or overly worked before age 25 and those who weren't (defining criteria as ~30 Batters faced per start or roughly 105 pitches). Steve Carlton, Nolan Ryan, and Warren Spahn, 3 great examples of great longevity and very strong pitchers late in their career all were lightly worked early in their careers vs phenoms who didn't have anything near long careers (examples included Boston's "Bird", Valenzuela, Met's Dwight G). SI did a great summary article May 22, 1989, http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1068416/1/index.htm and pitch counts have been increassingly popular ever since. Look at what Dusty Baker has done to two pretty good youing pitching staffs in recent years in SF and Chicago: all his talented young starters are pretty much done.

Iwritecode
12-17-2008, 12:17 PM
About 20 years ago baseball statistician Craig Wright and Rangers pitching coach Tom House authored a book The Diamond Appraised based on Craig's statistical analysis of pitching longevity from MLB modern records back to and including 19th century early days, showing a clear pattern on talented pitchers who were heavily or overly worked before age 25 and those who weren't (defining criteria as ~30 Batters faced per start or roughly 105 pitches). Steve Carlton, Nolan Ryan, and Warren Spahn, 3 great examples of great longevity and very strong pitchers late in their career all were lightly worked early in their careers vs phenoms who didn't have anything near long careers (examples included Boston's "Bird", Valenzuela, Met's Dwight G). SI did a great summary article May 22, 1989, http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1068416/1/index.htm and pitch counts have been increassingly popular ever since. Look at what Dusty Baker has done to two pretty good youing pitching staffs in recent years in SF and Chicago: all his talented young starters are pretty much done.

Interesting. I've always suspected something like this but have never seen any research done on it.

Oblong
12-17-2008, 12:25 PM
while generally in favor of pitch counts, I'm skeptical of using individuals as examples because they still are just one person and you need to look at the circumstances. For example, Mark Fidrych. He had a great season but I don't for a second think his failure after that was due to workload. He hurt his knee in spring training and screwed his arm up trying to compensate for the injury. That's what he claims anyway. So it may not have been a work load issue at all.

ode to veeck
12-17-2008, 12:41 PM
while generally in favor of pitch counts, I'm skeptical of using individuals as examples because they still are just one person and you need to look at the circumstances. For example, Mark Fidrych. He had a great season but I don't for a second think his failure after that was due to workload. He hurt his knee in spring training and screwed his arm up trying to compensate for the injury. That's what he claims anyway. So it may not have been a work load issue at all.

Fidrych clearly had a major injury, but many others did not

Oblong
12-17-2008, 12:45 PM
I only mentioned him because it appears he was already referenced, unless there's somone else meant by "Boston's Bird" which I assume was Fidrych. He did sign with the organization and is from MA.

I_Liked_Manuel
12-17-2008, 01:17 PM
The pitch count has just become an organizational scapegoat in the event that a pitcher blows his arm out.

Assuming there's nothing hereditary or inherently wrong with a guy's mechanics, he theoretically should be fine to throw, regardless of pitch count, until his mechanics break down. Injuries stem from the breakdown in mechanics that occur when a pitcher's tired. Some get tired at pitch 30, some tire at 80, and some rare ones will tire at 150 - but when a pitcher tires is subjective and should be analyzed on a game by game basis.

Really, figuring out when a guy's mechanics are breaking down due to fatigue shouldn't be a hard thing to figure out if you have a pitching coach that's paying attention.

ode to veeck
12-17-2008, 01:52 PM
The pitch count has just become an organizational scapegoat in the event that a pitcher blows his arm out.

Assuming there's nothing hereditary or inherently wrong with a guy's mechanics, he theoretically should be fine to throw, regardless of pitch count, until his mechanics break down. Injuries stem from the breakdown in mechanics that occur when a pitcher's tired. Some get tired at pitch 30, some tire at 80, and some rare ones will tire at 150 - but when a pitcher tires is subjective and should be analyzed on a game by game basis.

Really, figuring out when a guy's mechanics are breaking down due to fatigue shouldn't be a hard thing to figure out if you have a pitching coach that's paying attention.

I agree on pitchcount being something of a scapegoat in cases of injuries, but not in terms of career durability.

Wright's analysis was primarily correlated to career longevity, not injuries, which was the shortening agent in only some of the shorter careers. And the data was very consistent over pitchers from even the dead ball era to the modern era. It had more to do with lots of long starts on young arms (those under 25) and the correct hypothesis that athletes limbs and bones are still growing, maturing into early 20s.

The ironic part about Nolan Ryan's approach with the young Rangers and throwing out pitch counts where they actually make a difference, on young guys in late teens early 20s in minors and the fact that Nolan was a prime example in Wright's analysis of one who didn't have to throw a whole heck of a lot until he was 25 or older and then who was a prime beneficiary and capable of the league in strikeouts and throwing no hitters in his 40s.

Craig Grebeck
12-17-2008, 10:16 PM
Why?
Raising the mound would be horrific. I have no problem with calling the strikezone by the book, but the mound does not need to be raised, as the last few years haven't been as offensively inflated as many eras.

ode to veeck
12-18-2008, 01:40 PM
Raising the mound would be horrific. I have no problem with calling the strikezone by the book, but the mound does not need to be raised, as the last few years haven't been as offensively inflated as many eras.

you mean like the early 90s to mid 00s steroid era?

RichFitztightly
12-19-2008, 01:48 PM
I think pitchers in years gone by have had the same ratio of injuries as the modern pitchers. I was reading a book in the recent past (gosh, I think it was the Complete History of the Red Sox) and I was amazed at the amount of talented pitchers mentioned in the book that "were never the same" after various injuries. The main difference between then and now is that, then: everybody in the country played baseball and pitching became a survival of the fittest where the guys who can handle a lot of pitches rose to the top and the rest didn't. There was just a larger pool of players to choose from.

Also, back then, pitchers learned how to get outs without stuff. I believe, with certain exceptions of course, that there weren't as many pitchers with "stuff" as there are now. Injuries will take away a pitcher's stuff, but back then they just compensated.

Unfortunately, I don't really have any stats to back up my opinion.

However, on the flip side, I do believe Japanese pitchers are taught to throw, throw, throw, and throw some more, and to the best of my knowledge, they don't have a statistical increase in arm injuries.

So in conclusion... Who knows?

Craig Grebeck
12-19-2008, 08:22 PM
you mean like the early 90s to mid 00s steroid era?
I don't really know what you're getting at. The league average OPS in the AL in 2008 was .739. The pitchers aren't suffering very much.