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View Full Version : Will Ozzie Protect Our Pitchers?


jeremyb1
03-05-2004, 10:07 AM
To be honest the only really serious concern I have about Ozzie is how careful he will be with our pitchers because that is where a manager can do the most irrevocable damage. A few extra losses in the standings isn't the end of the world but if one of our top pitchers goes under the knife that can have a long lasting negative impact on this club. I'm sure fans don't need a reminder of that after what happened with Howry, Wunsch, Parque, Baldwin, Rauch, and Sirotka.

In general, despite his flaws, Manuel did a good job of protecting the pitchers. Surely people will read that and point to the rash of injuries we had to pitchers but if you were paying attention Manuel was careful not to leave pitchers in the game for dangerous amounts of time. The injuries we had were most likely the result of poor mechanics, bad throwing routines, etc. for which the blame goes elsewhere in the organization. Last season, we had 10 stress points on BP's pitcher abuse points system, a solid if not great figure (especially compared to the Cub's MLB leading 28. Hehehe). A lot of that can be attributed to our use of Colon who is no longer on the team with Loaiza and Buehrle the only other pitchers with more than 2 stress points.

It seems as though we have a pretty strong organizational philosophy in place on protecting pitchers. However, comments along the lines of Guillen's regarding Garland in the papers today (http://www.dailysouthtown.com/southtown/dssports/pro/051sd1.htm) are troubling:

I heard (Garland) didn't go far enough (into games), they would pull him out. Well, I don't think there's going to be any excuse anymore. He's going to be there. If that was an excuse on why he did bad, he's not going to have that excuse. I expect him to throw more than six innings every (start)."

Someone needs to make sure Ozzie understands that Garland is still only 24 and cannot throw a 7th inning if he's thrown 110 pitches through 6 and demonstrates signs of fatigue.

Dadawg_77
03-05-2004, 10:26 AM
A couple of Baseball Prospectus articles on pitching usage.


http://premium.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2627

http://premium.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2633

Fisk Fan
03-05-2004, 10:32 AM
I think Manuel was protective to a fault with Garland. He would take him out in the 7th inning if he gave up a hit or two, despite the fact that he was cruising up to that point. At some point, these young guys are going to have to learn to deal with the pressure of giving up a few late inning hits and either get some ground balls or K's.

It's about time for Garland to get tough and show that he can be a workhorse this year. He has the tools, but he needs a manager who will stand by him when the going gets tough. Just because he gives up a hit or walks a batter, does not mean he can't work out of it. This is a big part of the maturation process and finally realizing what you can and can't do.

I agree that you need to protect the young arms, though. Like you said, when a pitcher gets around that 100 - 110 pitch mark, it's definately time to start considering taking him out. You don't want to sacrifice the remainder of the season for one more batter or one more pitch, but I think it goes a long way, confidence-wise, when you can leave a guy on the mound to work out of a jam.

mike squires
03-05-2004, 10:37 AM
Hopefully Guillen will rely heavily on Nossek and Cooper for pitching issues. That was on my mind as well. Ozzie definately does not have experience in regards to pitching.

I don't like the way Manuel handled our pitching staff last year. It can only get better, IMO.

SEALgep
03-05-2004, 10:38 AM
As far as Garland goes, he was upset Manuel was taking him out and not letting him trying to get out of his own jams. I doubt he would have said that if he was severly tired and unable to go on. Guillen isn't stupid, and a lot of this is Coop telling him that the starters weren't used properly by Manuel. If you keep the bullpen fresh throughout the year, then the times when the starters can't go deep, well it won't be a problem for the pen to take over. Coop knows the staff, and they will be talking all the time, especially with when to take out a guy or not. Guys sometimes get hurt, but it won't be because Guillen is just ignorant, and doesn't know how long to leave guys in throughout the year. They'll be fine. :smile:

Lip Man 1
03-05-2004, 12:21 PM
Jeremy says: "Someone needs to make sure Ozzie understands that Garland is still only 24 and cannot throw a 7th inning if he's thrown 110 pitches through 6 and demonstrates signs of fatigue."

That's right... he becomes a free agent in two years, can't afford to ruin him when he signs with the Yankees, Red Sox or Angels!

Many baseball people will tell you the trouble with pitchers today is that they don't throw enough and are babied far to much.

Here's an example. in 1963 the Braves lost a 16 inning game to the Giants 1-0 on a home run by Willie Mays. Both starters, Warren Spahn and Juan Marichal both pitched the entire game !

Can you imagine that happening today? As recently as the mid 70's pitchers were throwing 300+ innings in a season. Didn't seem to bother them that much. Today's athletes are bigger, stronger, healthier. Why can pitchers from 20, 30, 40 years ago do something that today's pitchers can't?

Not saying you shouldn't be careful...today's hitters are bigger and the ballparks smaller, but I think in many cases organizations are overprotective and that does far more damage in my opinion.

Lip

jeremyb1
03-05-2004, 12:25 PM
Originally posted by Fisk Fan
I think Manuel was protective to a fault with Garland. He would take him out in the 7th inning if he gave up a hit or two, despite the fact that he was cruising up to that point. At some point, these young guys are going to have to learn to deal with the pressure of giving up a few late inning hits and either get some ground balls or K's.

It's about time for Garland to get tough and show that he can be a workhorse this year. He has the tools, but he needs a manager who will stand by him when the going gets tough. Just because he gives up a hit or walks a batter, does not mean he can't work out of it. This is a big part of the maturation process and finally realizing what you can and can't do.

I agree that you need to protect the young arms, though. Like you said, when a pitcher gets around that 100 - 110 pitch mark, it's definately time to start considering taking him out. You don't want to sacrifice the remainder of the season for one more batter or one more pitch, but I think it goes a long way, confidence-wise, when you can leave a guy on the mound to work out of a jam.

I certainly agree that Manuel often gave Garland the hook too early. You can make an argument Manuel handled Garland the worst of any player in the organization in his time with the club. His comments about Garland lacking the killer instinct and failing to bear down with two strikes were absurd and unfair. Garland would start the seventh inning, walk the first hitter, get two outs and then go 0-2 and have a duck snort drop in and Manuel would blame him for failing to bear down! Garland can't control bloop hits! He got the hitter to put a weak swing on the ball, what more did Manuel want?

That said, if you look at the Cowley article (linked in my first post), his examples of Manuel giving Garland the early hook are poor. He'd thrown 95 and 99 pitches through 7 and 8 innings I believe. First of all, our pen didn't have a ton of depth but if the starter is through 7 innings or more, you can give the ball to a combination of Marte and Gordon so it was not likely those moves would do anything but probably improve our chances of winning with two stellar relievers. Second, 95 and 99 pitches are a fair amount especially for a young pitcher and Garland is not known for being economical with his pitches. Allowing Garland to throw another inning could easily be 110-115 pitches and I'm not sure I consider hesitating at that prospect to be babying him and giving him the early hook. It isn't a ton of pitches but it isn't 80 either. I don't think you can say Manuel pulled him entirely for performance reasons and not health reasons.

jeremyb1
03-05-2004, 12:36 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Jeremy says: "Someone needs to make sure Ozzie understands that Garland is still only 24 and cannot throw a 7th inning if he's thrown 110 pitches through 6 and demonstrates signs of fatigue."

That's right... he becomes a free agent in two years, can't afford to ruin him when he signs with the Yankees, Red Sox or Angels!

Many baseball people will tell you the trouble with pitchers today is that they don't throw enough and are babied far to much.

Here's an example. in 1963 the Braves lost a 16 inning game to the Giants 1-0 on a home run by Willie Mays. Both starters, Warren Spahn and Juan Marichal both pitched the entire game !

Can you imagine that happening today? As recently as the mid 70's pitchers were throwing 300+ innings in a season. Didn't seem to bother them that much. Today's athletes are bigger, stronger, healthier. Why can pitchers from 20, 30, 40 years ago do something that today's pitchers can't?

Not saying you shouldn't be careful...today's hitters are bigger and the ballparks smaller, but I think in many cases organizations are overprotective and that does far more damage in my opinion.

And many doctors will tell you many pitchers throw too much. I trust the doctors over the baseball people.

Especially looking at the abuse points on BP, the site has a great deal of knowledge about pitching injuries. Will Carrol has a working relationship with James Andrews the leading specialist on baseball injuries. He's the guy that performs nearly all the arm surgeries in baseball and he has a clinic designed to research pitching injuries.

Oakland, under Rick Peterson, worked very closely with Andrews and if you look at their staff, you'll see alarmingly few arm injuries. This is an issue of medical science not baseball knowledge. There are a lot of flaws is comparing pitching 20 years ago and now. First of all, pitchers used to throw significantly fewer pitches per inning so 16 innings then wouldn't be anything like it is now. Next, since overworking pitchers was so commonplace, it is likely that through survival of the fittest the pitchers that did make it to the major leagues in one piece were freaks of nature capable of shouldering unimaginable workloads (along the lines of someone like Randy Johnson). Finally, there still were pitching injuries back then. They weren't always diagnosed as well so it was often thought the pitcher simply lost effectiveness.

Lip Man 1
03-05-2004, 12:50 PM
Jeremy says: "Next, since overworking pitchers was so commonplace, it is likely that through survival of the fittest the pitchers that did make it to the major leagues in one piece were freaks of nature capable of shouldering unimaginable workloads."

That's right there were hundreds of "freaks" pitching for at least 16 and then 20 MLB teams through 1969.

That doesn't explain how so many pitchers could throw so many innings for so many years Jeremy. It wasn't just happenstance. Ask any pitcher from back then, from Hall Of Famers like Koufax, Drysdale, Marichal, Bob Feller, Jim Palmer, Robin Roberts to exceptional pitchers like Billy Pierce, Dave Mcnally and Gary Peters, to average guys like Moe Drabowski and Frank "Bats In The Belfry" Bertainia and they'll all tell you the same thing they threw every day and threw a lot of innings to build up their arms.

Billy Pierce was 5-11 maybe 180 pounds soaking wet yet look how long he pitched and how many innings he threw. that doesn't sound like a 'freak' to me.

The other thing of course is the number of new speciality pitches that have come into vogue like the split finger fastball and the forkball which puts tremendous strain on the arm and elbow. back then pitchers threw two different fast balls, overhand curves and some slides and change up's and they did fine.

Lip

Brian26
03-05-2004, 01:00 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Billy Pierce was 5-11 maybe 180 pounds soaking wet yet look how long he pitched and how many innings he threw. that doesn't sound like a 'freak' to me. Lip

Just read "Strength Up The Middle". It's amazing how many times Lopez brought Pierce or Dick Donovan in from the bullpen in a close game to pitch the last few innings. It's also amazing how many times they skipped turns in the rotation to give one of the big guns (Wynn or Pierce) a shot on 3 days rest. Things that are unheard of today (unless you're Jack McKeon in the playoffs) were commonplace back then.

jeremyb1
03-05-2004, 01:43 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Jeremy says: "Next, since overworking pitchers was so commonplace, it is likely that through survival of the fittest the pitchers that did make it to the major leagues in one piece were freaks of nature capable of shouldering unimaginable workloads."

That's right there were hundreds of "freaks" pitching for at least 16 and then 20 MLB teams through 1969.

That doesn't explain how so many pitchers could throw so many innings for so many years Jeremy. It wasn't just happenstance. Ask any pitcher from back then, from Hall Of Famers like Koufax, Drysdale, Marichal, Bob Feller, Jim Palmer, Robin Roberts to exceptional pitchers like Billy Pierce, Dave Mcnally and Gary Peters, to average guys like Moe Drabowski and Frank "Bats In The Belfry" Bertainia and they'll all tell you the same thing they threw every day and threw a lot of innings to build up their arms.

Billy Pierce was 5-11 maybe 180 pounds soaking wet yet look how long he pitched and how many innings he threw. that doesn't sound like a 'freak' to me.

The other thing of course is the number of new speciality pitches that have come into vogue like the split finger fastball and the forkball which puts tremendous strain on the arm and elbow. back then pitchers threw two different fast balls, overhand curves and some slides and change up's and they did fine.

Well I made about five arguments in that post Lip. I could tell you you're completely right my argument was ridiculous and I think the point still remains the same. 1) Pitchers did still sustain injuries 2) injuries were underdiagnosed. 3) Pitchers threw much fewer pitches. 4) Highly skilled medical profesionals and those with degrees in biotechnology have taken great pains to analyze the health of pitchers' arms and come to the conclusion that throwing a great deal of pitches is a huge cause of arm injuries. 5) Your own argument about the split finger and forkball.

As far as that actual argument, first of all 5 starters on 20 teams would be 100 pitchers not "hundreds" of pitchers. Pitchers are most likely to sustain arm injuries prior to turning 25. So if most young pitchers were logging over 200 innings in the minor leagues, most of them would blow their arms out before they ever reached the majors or even AAA for that matter and thus the pitchers that did advance to the upper minors and the major leagues would've sustained that abuse already indicating they had particularly strong arms. I think you mistook my comment about Randy Johnson to be related to his size. That is not what I meant. I meant that he is a freak of nature because he's repeatedly shown the ability to bounce back from alarming overuse. Some pitchers just seem to be incredibly unsusceptable to arm injury for whatever bioligical reason.

SEALgep
03-05-2004, 01:44 PM
If you want to win, you need multiple starters who can pitch over 200 innings a season. If you are scared of injury your players then why even play them. Should we tell Maggs not to dive for the ball. Garland can extend himself far more than he did last year. Guillen is just setting the tone that the starters should be prepared to go deep into games. Nothing wrong with that. If there are signs of strain or tiredness, Guillen isn't an idiot, he'll take them out. Coop will be there every step and helping Guillen out. But JM was justly criticized for not extending his starters longer. Guillen is only saying that won't be the case this year. If a starter is going good, and he can continue, then he will continue. If a pitcher needs to taken out, Guillen won't hesitate. Besides, don't ignore Coop's influence. The pitchers communicate to Coop, and have expressed this to him last year. Now instead of just communicating from Coop to the manager, they both will communicate with them. Guillen knows how they feel, and now everyone is on the same page. The starters want this. And with a fresh pen down the stretch, we will be better off.

Fisk Fan
03-05-2004, 01:53 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
I certainly agree that Manuel often gave Garland the hook too early. You can make an argument Manuel handled Garland the worst of any player in the organization in his time with the club. His comments about Garland lacking the killer instinct and failing to bear down with two strikes were absurd and unfair. Garland would start the seventh inning, walk the first hitter, get two outs and then go 0-2 and have a duck snort drop in and Manuel would blame him for failing to bear down! Garland can't control bloop hits! He got the hitter to put a weak swing on the ball, what more did Manuel want?

That said, if you look at the Cowley article (linked in my first post), his examples of Manuel giving Garland the early hook are poor. He'd thrown 95 and 99 pitches through 7 and 8 innings I believe. First of all, our pen didn't have a ton of depth but if the starter is through 7 innings or more, you can give the ball to a combination of Marte and Gordon so it was not likely those moves would do anything but probably improve our chances of winning with two stellar relievers. Second, 95 and 99 pitches are a fair amount especially for a young pitcher and Garland is not known for being economical with his pitches. Allowing Garland to throw another inning could easily be 110-115 pitches and I'm not sure I consider hesitating at that prospect to be babying him and giving him the early hook. It isn't a ton of pitches but it isn't 80 either. I don't think you can say Manuel pulled him entirely for performance reasons and not health reasons.

I agree with everything you said. Maybe Garland will be better off by having Manuel baby him.........but only time will tell.

jeremyb1
03-05-2004, 05:41 PM
Originally posted by SEALgep
If you want to win, you need multiple starters who can pitch over 200 innings a season. If you are scared of injury your players then why even play them. Should we tell Maggs not to dive for the ball. Garland can extend himself far more than he did last year. Guillen is just setting the tone that the starters should be prepared to go deep into games. Nothing wrong with that. If there are signs of strain or tiredness, Guillen isn't an idiot, he'll take them out. Coop will be there every step and helping Guillen out. But JM was justly criticized for not extending his starters longer. Guillen is only saying that won't be the case this year. If a starter is going good, and he can continue, then he will continue. If a pitcher needs to taken out, Guillen won't hesitate. Besides, don't ignore Coop's influence. The pitchers communicate to Coop, and have expressed this to him last year. Now instead of just communicating from Coop to the manager, they both will communicate with them. Guillen knows how they feel, and now everyone is on the same page. The starters want this. And with a fresh pen down the stretch, we will be better off.

Innings and pitch counts are two different things. Buehrle has been at some risk due solely to his age but he hasn't been overextended too much the past several years despite throwing well over 200 innings because he's had low pitch counts since he economizes his pitches. Ditto for Halladay who threw a ton of innings by conserving his pitch count and working out of a four man rotation. I think you're most likely right that Ozzie will act appropriately the majority of the time but as I said, I worry just because a few comments he's made and because it is such a critical issue.

hftrex
03-05-2004, 05:46 PM
Originally posted by Fisk Fan
I agree with everything you said. Maybe Garland will be better off by having Manuel baby him.........but only time will tell.


What time will tell is that JM was a far better manager than Ozzie the Pitcher Abusing Bozo-Bufoon ever will be.

Lip Man 1
03-05-2004, 05:53 PM
Jeremy:

All I know is that a lot of pitchers were doing things 20, 30, 40 years ago despite being smaller in size and not having the training methods that players have today, that today's pitchers don't seem to be able to do. Why is that Jeremy? How do you account for that Jeremy?

Ask any older former MLB pitcher and he'll tell you the same things...pitchers threw almost every day...pitchers threw a lot of innings...pitchers mostly threw fast balls in the off season and spring to build arm strenght...pitchers were expected to go the distance so they developed the appropriate mind set.

Once again your obsession with stats blinds you to reality.

Instead of protecting these babies, a team should start to work their asses off and see what happens because these pitchers sure seem to get hurt a lot by NOT working as hard as their counterparts decades ago. (And in the White Sox case it's not like they are spending a ton of money on their 'can't miss kid' pitchers anyway is it?)

Lip

Paulwny
03-05-2004, 05:59 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1

Ask any older former MLB pitcher and he'll tell you the same things...pitchers threw almost every day...pitchers threw a lot of innings...pitchers mostly threw fast balls in the off season and spring to build arm strenght...pitchers were expected to go the distance so they developed the appropriate mind set.
Lip

Yep, Tommy John and Jim Katt are believers in the toss everyday camp.

Huisj
03-05-2004, 07:29 PM
sheesh, lip and jeremy really seem to have it in for each other on this topic.

I think what lip has said about specialty pitches makes a lot of sense, and especially could make a lot of sense when you trace pitchers careers all the way back to high school, middle school, and even little league. Yes, guys are definitely throwing all kinds of weird splitters and sliders and stuff now, and that could definitely have something to do with stress on their arm, but they're also throwing them at younger and younger ages at which they don't necessarily have the mechanics to keep their arm safe. So many pitchers are hurt so early on in their career that you can't help but wonder if the damage starts to form at a very young age, and then just gradually propogates through an elbow ligament or labrum or whatever until one day it's just gone.

I was pressured into learning to throw a curve in middle school, and one of my coaches in high school tried to get me to throw a splitter. Once a kid is taught these things a little bit, it's all they want to throw, because it's fun and sometimes effective (although not effective in my case, because i moslty sucked at pitching). How many pro pitchers do you guys think something like this could affect?