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jeremyb1
04-10-2004, 02:51 PM
...well Ozzie has thrown two young pitchers for 119 and 117 pitches the past two days in games that weren't all that close. Those pitching counts aren't horrendous but anything over 110 isn't really good and most importantly it is the beginning of the season, these guys can't be completely stretched out yet.

A.T. Money
04-10-2004, 02:58 PM
These are some pretty big games vs. New York. If the starters are locked in, you pitch em. You don't need to burn out your pen.

Paulwny
04-10-2004, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
...well Ozzie has thrown two young pitchers for 119 and 117 pitches the past two days in games that weren't all that close. Those pitching counts aren't horrendous but anything over 110 isn't really good and most importantly it is the beginning of the season, these guys can't be completely stretched out yet.

I guess it depends which camp you're in. Kaat felt that since Mark was only in a couple of jams the pitch count wasn't that important. I'm in this camp.

MRKARNO
04-10-2004, 03:10 PM
I agree that it's ok to do this against the Yanks, but this cannot become a regular occurance. The pitch counts concern me too. If Ozzie continues to ride his starters too long like a certain other Chicago Manager, we might have some serious problems down the stretch. Neither of these guys should pitch 110+ pitches in the next game without an extra day of rest.

CubKilla
04-10-2004, 03:13 PM
Once your pitchers start cruising, let them pitch. Avoid high-pitch counts near season's end..... if possible.

I'm not concerned about pitch counts though against the Yankees offense.

Brian26
04-10-2004, 03:14 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
...well Ozzie has thrown two young pitchers for 119 and 117 pitches the past two days in games that weren't all that close. Those pitching counts aren't horrendous but anything over 110 isn't really good and most importantly it is the beginning of the season, these guys can't be completely stretched out yet.

I think you have to look at the big picture. Pitch count doesn't necessarily tell the entire story, although it shouldn't be ignored. The fact is, Garland and Buehrle both had some innings where they absolutely cruised. There were at least a couple of super quick 3-up-3-down innings for Buehrle today. Yesterday there were a couple of big innings when the Sox had long at-bats, giving Garland a rest. So, even though both guys threw over 110 pitches, both guys had a chance to get some nice rests during the game. I don't think either guy was straining towards the end.

RedPinStripes
04-10-2004, 03:22 PM
The pitch count is over rated IMO. How many games did manuel blow because no one could pitch more then 95-100 pitches? Quite a few. that was tinker time for him. And did anyone really want to see more of then bullpen vs. the Yanks? Not me! Garland and Buehrle were also always pissed at Manuel because they couldnt finish a game no matter how well they did if they had 100 pitches in the 8th. I would say that takes a toll mentally on a pitcher when they start to think . "When is this prick coming out to take my game away?" Ozzie's done a great job so far accept for Monday and i dont put all the blame on him for that. Marte can normally get 2 outs and not blow that big of a lead. 4 pitchers should be able to get 3 outs with a 5 run lead.

Unregistered
04-10-2004, 03:27 PM
Originally posted by RedPinStripes
The pitch count is over rated IMO. How many games did manuel blow because no one could pitch more then 95-100 pitches? Quite a few. that was tinker time for him. And did anyone really want to see more of then bullpen vs. the Yanks? Not me! Garland and Buehrle were also always pissed at Manuel because they couldnt finish a game no matter how well they did if they had 100 pitches in the 8th. I would say that takes a toll mentally on a pitcher when they start to think . "When is this prick coming out to take my game away?" Ozzie's done a great job so far accept for Monday and i dont put all the blame on him for that. Marte can normally get 2 outs and not blow that big of a lead. 4 pitchers should be able to get 3 outs with a 5 run lead. Very true, Ozzie is all about winning ballgames and feeling out situations - JM was all about matchups and pitch counts - we saw how far that got us the last few years. With the pen being as suspect as it has so far this season, I like that Ozzie is smart enough to say "If Buehrle (or Garland) can handle the situation, I'll leave him in."

Ozzie doesn't seem like the kind of guy that is OK with "throwing away" games (see: Cotts v. Yanks last year), and I think that's going to be the X-factor this year.

TornLabrum
04-10-2004, 03:33 PM
Today in a postgame TV interview, Don Cooper said, "There are ways of getting around pitch count. With days off you can move a guy up here and another back. There are all kinds of ways you can work around it. The important thing is winning."

Pitch count is BS unless you're overworking a guy on a regular basis.

beckett21
04-10-2004, 03:33 PM
If you heard Coop and Hawk talking after the game they seem to think pitch count is over-rated (albeit it meant more hearing it from Coop). Cooper said there's ways to work around it as far as altering how much they throw on the side between starts, etc.

I agree it can't continue all season, but at this point it doesn't trouble me. None of our guys are what I would consider *fragile*--no history of major arm trouble I am aware of. It's still early, but I think they'll be ok. It's nice to see the guys get a chance to control their destiny a bit, especially with the early pen troubles.

I agree with RPS--I wanted NO PART of our bullpen the last two games.

beckett21
04-10-2004, 03:34 PM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
Today in a postgame TV interview, Don Cooper said, "There are ways of getting around pitch count. With days off you can move a guy up here and another back. There are all kinds of ways you can work around it. The important thing is winning."

Pitch count is BS unless you're overworking a guy on a regular basis.

Beat me to it! :)

A.T. Money
04-10-2004, 03:49 PM
If you tried to take Bob Gibson out of a game early because of pitch count, he'd punch you in your throat and tell you to get your ass back in the dugout.

Pitch count is very overrated. Win the game.

Jurr
04-10-2004, 04:09 PM
The Bob Gibson statement was hysterical. Well said.

joecrede
04-10-2004, 04:33 PM
It's a long season and I don't want my starters throwing 119 & 117 pitches on a consistent basis. That said, I believe the games after that horrible opening day loss were extremely critical to the team's psyche.

I almost think they were "must win's" from that perspective so I don't have a problem with what Guillen did. I'm hoping that once his confidence gets restored in Marte and with Pollitte's strong showing, the starter's pitch counts won't be that high.

hellenicsoxfan
04-10-2004, 04:38 PM
I'm not too worried about the pitch count. I also heard Hawk and Cooper after the game talking about pitch count and how overrated it is and how there are ways to get around it.
Besides, these are young guys in a young season. In Garland's case, I think it was important for Ozzie to let him stay in and let Garland know that the days of getting yanked by a sleepwalking manager at the slightest hint of trouble are over. Ozzie's letting him know that the "Well, he's still young" excuse will no longer fly and if Garland pitches the way he is capable of, Ozzie will back him and let him pitch. As for Buehrle, he was on such a roll, why yank him. I think Buehrle is in the mindset of "I'm your ace, leave me alone and let me pitch". If he keeps pitching like he is, don't tinker too much with him.

Daver
04-10-2004, 04:59 PM
Pitch counts crack me up,it is the most poorly used coaching tool I have ever seen,well tied with the radar gun maybe.

Pitchers get hurt because they don't throw enough,not from throwing to many pitches.

NonetheLoaiza
04-10-2004, 05:54 PM
its way too early in the season to be concerned about pitch counts (it is overrated anyways). i think ozzie is simply letting his pitchers know that hell stick with them through some tough innings. hopefully that kind of confidence from the manager helps garland turn the corner.

davidleeroth
04-10-2004, 05:55 PM
anybody that complains the slightest about pitch count is a tool. think about it, 'he threw 119 pitches instead of 110, and that doesnt even count the warmup pitches.' did buehrle or garland look tired? no. some guys start losing velocity after 85 pitches, some get tired and lose it at around 110, and then there's guys like colon who could probably throw 250 pitches and the last one would still be at about 97 mph.

my point- pull the guy when he's tired, regardless of pitch count. the only way you're going to do damage to an arm is when you ask it to do more than it can.

batmanZoSo
04-10-2004, 05:56 PM
Originally posted by Daver
Pitch counts crack me up,it is the most poorly used coaching tool I have ever seen,well tied with the radar gun maybe.

Pitchers get hurt because they don't throw enough,not from throwing to many pitches.

In the words of SLJackson COOORECTOMUNDO.

Ozzie's style will prove that whole pitch count thing wrong. Like 100 and 115 is a big difference. Get real....

Daver
04-10-2004, 06:01 PM
Originally posted by NonetheLoaiza
its way too early in the season to be concerned about pitch counts (it is overrated anyways). i think ozzie is simply letting his pitchers know that hell stick with them through some tough innings. hopefully that kind of confidence from the manager helps garland turn the corner.


Hey welcome aboard! :redneck

jabrch
04-10-2004, 06:02 PM
statheads will tell you there is a magic number of pitches that are likely to result in your pitchers dying an unnatural death. Those people also believe a calculator, a spreadsheet and a matrix can tell you who the best players are based on some stupid-ass ratios and formulae.

I agree with everyone else who seems to think that is stupid.

SoxxoS
04-10-2004, 07:01 PM
:threadsucks

jeremyb1
04-10-2004, 07:06 PM
Alright, I'll individually address the arguments made in this thread.

1) Buehrle/Garland were cruising.

There's no reason that how well a pitcher throws relates to fatigue, it is how much you throw. Pitching successfully doesn't somehow put less strain on a pitcher's arm unless it leads to throwing fewer pitches.

2) Its worth sacrificing in these games because they were absolutely crucial.

First of all, beating the Yankees counts the same in the standings as any other team in baseball. There's something to be said for having good momentum but I believe people stress that too much.

More importantly, in the game in which Garland pitched the 8th, we were up 9 runs!!! How dangerous is a nine run lead? The coaching staff obviously wasn't too concerned about the outcome or Takatsu wouldn't have pitched the 9th. Today the score was closer but if our pen can't protect two run leads for two innings these games are irrelevant because we're going to lose 90 this year.

3) Its just two games.

True. Clearly injuries aren't sustained from one outing in most cases but do you really think this doesn't speak to a larger trend? If guys are going to throw that many pitches early in the season when they're less equiped to do so and in some cases in 9 run games what happens when they're more stretched out in a close game? 140 pitches?

4) Pitch counts are BS, they are unrelated to pitcher's health.

Modern science tells us that pitching is an unnatural motion and at a certain point (ussually arround 110 pitches) most pitchers become fatigued causing themselves to alter their mechanics leading to a much greater chance of injury. This isn't "stathead" theory it is doctor and scientist theory and the result of rigrous empirical research. This is the work of the world's most reknowned experts in sports medicine such as James Andrews and biomechanics.

5) Winning is all that matters.

Do you really think that an increased potential for arm injuries is unrelated to our success? First of all, if Buehrle, Garland, or Loaiza goes down the season is basically over. We're in a weak division but our starting pitching isn't particularly deep so we can't sustain an injury to one of our top starters.

Additionally, this is a team that has only a few solid building blocks. Reed, Garland, Buehrle, Crede, Marte, and Olivo can be expected to be strong contributors for 3 or 4 more yaars. Guys like Maggs, Carlos, and Paully could leave via trade or free agency and guys like Frank and Jose are older. Given that a division title is in question in the weakest division in baseball and toppling the likes of the Yankees or Red Sox in the playoffs won't be too easy, it might be a good idea to leave ourselves some hope for the future.

6) There is no magic number.

True but hardcore data, facts, and research suggest 110 is a pretty good point. Also, it is pretty much undisputed baseball knowledge that pitchers are not yet completely stretched out and adjusted to the rigours of throwing deep into games in the very beginning of the season. You have to figure this is as bad is if each pitcher had thrown ten additional pitches or so considering the point in the season. Also, if Buehrle and Garland are exceptions to the rule, what makes them so special? Why can they throw more than the average pitcher. Even if there is not exact set number clearly 200 pitches is too many, right? No pitcher in baseball throws that. Pitchers only threw over 140 pitches about two times last season for a reason: there is a definite agreement that at some point in the low 100s, a pitcher has thrown too much.

7) Coop says we can work around it.

I like Don Cooper and I think he's a good pitching coach but it is important to note that he's not a doctor or expert in sports medicine. Just because someone has a job in a major league organization doesn't mean they're intelligent. Someone in the Mets organization let Isringhausen and Paul Wilson destroy their arms in the minors.

It may be possible to give a pitcher a day off if he's tired but there's no quick fix to work around big pitch counts. If there was wouldn't every other team in baseball do it? I think Pedro would be a lot more valuable if he threw 120 pitches everytime out instead of 100.

8) This thread sucks.

What articulate, well thought out debate.

duke of dorwood
04-10-2004, 07:10 PM
Let them pitch-they're gonna be off 4 days anyway. If you keep parading relief pitchers in, and warm them up everyday, thats more likely a source of injury, dont you think?

SoxxoS
04-10-2004, 07:19 PM
jeremy-you know that pitchers warm up and stuff, right? So no just because a pitcher throws 110 pitches doesn't necessarily mean he threw...110 pitches. Pitchers warm up with 7 pitches before the inning, IN ADDITION TO the pitches before the game. So they can be throwing 175 pitches before it's all said and done.

I would like a link to this "110" number you speak of, anyway. I am not a doctor, but I would be willing to bet that injuries depend quite a lot on genetics. It's partially environmental, but I would say it's how genetically "strong" you are that injuries depend on.

I think that pitch counts are HIGHLY, HIGHLY overrated.

Daver
04-10-2004, 07:20 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1

4) Pitch counts are BS, they are unrelated to pitcher's health.

Modern science tells us that pitching is an unnatural motion and at a certain point (ussually arround 110 pitches) most pitchers become fatigued causing themselves to alter their mechanics leading to a much greater chance of injury. This isn't "stathead" theory it is doctor and scientist theory and the result of rigrous empirical research. This is the work of the world's most reknowned experts in sports medicine such as James Andrews and biomechanics.

.

I have read some of the theories you are referring to,and not one of them prove anything that cannot be corrected by having pitchers throw more,not less.I just don't buy it,30 years ago it was routine for pitchers to throw 260 to 300 innings a year,with no ill effects to their health,because they threw everyday,todays approach to training pitchers is what is hurting them,not the number of pitches they are throwing in any given start.

Please feel free to continue to beleive what Billy Beane and the sabrematricians preach,but keep in mind it has little basis in fact.You can find the proof in this by looking back to the 60's and 70's era of the game,the only thing that has changed is the way pitchers are trained.

SEALgep
04-10-2004, 08:15 PM
I too believe pitch counts are overrated. Guillen told these guys to be ready to pitch complete games from day one. If they weren't they had no business being in this league. Be ready day one basically. It's not like the coaches and players aren't on the same page. That's part of the reason the club is clicking so nicely. The pitchers don't want to come out when they're going well. They feel good to go and the results are there. No reason to tamper with that. It's not like Buerhle is saying, man I wish I would have been pulled an inning earlier. BS, he wants to be in there and earned the right to be in there. Aggressive baseball doesn't end with the offense. These guys know their own bodies and they feel good right now. We have a rested pen, and they will be used, don't worry about that. But it's obviously better when the starters are getting the job done themselves.

Ken
04-10-2004, 08:50 PM
Any Sox fan that knows anything about baseball had to know that JM was the problem all along. We had too much talent to be so bad for so long! The only ones who covered for him were the corporate people and players who didn't want to work any harder than they had to for the past five seasons!

Railsplitter
04-10-2004, 08:57 PM
Originally posted by SoxxoS
jeremy-you know that pitchers warm up and stuff, right? So no just because a pitcher throws 110 pitches doesn't necessarily mean he threw...110 pitches. Pitchers warm up with 7 pitches before the inning, IN ADDITION TO the pitches before the game. So they can be throwing 175 pitches before it's all said and done.

I would like a link to this "110" number you speak of, anyway. I am not a doctor, but I would be willing to bet that injuries depend quite a lot on genetics. It's partially environmental, but I would say it's how genetically "strong" you are that injuries depend on.

I think that pitch counts are HIGHLY, HIGHLY overrated.

Don't forget pickoff moves and other tosses to the bases. Those are thorws the number of which may vary from one game to the next.

SEALgep
04-10-2004, 09:05 PM
I think Hawk told this story last year, but I'm not positive it was him. A pitching coach went to the mound and the pitcher asked what his pitch count was. The coach said with warmups at the beginning and in between innings, he was above 400 (I think that's what was said). Good story, shouldn't be the focus of a pitcher though. I guarantee our staff wouldn't be asking that. More like how many more will you let me throw.

hollywood99
04-10-2004, 09:37 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1


Additionally, this is a team that has only a few solid building blocks. Reed, Garland, Buehrle, Crede, Marte, and Olivo can be expected to be strong contributors for 3 or 4 more yaars. Guys like Maggs, Carlos, and Paully could leave via trade or free agency and guys like Frank and Jose are older. Given that a division title is in question in the weakest division in baseball and toppling the likes of the Yankees or Red Sox in the playoffs won't be too easy, it might be a good idea to leave ourselves some hope for the future.
This thread sucks.


I would not consider Reed to be EXPECTED to be a strong contributor. All of you who plan on EVERY top prospect becoming an automatic all-star are going to live a disappointing life. I, for one, would love to see Reed win a bunch of batting titles. I am not counting on it, though, just like I am not counting on Borchard to win a bunch of home run titles. If Honel is really injured, then that really sucks, but he is a A-ball pitcher. How much of a chance does or did he really have to become a franchise player? I hope that he gets every opportunity to shine, but I won't be too disappointed if it doesn't work out. One year from now our top prospect list will again probably contain several names that you don't know of today. Get used to it.

As far as Garland and Buehrle are concerned.... You need to look at the track record of successful pitchers in major league baseball. Most successful pitchers have only a few good seasons before they lose it. A few rare ones have extended dominant careers. We like to call them hall of famers. Nobody worries about their arms, because they are made of rubber. They don't have long and productive careers by not staying in games past the 6th inning. If you look at the ages of Garland and Buehrle, this might be the prime year of their careers. If they have rubber arms, then it is alright for them to pitch late into SOME games when they are on a roll. If not, then they are likely to be considered has-beens a few years down the road either way. Nardi's pitchers didn't get lots of injuries from pitching a lot. They got injured from his overemphasis on mechanics.

Daver
04-10-2004, 09:39 PM
Hey welcome aboard! :redneck

Lip Man 1
04-10-2004, 11:03 PM
Pitch counts are overrated garbage, why keep babying these guys especially Garland? Besides he's a free agent in two years and the Sox won't re-sign him so you better use him now while you still have him.

Daver is right on the money...pitchers need to throw more not less.

One other point to be considered...could Ozzie be letting his starters go longer because he's trying to establish that mind-set in them? (and unspoken of course, because he already can see the writing on the wall for his bullpen until Williams can go out and get some help...)

Lip

Iguana775
04-10-2004, 11:31 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
...well Ozzie has thrown two young pitchers for 119 and 117 pitches the past two days in games that weren't all that close. Those pitching counts aren't horrendous but anything over 110 isn't really good and most importantly it is the beginning of the season, these guys can't be completely stretched out yet.

back in the day, pitchers threw a ton of innings and complete games but where there more injuries then or now? i guess a major difference is pitchers now throw a slider which is a arm killer. i know that Nolan Ryan never threw it cause he knew it would mess up his arm.

jeremyb1
04-11-2004, 12:33 AM
Originally posted by SoxxoS
I would like a link to this "110" number you speak of, anyway. I am not a doctor, but I would be willing to bet that injuries depend quite a lot on genetics. It's partially environmental, but I would say it's how genetically "strong" you are that injuries depend on.

Two years later, Keith Woolner performed the definitive study that examined the relationship between high pitch counts and injury risk. First, Woolner looked at whether there was a relationship between high pitch counts and decreased effectiveness over the pitchers next few starts. What he found was that, while the relationship was there, the formula for PAP needed to be changed--that until that point, the system did not penalize pitchers enough for really high pitch counts (120 and up) compared to a 105 or 110-pitch outing.

Then using the new, refined formula for PAP, Woolner showed that there was, indeed, a link between high PAP scores and future injury risk.

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

jeremyb1
04-11-2004, 12:35 AM
Here's a quote for those of you that don't think these games necessarily show a pattern:

Aside from Mark Buehrle's 95 pitches in the opener, every Sox starter since has thrown at least 105 pitches. Buehrle threw 117 Saturday. "If you're going to have success in this game, you better go up to the hundreds," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "[Nolan] Ryan, [Roger] Clemens, [Greg] Maddux, [Tom] Glavine, [Curt] Schilling, all those guys have success in this game, and go 115, 120 pitches." Ö

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/cs-040410soxbits,1,1512230.story?coll=cs-home-headlines

jeremyb1
04-11-2004, 12:36 AM
Originally posted by Daver
I have read some of the theories you are referring to,and not one of them prove anything that cannot be corrected by having pitchers throw more,not less.I just don't buy it,30 years ago it was routine for pitchers to throw 260 to 300 innings a year,with no ill effects to their health,because they threw everyday,todays approach to training pitchers is what is hurting them,not the number of pitches they are throwing in any given start.

Please feel free to continue to beleive what Billy Beane and the sabrematricians preach,but keep in mind it has little basis in fact.You can find the proof in this by looking back to the 60's and 70's era of the game,the only thing that has changed is the way pitchers are trained.

You may be completely correct but unless our pitchers are being trained differently than every other starting pitcher in the league it is not at all applicable.

Daver
04-11-2004, 12:43 AM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
You may be completely correct but unless our pitchers are being trained differently than every other starting pitcher in the league it is not at all applicable.

It is not applicable to your stats position of judging the game you mean.

jeremyb1
04-11-2004, 01:21 AM
Originally posted by Daver
It is not applicable to your stats position of judging the game you mean.

No, not at all. You're arguing that pitchers should throw more on the side and whatnot to strengthen their arms more allowing them to go further into games. Well, unless Garland and Buehrle took those methods prior to their past two starts it is completely irrelevant because they are susceptible to the same injuries as all other pitchers due to training improperly.

Daver
04-11-2004, 01:44 AM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
No, not at all. You're arguing that pitchers should throw more on the side and whatnot to strengthen their arms more allowing them to go further into games. Well, unless Garland and Buehrle took those methods prior to their past two starts it is completely irrelevant because they are susceptible to the same injuries as all other pitchers due to training improperly.

Well,let's break that down.

Don Cooper was in charge of all minor leauge pitching,from top to bottom,before he accepted the job as Nardi's replacement,so he was directly involved in the development of both Mark and Jon,and he has little use for pitch counts.Kirk Champion replaced Don Cooper in his minor league role,and is responsible for developing future Sox pitchers,and he has little use for the pitch count.

Under the two of them the Sox have revived the possibilites of many questionable arms,including Felix Diaz,Emineco Pacheco, Ryan Meux,and Jon Rauch.


When you have a clue of what you are talking about get back to me,till then you are merely spewing sabermatrician drivel.

davidleeroth
04-11-2004, 02:54 AM
do some of you pitch count guys realize that you're arguing the difference between 8 pitches for the most part?

gosox41
04-11-2004, 06:22 AM
Originally posted by Daver
.

Pitchers get hurt because they don't throw enough,not from throwing to many pitches.

That's a pretty open statement. Do you have any proof or concrete examples?

Pitcher's get hurt for many reasons. Some get burned out like Billy Martin did to the A's in the late '70's. Some physically can't handle it and suffer some lingering injuries where it's best to miss some time instead of pitch through them, and some ptichers are successful but have such lousy mechanics that it puts unnecessary strain on the arm.

Bob

gosox41
04-11-2004, 06:28 AM
Originally posted by Daver
I have read some of the theories you are referring to,and not one of them prove anything that cannot be corrected by having pitchers throw more,not less.I just don't buy it,30 years ago it was routine for pitchers to throw 260 to 300 innings a year,with no ill effects to their health,because they threw everyday,todays approach to training pitchers is what is hurting them,not the number of pitches they are throwing in any given start.

Please feel free to continue to beleive what Billy Beane and the sabrematricians preach,but keep in mind it has little basis in fact.You can find the proof in this by looking back to the 60's and 70's era of the game,the only thing that has changed is the way pitchers are trained.

I also believe pitch counts are overrated, but things were different in the '60's. It was a lot of the power pitchers throwing all those innings. I think pticher's today throw a higher percentage of breaking pitches that put more strain on the arm.

I think there are other issues as well. Some ML pitchers were abused in high school or college. You always hear stories similar to Kerry Wood where he pitched 2 games in a row to win the HS championship. I'm sure that wasn't the only time in their life that happened, and while it's good to throw I don't think it's necessarily a good idea to bring your starting pitcher back to pitch 2 complete games in 2 days.

Another reason I think pitchers today are getting jurt more is they are throwing the curveballs and all that at to young of an age. Their bodies can't handle it and it causes more harm then good over the long run.

Just my 2 cents.


Bob

gosox41
04-11-2004, 06:31 AM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Pitch counts are overrated garbage, why keep babying these guys especially Garland? Besides he's a free agent in two years and the Sox won't re-sign him so you better use him now while you still have him.

Daver is right on the money...pitchers need to throw more not less.

One other point to be considered...could Ozzie be letting his starters go longer because he's trying to establish that mind-set in them? (and unspoken of course, because he already can see the writing on the wall for his bullpen until Williams can go out and get some help...)

Lip

Based on your first statment, it doesn't matter if Ozzie is letting guys go to long as long as they're pitching well. I wouldn't recommend leaving a pitcher in for 120 pitches if he's getting lit up in the 5th inning, but if a guy is pitching well let him throw.

I think the only way KW will get more bullpen help is to see how bad the bullpen is going to be.



Bob

TornLabrum
04-11-2004, 08:22 AM
Something that was left out of what you quoted here (so you had to actually go to the BP sight to find it:

There's one other factor that needs to be considered when evaluating whether a starting pitcher is throwing too many pitches. As first explored by Craig Wright in his landmark book, The Diamond Appraised, starting pitchers under the age of 25 appear to be particularly sensitive to how many innings they are allowed to throw.

In other words, pitch count is more of a factor for younger pitchers than older ones. Again, it goes back to what I said before here. Something that is especially true for development of younger pitchers has been made gospel for all pitchers.

Second, what we're looking at is a statistical analysis. No medical evidence has been presented yet. The guys who did these studies do not have "Dr." in front of their names or "MD" after.

hose
04-11-2004, 08:28 AM
Everybody is concentrating on injuries to the pitchers arm, but correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the whole theory behind limiting a pitcher to around 100 pitches is because they lose their effectiveness to get outs after hitting this pitch count.

I would rather see the Sox pitchers go a little deeper into games if they are pitching well.

Hawk mentioned Jim Kaat and Wills brought up Leo Marrzollo yesterday as guys that believe in working a starting pitcher a bit more. It also depends on the pitcher, guys like Colon are horses and get stronger as the game goes on. On the other extreme is James Baldwin, Dave Wills said that Baldwin would not be as effective if he had a high pitch count in the previous game.

It's encouraging to to hear about the arms coming back to life down on the farm as Daver points out.

TornLabrum
04-11-2004, 09:42 AM
The poster boy for lowering pitch counts, according to the article, is Kerry Wood. Yes, he was kept in for 120 pitches several times when he was 21, which is contrary to what should be done with young pitchers. In addition, Wood's mechanics are horrible. He throws across his body. He would have hurt his arm if he threw 60 pitches a game.

Brian26
04-11-2004, 10:05 AM
Originally posted by Daver
I have read some of the theories you are referring to,and not one of them prove anything that cannot be corrected by having pitchers throw more,not less.I just don't buy it,30 years ago it was routine for pitchers to throw 260 to 300 innings a year,with no ill effects to their health,because they threw everyday,todays approach to training pitchers is what is hurting them,not the number of pitches they are throwing in any given start.

This is a fascinating discussion. Hawk was talking yesterday about sitting around in the 80s with the Sox coaches and manager (must have been around 1986, since he mentioned Fregosi, Brinkman, couple of other guys). He said between all 6 or 7 of them, they had over 100 years of major league experience, and yet they had a combined total of stints on the DL of like 8. His theory is that the weight-lifting today is causing more injuries. I know this doesn't necessarily pertain to our pitchers, but it's just an interesting aside to the fact. Although today's ballplayer is probably in better shape, they are getting injured more often and more seriously? Why?

Brian26
04-11-2004, 10:07 AM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Pitch counts are overrated garbage, why keep babying these guys especially Garland? Besides he's a free agent in two years and the Sox won't re-sign him so you better use him now while you still have him.

Come on, Lip. I think it's a little early to make the assumption that the Sox won't sign Garland. Let's see what happens on this one...

gosox41
04-11-2004, 10:10 AM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
The poster boy for lowering pitch counts, according to the article, is Kerry Wood. Yes, he was kept in for 120 pitches several times when he was 21, which is contrary to what should be done with young pitchers. In addition, Wood's mechanics are horrible. He throws across his body. He would have hurt his arm if he threw 60 pitches a game.

Are Wood's mechanics still bad?

Bob

jabrch
04-11-2004, 10:11 AM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Pitch counts are overrated garbage, why keep babying these guys especially Garland? Besides he's a free agent in two years and the Sox won't re-sign him so you better use him now while you still have him.
Lip

Is the world clamouring for Garland right now? Why do you think he will leave? Why do you think we won't pay him fairly? Have you ever had a positive outlook towards things Lip? Come on - we beat the Yanks 2 of 3. We split at Kauffman. How bad can things be Lip? Enjoy it!

Brian26
04-11-2004, 10:11 AM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
In addition, Wood's mechanics are horrible. He throws across his body. He would have hurt his arm if he threw 60 pitches a game.

That's the key right there. It's painful to watch Wood pitch. And when he snaps his wrist and elbow on that curveball, it just looks likes his arm is going to fall off. Compare that to Buehrle, who is as smooth as silk coming off the mound.

Paulwny
04-11-2004, 10:16 AM
Originally posted by Brian26
Although today's ballplayer is probably in better shape, they are getting injured more often and more seriously? Why?

I'm guessing here, when you lift weights and bulk up, I believe the muscles lose some of their fexibility. Then when an athlete stretches out to make a play, there's a pull, strain or tear.

Brian26
04-11-2004, 10:17 AM
Originally posted by Paulwny
I'm guessing here, when you lift weights and bulk up, I believe the muscles lose some of their fexibility. Then when an athlete stretches out to make a play, there's a pull, strain or tear.

That's absolutely correct.

TornLabrum
04-11-2004, 10:20 AM
Originally posted by Paulwny
I'm guessing here, when you lift weights and bulk up, I believe the muscles lose some of their fexibility. Then when an athlete stretches out to make a play, there's a pull, strain or tear.

And to add to that, the best way to prepare the muscles for a pitching motion is to stretch them, not to tighten them up by lifting weights. Pitching is all stretching of muscles.

RedPinStripes
04-11-2004, 10:22 AM
Originally posted by Brian26
This is a fascinating discussion. Hawk was talking yesterday about sitting around in the 80s with the Sox coaches and manager (must have been around 1986, since he mentioned Fregosi, Brinkman, couple of other guys). He said between all 6 or 7 of them, they had over 100 years of major league experience, and yet they had a combined total of stints on the DL of like 8. His theory is that the weight-lifting today is causing more injuries. I know this doesn't necessarily pertain to our pitchers, but it's just an interesting aside to the fact. Although today's ballplayer is probably in better shape, they are getting injured more often and more seriously? Why?

It does pertain to pitchers. Most shoulder exersises with free weights tear up a rotar cuff. I've done it and i know plenty of guys who ripped their shoulders up by trying to get stroger and i dont hang out with mlb pitchers. :cool:

daveeym
04-11-2004, 10:25 AM
Pitch count is not overated, but at the same time it is. Follow me here. There are days where a guys just rolling, let him go regardless of the pitch count. There are days that they suck. TAKE HIM OUT. It's those days where a stud is strugling and the coach goes, "He's one competitive MF'er and he can fight throught this" where you blow out a guys arm. There are some pitchers that will never come out if it's their choice others that will and will come out early, that's when it's a coaches decision to make. The coach is supposed to decide when that guys being stubborn and when that guy is dealing and it's okay to leave him in. MB will probably have 10 games where you can leave him in above the pitche count because he feels fine and is not taxing himself, but those 5 games where adrenaline may take over and he's just being a bad ass is when JM (oops ozzie) needs to say, MB you're done.

daveeym
04-11-2004, 10:29 AM
Originally posted by Brian26
This is a fascinating discussion. Hawk was talking yesterday about sitting around in the 80s with the Sox coaches and manager (must have been around 1986, since he mentioned Fregosi, Brinkman, couple of other guys). He said between all 6 or 7 of them, they had over 100 years of major league experience, and yet they had a combined total of stints on the DL of like 8. His theory is that the weight-lifting today is causing more injuries. I know this doesn't necessarily pertain to our pitchers, but it's just an interesting aside to the fact. Although today's ballplayer is probably in better shape, they are getting injured more often and more seriously? Why?

When I was being scouted, all the old farts scouting me told me to lay off the weights, that for a pitcher you don't need them. All the younger scouts only cared about 90 + on the gun and bombs if you were a batter. there is definitely something there when it comes to pitchers. It's the most unnatural motion in all of sports, light weights and constant, CONSTANT, throwing is what it takes for a pitcher.

Brian26
04-11-2004, 10:33 AM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
And to add to that, the best way to prepare the muscles for a pitching motion is to stretch them, not to tighten them up by lifting weights. Pitching is all stretching of muscles.

Along the same lines, I remember Farmio telling this story a couple of years ago (may have been early 2002). Rowand and Borchard came into Spring Training after lifting weights together all winter. Farmio said Rowand was so bulked up in the upper body that he couldn't even make a throw from deep center to the cut-off man in the first couple of weeks of Spring Training. Herm worked on Rowand for a couple of weeks trying to get his arms and shoulder stretched out and was told to slow down on the lifting.

Paulwny
04-11-2004, 10:33 AM
We probably wouldn't be discussing pitch count if it weren't for the 2 errors. Mark would have pitched a complete game with a ~ 100 pitch count.
Errors are part of the game but, they do extend the inning and raise the pitch count.

jeremyb1
04-11-2004, 12:56 PM
Originally posted by Daver
Well,let's break that down.

Don Cooper was in charge of all minor leauge pitching,from top to bottom,before he accepted the job as Nardi's replacement,so he was directly involved in the development of both Mark and Jon,and he has little use for pitch counts.Kirk Champion replaced Don Cooper in his minor league role,and is responsible for developing future Sox pitchers,and he has little use for the pitch count.

Under the two of them the Sox have revived the possibilites of many questionable arms,including Felix Diaz,Emineco Pacheco, Ryan Meux,and Jon Rauch.


When you have a clue of what you are talking about get back to me,till then you are merely spewing sabermatrician drivel.

Where in that post did you demonstrate that Cooper and Champion have our pitchers throw more on the side than any other major league organization using this unique, highly valuable technique to increase their ability to throw a lot of pitches in a game? You're trying to somehow just infer that they use these methods when apparently no other team in baseball does since only one or two managers allowed their starters to pitch over 140 pitches last season?! And I'm the one spouting out drivel?

Railsplitter
04-11-2004, 01:13 PM
Originally posted by Iguana775
back in the day, pitchers threw a ton of innings and complete games but where there more injuries then or now? i guess a major difference is pitchers now throw a slider which is a arm killer. i know that Nolan Ryan never threw it cause he knew it would mess up his arm.

You took the words right out of fingers Iguana!

The Sox kuckleball ace Wilbur Wood 0nce posted a 24-20 record, and Wood, Stan Bahnsen, and Jim Kaat were practically the Sox' entire starting rotation in 1974.

As for Ryan, I think he posted twenty win season with loss totals in the high teens when he was with the Angels. I also remember a study of Ryan's motion compared with that of Oral Hersheiser, who was then on the DL with arm surgery. Ryan they said threw mainly with his body, while Hersheiser threw mostly with his arm.

Lip Man 1
04-11-2004, 01:16 PM
From Jerry Koosman's interview with WSI:

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: "They are fine as a general rule. But 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?"

MarkEdward
04-11-2004, 01:19 PM
A few thoughts from someone who should probably read more about pitching injuries (I am looking forward to the Neyer/James book on pitchers):

- I'd probably agree that there is no magic pitch count number to adhere to. Each pitcher is unique; all have various strengths and limitations. It should be up to the coaching staff to find out what these limitations are. That said, I would think anything over 120 pitches a game is dangerous for a young pitcher.

-Mike Marshall (former teammate of Jim Bouton, not the Dodgers' slugger of the 80s), in an interview with Baseball Prospectus, hypothesized that most starting pitchers injure themselves late in a ball game. During these times, pitchers are tired and begin to lose control of their mechanics. Once they lose their mechanics, the probability of injury increases. This theory probably has some flaws, but it's one of the better ideas I've read on the subject. Mark Buehrle, to my untrained eye, seems to have great mechanics, so I'm somewhat comfortable seeing him go deep into games. Jon Garland, OTOH, I'm not so sure about.

- Jon Garland needs to lower his number of walks. He's not going to win many games walking seven batters per start.

jeremyb1
04-11-2004, 01:33 PM
Originally posted by davidleeroth
do some of you pitch count guys realize that you're arguing the difference between 8 pitches for the most part?

First of all, its not 8 pitches we're arguing about. First of all, as I've said several times, a large part of the concern is that typically pitchers are on a much shorter leash in the first few games of the season making it more than just 8 extra pitches. Also, I've conceeded that one start for a pitcher is ussually of little importance. The argument is about establishing a trend of overworking pitchers. 8 pitches in one start means nothing but an extra 8 pitches in 30 starts adds up.

jeremyb1
04-11-2004, 01:40 PM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
Something that was left out of what you quoted here (so you had to actually go to the BP sight to find it:



In other words, pitch count is more of a factor for younger pitchers than older ones. Again, it goes back to what I said before here. Something that is especially true for development of younger pitchers has been made gospel for all pitchers.

Second, what we're looking at is a statistical analysis. No medical evidence has been presented yet. The guys who did these studies do not have "Dr." in front of their names or "MD" after.

Yeah, pitchers under 25. Buehrle is 25 and Garland is 24. Those guys don't fit the profile of the veteran starters being discussed in the article.

Correct they're not doctors but just because I presented the link to only one article doesn't mean it is the conclusive evidence on the subject. Those guys are not doctors but it doesn't mean that doctors do not share the same opinion. Also, I'd love someone to tell me what is wrong with empirical research? Its okay when it determines what medicines to take, where to invest your money, etc. but not when it is about baseball?

jeremyb1
04-11-2004, 01:43 PM
Originally posted by hose
Everybody is concentrating on injuries to the pitchers arm, but correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the whole theory behind limiting a pitcher to around 100 pitches is because they lose their effectiveness to get outs after hitting this pitch count.

No, the emergence of pitch counts in recent years is almost entirely the result of the injuries of young pitchers. As salaries go up and signing bonuses increase team's are being more careful not to ruin young arms as the Mets did with Wilson and Isringhausen. The article I linked explains that when pitchers become fatigued their mechanics slip leading to an increased chance of injury.

jeremyb1
04-11-2004, 02:27 PM
From the scientific data collected by Dr. Mike Marshall and Dr. James Andrews, to the years of wisdom accumulated by Dr. Frank Jobe, there is a general acceptance as to what factors lead to pitcher injuries. The three major factors are the underlying physical system, degree of use, and biomechanical efficiency.

The quantity and character of a pitcher's use--and the fatigue that they induce--have received more attention lately in sabermetric circles. As a pitcher fatigues, his biomechanics begin to break down. While the tipping point of fatigue can be difficult to pinpoint, it can be broadly measured by such approaches as pitch counts, velocity tracking, and even observed exertion. As Keith Woolner and Rany Jazayerli have suggested, the relationship between fatigue and injury risk is exponential rather than linear; an overworked pitcher is significantly more likely to experience a traumatic injury.


http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/20030226silver.shtml

rahulsekhar
04-11-2004, 02:39 PM
Originally posted by gosox41

Another reason I think pitchers today are getting jurt more is they are throwing the curveballs and all that at to young of an age. Their bodies can't handle it and it causes more harm then good over the long run.

Just my 2 cents.


Bob

I think this is a key: The shift in youth ball to aluminum bats has increased the breaking balls thrown at a young age, stressing arms when they should be building up strength (via fastballs). Thus they arrive in the minors needing more "care and feeding" along with development.

That said - I believe that the Braves and pitching guru Leo Mazzone have consistently stressed more side work than most teams. So if the Sox are implementing the additional work to strengthen the arms for the additional in-game load, I think they're in pretty safe ground. If not, it's a bad move.

TornLabrum
04-11-2004, 05:33 PM
Originally posted by MarkEdward
A few thoughts from someone who should probably read more about pitching injuries (I am looking forward to the Neyer/James book on pitchers):

- I'd probably agree that there is no magic pitch count number to adhere to. Each pitcher is unique; all have various strengths and limitations. It should be up to the coaching staff to find out what these limitations are. That said, I would think anything over 120 pitches a game is dangerous for a young pitcher.

-Mike Marshall (former teammate of Jim Bouton, not the Dodgers' slugger of the 80s), in an interview with Baseball Prospectus, hypothesized that most starting pitchers injure themselves late in a ball game. During these times, pitchers are tired and begin to lose control of their mechanics. Once they lose their mechanics, the probability of injury increases. This theory probably has some flaws, but it's one of the better ideas I've read on the subject. Mark Buehrle, to my untrained eye, seems to have great mechanics, so I'm somewhat comfortable seeing him go deep into games. Jon Garland, OTOH, I'm not so sure about.

- Jon Garland needs to lower his number of walks. He's not going to win many games walking seven batters per start.

I'd trust Marshall's theory. He is a kinesiologist by training.

TornLabrum
04-11-2004, 05:34 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
Yeah, pitchers under 25. Buehrle is 25 and Garland is 24. Those guys don't fit the profile of the veteran starters being discussed in the article.

Correct they're not doctors but just because I presented the link to only one article doesn't mean it is the conclusive evidence on the subject. Those guys are not doctors but it doesn't mean that doctors do not share the same opinion. Also, I'd love someone to tell me what is wrong with empirical research? Its okay when it determines what medicines to take, where to invest your money, etc. but not when it is about baseball?

So show us the doctors who have done the empirical research. You know, the one who publish in medical journals.

In addition, I would point out that Buehrle is not UNDER 25 and Garland is on the cusp. I'm sure 25 is not a direct transition from black to white. I'm sure there is a degree of gray as a young pitcher ages where you have to look at an idividual.

The earlier quote about managers simply going by "the book" rather than looking at individual game situations is what applies here.

Neither Buehrle nor Garland appeared to be struggling, so that would tend to indicate that perhaps they were not fatigued. If they were not fatigued, then there is less risk of any damage being incurred. And if that's the case, this entire thread is completely and utterly meaningless.

SoxxoS
04-11-2004, 05:38 PM
Research and statistics can be skewed any way the researcher wants it. There are so many variables it's hard to distinguish the good from bad.

I am learning about all this stuff in my "Advanced Research methods" class, which is very painful.

jeremyb1
04-11-2004, 07:49 PM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
So show us the doctors who have done the empirical research. You know, the one who publish in medical journals.

In addition, I would point out that Buehrle is not UNDER 25 and Garland is on the cusp. I'm sure 25 is not a direct transition from black to white. I'm sure there is a degree of gray as a young pitcher ages where you have to look at an idividual.

The earlier quote about managers simply going by "the book" rather than looking at individual game situations is what applies here.

Neither Buehrle nor Garland appeared to be struggling, so that would tend to indicate that perhaps they were not fatigued. If they were not fatigued, then there is less risk of any damage being incurred. And if that's the case, this entire thread is completely and utterly meaningless.

Do you want to show me the medical journals where my claims are disputed? I've given you a link citing research by Frank Jobe and James Andrews. Here (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/inside_game/tom_verducci/news/2003/05/06/insider/) is a link to a Tom Verducci article where he discusses how as a result of Rick Peterson's work with Andrews, he keeps a close eye on pitch counts. I don't subscribe to any medical journals nor do I know about journals on sports related injuries and more specifically pitch counts and arm injuries. If you can locate such articles I'd love to read them. Until then, I've supplied a number of evidence supporting my claim and you've shown none supporting your claim so I'd argue mine is better supported at this point.

The issue is not entirely related to age. Pitchers under 25 are at a higher risk. As you say Garland and Buehrle are not overwhelmingly on either side so we don't know exactly how much at risk they are. The point is neither of them is Jamie Moyer, Randy Johnson or Roger Clemens, a veteran with a number of years and innings without sign of injury.

BP says based on reasearch a veteran with a soft limit of 120 is reasonable. Neither Garland nor Buehrle falls completely into that category. The category is not all pitchers 25 and over, it is experienced veterans. Even if they were to fall into that category, when considering how early it is in the season, the number is most likely more extreme. The best case scenario is that they pitched as much as possible without being vulnerable to a serious risk and that's a big if. Whether or not that is the case isn't the point though, this thread is about concern about the team's handling of the starters throughout the remainder of the season, not two specific games. Based on Ozzie's quotes and his willingness to rank up large pitch counts so early, my concern right now is that 135 or 140 pitches may be a regular occurance and that is not safe for any pitcher.

As far as fatigue goes, it is not always witnessed in the form of the pitcher huffing and puffing on the mound or holding his arm. I'm not an expert on pitching mechanics so if a pitcher were to tire slightly and make a minor change in his mechanics I certainly wouldn't notice it. I think its naive to say that just because the pitchers didn't appear visibly tired or get into huge jams late their mechanics were picture perfect. Furthermore, again this is not an issue of one game. A big concern is the effect on future performance. Its possible that both pitchers were fine but will tire after 80 pitches in their next starts. If they then throw another 120 or even 95 pitches while fatigued there could be serious consequences. This is not about individual games but overall usage over the course of a season or seasons.

jeremyb1
04-11-2004, 07:51 PM
Originally posted by SoxxoS
Research and statistics can be skewed any way the researcher wants it. There are so many variables it's hard to distinguish the good from bad.

I am learning about all this stuff in my "Advanced Research methods" class, which is very painful.

That's funny that they have you take research methods if what they teach you is that statistics are meaningless because you can make them say whatever you want. I've yet to see anyone offer a statistical study demonstrating pitch counts are irrelevant to injury. When many people oppose the notions as are obvious in this thread and you can make stats say anything there should be a few shouldn't there? Also, what is BP's or Andrew's and Jobe's motivation to spread this pitch count agenda?

Daver
04-11-2004, 08:05 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
That's funny that they have you take research methods if what they teach you is that statistics are meaningless because you can make them say whatever you want. I've yet to see anyone offer a statistical study demonstrating pitch counts are irrelevant to injury. When many people oppose the notions as are obvious in this thread and you can make stats say anything there should be a few shouldn't there? Also, what is BP's or Andrew's and Jobe's motivation to spread this pitch count agenda?

Because they are preaching their theory,just the same as you are.The problem is,that theory has no basis in FACT,because they can't prove it,and neither can you.What has been proven,and has a large body of evidence,is the fact that if pitchers want to keep their arms healthy they should throw MORE,not less.

I'll give you credit for being dedicated to a theory that is impossible to prove,and defending it the way you have,but in the end,it is a theory.

SoxxoS
04-11-2004, 08:06 PM
A recent e-mail from a thoughtful reader was critical of my recent reference to "obsessive-compulsive pitch counters," calling it an unnecessary cheap shot against those who have done valuable research with this relatively new statistic. Perhaps now is as good a time as any to clarify this writer's position on pitch counts--and those who like to keep tabs on them. I don't dispute that counting pitches has some value in regards to protecting pitchers--especially starting pitchers under the age of 25. Such pitchers need to be monitored very closely because their arms and bodies have not yet fully developed. There are simply too many cases of pitchers in the 20-25 age bracket breaking down in their late twenties and early thirties because of overuse at a young age. Having said that, I do feel that some statistical analysts place far too much emphasis on pitch counts, to the extent that they obsess at looking at raw pitch count totals, above and beyond other aspects of starting pitching. I much prefer the analysis of someone like Jim Kaat, who is both a former pitcher (and pitching coach) and an intelligent and insightful broadcaster.

Kaat believes that pitch counts can be quite misleading and easily taken out of context. For example, a starting pitcher can struggle and tire his arm with only 50 or 60 pitches (especially if his mechanics are out of whack), but a pitcher who is in a good rhythm can sometimes throw upward of 120 pitches without reaching the "tired arm" stage. There are other factors, too, such as the number of fastballs thrown vs. the number of curve balls or sliders, the latter two being far more stressful on the average pitching arm. Let's also keep in mind that while every team in the major leagues and minor leagues counts pitches (a practice that has become fervent only within the past 20 years), we have not seen a corresponding reduction in the number of injuries being suffered by pitchers. Quite the contrary, there are more pitching injuries today (or at least more pitchers spending time on the disabled list) than in previous eras, when pitch counts were not kept so religiously--or at all. So if the object of counting pitches is to reduce the frequency and duration of injuries, then we have to ask ourselves whether they are really working. Perhaps pitch counts are just a small Band-Aid against the overwhelming damage caused by the inherently unnatural act of pitching a baseball.

link (http://www.bigbadbaseball.com/articles/markusen_20000807.html)

SoxxoS
04-11-2004, 08:08 PM
Greg Maddux, who I am sure knows quite a bit on the subject-

One of Mazzone's prize pupils, four-time Cy Young Award winner Greg Maddux, now with the Cubs, expands on that theory as it relates to pitch counts, which usually aren't part of the Braves' repertoire. His theory coincides with Wright's finding that the number of innings isn't as important as "innings thrown past the pitcher's endurance level."

"Pitch counts are overrated," Maddux said. "Do you ever jog, or sprint? Sprinting's harder. Pitching is no different. You throw pitches with a five-run lead, two outs and no one on, in a jogging manner. You can throw 150 pitches. Other games, you throw 50 pitches in a sprint-type manner ó guys on base, down a run ó and it tires you out. It puts more stress on the arm, because you have to reach back more.

That's why I say pitch counts don't matter. I've thrown games with 100 pitches and it was cake; and there were games I've thrown 70 pitches and I was gassed."

link (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/text/2001895516_artofrotation05.html)

joecrede
04-11-2004, 08:11 PM
Have there been fewer injuries to pitchers in this era of pitch counts than there were previously? For the sake of argument, say the last 5 years is when pitch counts came into vogue in MLB.

SoxxoS
04-11-2004, 08:14 PM
Our own Jack McDowell also says pitch counts are overrated. (http://www.baseballmusings.com/archives/002997.php)

TornLabrum
04-11-2004, 08:30 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
Do you want to show me the medical journals where my claims are disputed? I've given you a link citing research by Frank Jobe and James Andrews. Here (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/inside_game/tom_verducci/news/2003/05/06/insider/) is a link to a Tom Verducci article where he discusses how as a result of Rick Peterson's work with Andrews, he keeps a close eye on pitch counts.

1) Sports illustrated and Baseball Prospectus do not qualify as peer reviewed medical journals.

2) You're the one who made the assertion that Buehrle's and Garland's arms are being ruined by their pitch counts. It's up to YOU to prove it.

Iguana775
04-11-2004, 09:25 PM
Originally posted by SoxxoS
Greg Maddux, who I am sure knows quite a bit on the subject-







link (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/text/2001895516_artofrotation05.html)

what does he know...it's not like he has won a few Cy Young's in his time....

gosox41
04-12-2004, 07:37 AM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
1) Sports illustrated and Baseball Prospectus do not qualify as peer reviewed medical journals.

2) You're the one who made the assertion that Buehrle's and Garland's arms are being ruined by their pitch counts. It's up to YOU to prove it.

While I jumped in a little late here, have you posted any medical research that says the unnatural act of throwing more is good for a pitcher?

I think pitch counts are overrated. But I think each case is different based on the individual. There are so many other variables that effect how a pitcher can get hurt that it's almost impossible to say this or that will stop inuries.

For every example someone can give about a pitcher who has been a horse for 20 years like a Clemens or Schilling or Johnson who have not been effected by pitch count, I can name 3 young pitchers who have had their careers ended by injury.

Was it due to lack of pitching? Prove it. Maybe it was tooo much weight lifting. Maybe it was the roids. Maybe it was being pitched on enough back to back days in college and throwiung 250 pitching in a 24 hour time period to win an NCAA championship. Maybe it was throwing curve balls at a young age. Maybe it was lousy mechanics. Maybe the pitcher didn't have that desired "thick" build that some long time pitchers have.

My point: INteresting discussion. Nothing is going to be resolved, especially if neither side posts medical research. It's not just to make a point and have someone else prove you wrong. Back it up, especially when there's an issue that 10 different variables can effect it.

Also, Hal, you never answered my quesiton. Are Kerry Wood's mechanics still bad??


Bob

TornLabrum
04-12-2004, 08:56 AM
Originally posted by gosox41
While I jumped in a little late here, have you posted any medical research that says the unnatural act of throwing more is good for a pitcher?

I haven't made that assertion. If you look at the thread title, the implication is that by using Buehrle and Garland for between 115 and 120 pitches, Ozzie is ruining their arms. Quotes were thrown out (and they were incomplete) from the eminent medical journals "Baseball Prospectus" and "Sports Illustrated."

So far the only backing for the assertion is that high pitch counts can be harmful to pitchers under 25. Buehrle doesn't qualify. Garland is on the cusp.

I think pitch counts are overrated. But I think each case is different based on the individual. There are so many other variables that effect how a pitcher can get hurt that it's almost impossible to say this or that will stop inuries.

That's pretty much what I've said in my posts. One of the linked articles mentioned Kerry Wood as being the cause of all the worry about pitch counts. I noted that Wood's mechanics were so bad, he was an arm injury waiting to happen.

For every example someone can give about a pitcher who has been a horse for 20 years like a Clemens or Schilling or Johnson who have not been effected by pitch count, I can name 3 young pitchers who have had their careers ended by injury..

But can you cite the cause? That's really the point I'm making.

Was it due to lack of pitching? Prove it. Maybe it was tooo much weight lifting. Maybe it was the roids. Maybe it was being pitched on enough back to back days in college and throwiung 250 pitching in a 24 hour time period to win an NCAA championship. Maybe it was throwing curve balls at a young age. Maybe it was lousy mechanics. Maybe the pitcher didn't have that desired "thick" build that some long time pitchers have...

You 've basically restated the points I've been making. I want proof (and I mean scientific proof) that what Ozzie did with Buehrle and Garland is going to jeopardize their careers. I've seen nothing other than a generalization formed from a statistical analysis (the study group not indicated) by a bunch of sabermatricians.

What I haven't seen is a statement of how many times of throwing over 110 pitches is too much or how often doing this can cause an arm injury. I'm willing to bet, as you said, that there is a lot more going on than just pitches thrown.

My point: INteresting discussion. Nothing is going to be resolved, especially if neither side posts medical research. It's not just to make a point and have someone else prove you wrong. Back it up, especially when there's an issue that 10 different variables can effect it.

I'm not taking a side. I'm stating that a blanket assertion was made that Guillen and Cooper are abusing their pitchers with no scientific evidence to back up the claim.

Also, Hal, you never answered my quesiton. Are Kerry Wood's mechanics still bad??

Since I haven't seen him pitch this year, I couldn't tell you. I was holding off just in case I got a chance to watch yesterday's game on MLB.TV, but I haven't had the chance.

jeremyb1
04-12-2004, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by Daver
Because they are preaching their theory,just the same as you are.The problem is,that theory has no basis in FACT,because they can't prove it,and neither can you.What has been proven,and has a large body of evidence,is the fact that if pitchers want to keep their arms healthy they should throw MORE,not less.

I'll give you credit for being dedicated to a theory that is impossible to prove,and defending it the way you have,but in the end,it is a theory.

Well, I'd argue that your standards of proof are unreasonable. If rigourous, sound empirical research demonstrates a strong relationship between high pitch counts and injury I would argue that especially in light of conflicting studies, proof exists that high pitch counts significantly increase the chances of arm injuries.

jeremyb1
04-12-2004, 12:49 PM
Originally posted by SoxxoS
link (http://www.bigbadbaseball.com/articles/markusen_20000807.html)

First of all, I agree with the overwhelming majority of the arguments by Maddux and the argument in the other article. Neither of those articles dispute the notion that throwing pitches after fatigue sets in leads to arm injury. Maddux in fact states exactly that. The only item of any dispute there is the degree to which one can estimate a pitch count at which fatigue often sets in. I've never argued in this thread and the BP authors would never suggest that 110 pitches is a magic number that applies to every pitcher under every circumstance. Admittedly the number is an approximation. As the BP link states, the stage in a pitcher's career is very important as are three game pitch counts since fatigue often carries over. I don't agree that 80 pitches to one pitcher is often the equivalent of 120 to another pitcher. I don't think the 110 pitcher aproximation is random and unapplicable in most cases, I think it is relatively accurate most of the time and it is better to be safe than sorry. I don't think Garland as a 24 year old is without risk if he routinely throws in the neighborhood of 120 pitches.

Another thing about these articles, they are 100% anecdotal evidence. If they were from doctors maybe they could carry some weight but this is entirely two men's opinions. The first article states pitch counts have increased as injuries have increased but there is no cite for that. Its a guess, a personal observation which may be completely false. The author hasn't done any scientifically sound research on injuries and pitch counts. Basically its the same as anyone on this board saying "No, I disagree with pitch counts." That's fine but it doesn't really hold up compared to strong empirical research. Again, if stats can prove anything where is the empirical research suggesting pitch counts are irrelevant?

jeremyb1
04-12-2004, 12:56 PM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
1) Sports illustrated and Baseball Prospectus do not qualify as peer reviewed medical journals.

2) You're the one who made the assertion that Buehrle's and Garland's arms are being ruined by their pitch counts. It's up to YOU to prove it.

Both Sports Illustrated and Baseball Prospectus directly cite research and methods practiced by James Andrews, the leading medical expert in pitching injuries.

Because I'm the one that started the thread I have to go to impossible lengths to improve beyond any degree of certainty that my claims are true while you just get to sit back and say "Nah, you haven't proved it to me yet" and you win the argument?! Do you have any idea how insane that sounds? If your claims are true and you believe in them you should be able to offer strong evidence to support them. Look at it this way, lets assume there's a 50 percent chance you're right and a fifty percent chance I'm right as default. Then lets assume there's a 50% chance Buehrle and Garland both go under the knife this way if I'm right. That means there's a 25% chance we lose 2/3rds of the top of our rotation and the only two solid starters signed past this season for at least a year and maybe forever. Wouldn't you say there's some value in being cautious? As far as I see it if you're right there's a 10% chance we lose games when those two are pulled, we'll lose a lot more if there's a large chance they'll go down or completely lose effectiveness.

Finally, I'm quite confident I've proved my claims in the absence of any contradictory evidence aside from two iffy anecdotal claims by questionable sources. Again, the strength lies in rigourous empirical research by the nations top doctors in sports medicine. To argue against that you'll need some competing scientifically sound evidence. If stats say anything, they should say that.

jeremyb1
04-12-2004, 01:01 PM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
I haven't made that assertion. If you look at the thread title, the implication is that by using Buehrle and Garland for between 115 and 120 pitches, Ozzie is ruining their arms. Quotes were thrown out (and they were incomplete) from the eminent medical journals "Baseball Prospectus" and "Sports Illustrated."

You 've basically restated the points I've been making. I want proof (and I mean scientific proof) that what Ozzie did with Buehrle and Garland is going to jeopardize their careers. I've seen nothing other than a generalization formed from a statistical analysis (the study group not indicated) by a bunch of sabermatricians.

What ridiculous claims. I posted quotes from the articles with the links because you're not supposed to post full articles on this board. You can click on the links and read them no doubt.

The "incomplete quotations" I cited specifically say studies by Dr. James Andrews and another study by BP's Keith Woolner. The fact that someone works at BP doesn't disqualify their research.

Iguana775
04-12-2004, 01:07 PM
I'm waiting for the 'I know you are but what am I?' post. :)

MisterB
04-12-2004, 03:02 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
I've never argued in this thread and the BP authors would never suggest that 110 pitches is a magic number that applies to every pitcher under every circumstance.

Yet BP's Rany Jazayerli starts handing out 'pitcher abuse points' at pitch #101, which he applies to every pitcher under every circumstance.

poorme
04-12-2004, 03:11 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
The "incomplete quotations" I cited specifically say studies by Dr. James Andrews and another study by BP's Keith Woolner. The fact that someone works at BP doesn't disqualify their research.

Are these studies actually available on the internet? I searched but couldn't find. I've found so many mistakes by BP over the years, I doubt everything they say.

jeremyb1
04-12-2004, 03:20 PM
Originally posted by MisterB
Yet BP's Rany Jazayerli starts handing out 'pitcher abuse points' at pitch #101, which he applies to every pitcher under every circumstance.

Actually if you read the BP article it was adjusted to 110 pitches a couple years back I believe.

A big problem with this thread is everyone is focusing on exact numbers far too much. I've never claimed there is an exact number that applies to every start by every pitcher, it is merely an approximation. The idea here is about a general trend. Research indicates unless you're a seasoned veteran, anything over 110 pitches equates to some type of risk. The researches argues that pitchers under 25 are at a much greater risk. What this suggests to me is that there is a significant risk and it is careless to regularly trot Garland and also to some extent Buehrle out for 120 pitches. Considering that Ozzie would do so early in the season when the results tend to be more extreme than those numbers indicate since pitchers aren't stretched out yet and his comments about throwing pitchers a lot I am concerned about games in which these pitchers will throw more than 120 pitches or regularly throwing well over 100 pitches not an exact pitch count in a game.

poorme
04-12-2004, 03:30 PM
Seems to me the data shows that older guys don't get hurt because the guys who are prone to injury were weeded out of the sample set early in their careers. (guys like Parque, Sirotka, etc.)

jeremyb1
04-12-2004, 03:37 PM
Originally posted by poorme
Are these studies actually available on the internet? I searched but couldn't find. I've found so many mistakes by BP over the years, I doubt everything they say.

BP's archives are being redone right now so I can't access Woolner's original study.

Here's something directly from Frank Jobe though:

BP: Are teams using relief pitchers the right way?

FJ: I think they are, because overuse is the biggest problem you can get with a pitcher. A starting pitcher that goes 110 pitches or so, he begins to lose his mechanics. He might start to hurt himself and probably become more hittable too. Having a few guys in the bullpen to take his place keeps him and the other guys in the bullpen fresh for next time.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/columns/bp/1431308.html

Here's Rick Peterson who works closely with Andrews

BP: How much emphasis do you place on preserving the staff's young arms?

RP: We're very cognizant of volume, of pitch counts. We monitor those throughout the season. We'll watch pitch counts incredibly closely, where we count pitches thrown in the bullpen, in pre-game routines, all of that's taken into account. We had only two starts all year over 120 pitches--we're very conservative in that regard.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/20030217keri.shtml

Dadawg_77
04-12-2004, 04:30 PM
Few questions, how many injuries have young Oakland A's pitcher have in the past few years? Now Daver and others, before you go off bashing Beane, ask yourself is there a team with as few resources had some much success? No. So please don't say Beane doesnít know squat because his track record proves otherwise.

There is a major difference from long toss and pitching off a mound. Long toss creates a lot less stress on the arm then pitching at full strength does. Also when pitchers are warming up, they are not exerting themselves. Pitchers start to fatigue when they pitch roughly around 75% of effort.

Mike Marshall to me is the best source for this debate for two reasons. One, he won a Cy Young Award in 1974, two he is a kinesiologist, study of the physic of the human body. I would value his opinion over anyone under White Sox employment, or posting on this board.

http://www.drmikemarshall.com
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/20021017keri.shtml
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/20021022keri.shtml

Baseball Prospectus: There are plenty of pitching theories out there. Why should we believe in yours?
Dr. Mike Marshall: Everyone has an opinion, I just state the facts as the facts are. Here are the facts: We have this epidemic of pitching injuries as a result of the traditional pitching motion. It's destroyed thousands of arms and continues to do so. The way everyone teaches pitching is flat out wrong.
BP: Aside from the way they teach the pitching motion, what other changes would you like to see made by major-league teams? Would you want to see different usage patterns? A four-man rotation instead of a five-man?
MM: Assuming they're appropriately trained and not using the traditional method, which will get them hurt, there's absolutely no reason why teams shouldn't have four-man rotations.
BP: How would you manage them to keep their arms fresh all year? Would you use pitch counts?
MM: I would never use a pitch count, pitch counts are irrelevant. What is relevant is how many times the batter has seen him. I would not ask my pitchers to face a batter a fourth time in a game. I train pitchers to throw the best pitch possible in a situation. We'd work on pitch sequences, when to throw the fastball, curveball, screwball, depending on the type of hitter they're facing. I did research on this for myself in 1975. You've got four types of hitters, right-handed, left-handed, full and spray hitters. You find out what works with each individual hitter, mix it up three times through the lineup, then take a seat.
BP: You talk about times through the order, but isn't that basically the same thing as pitch counts, restricting how long the pitcher can go in a game?
MM: No, because the number of pitches can change a lot for three times in the order, depending on the hitters. When I coached in college, I would challenge my team to get 45 pitches out of the pitcher the first time through the lineup. You just have to give yourself up a bit, take the first pitch, work the count to your favor, the way Joe Torre does it with the Yankees.

From his website 222. It seems to me alot of starting pitchers are pulled after the seventh inning while pitching a gem and the closer or reliever loses the game for them. I've noticed that with Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson alot. I know they have a certain pitch count they don't want them to exceed, but, man, if your starting pitcher has control of the game, don't turn it over to someone else unless its Mariano Rivera. What do you think?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When pitchers start games, they are strong, their pitches have their best quality and the hitters do not know what pitches to expect. The second time through the lineup, the pitchers are not as strong, the quality of their pitches have decreased and the hitters have seen some pitches and are better able to correctly anticipate what pitches they will receive. The third time through the lineup, the pitchers have tired considerably, the quality of their pitches have greatly decrease and the hitters are able to correctly anticipate what pitches they will receive a majority of the time.

It is for these reasons and the fact that the season is 162 games long and pitchers have over thirty starts to make that I would not permit starting pitchers to go past three times through the lineup. Additionally, if you want your relief pitchers to help in the latter stages of the season, you have to give them consistent work throughout the season. For teams to win championships requires that the entire pitching staff provides their best efforts. Managers have to plan how to get all pitchers regular quality work, not just the starters. All pitchers need to know in what circumstances they will pitch and they need to pitch are regular intervals.

I believe that more teams lose championships by riding 'hot' pitchers and ignoring the non-starters. Then, when the 'hot' pitchers fade from overuse, most pitchers do not properly train and/or have improper force application techniques that break down their arms, the teams do not have the other pitchers ready to go.

I have long said that Greg Maddox is the best manager of pitchers I have ever seen. He always has the mysterious hamstring tightness, back pain, stomach upset, or whatever so that he leaves tough games after three times through the lineup. I wish managers had the knowledge and courage to do the same with all starters. However, with media and fan criticism, it is easier to ride the horse one batter too long, rather than remove him one inning to soon.



The best way to use pitcher abuse points is to evaluate whether or not you wish to pick up a pitcher in a trade or FA. The stat can be used as predictor of up coming injuries till a better method is available.

As for young pitcher one accepted general theory is age times 5 for a pitch count for young pitchers.

Daver
04-12-2004, 06:16 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77


There is a major difference from long toss and pitching off a mound. Long toss creates a lot less stress on the arm then pitching at full strength does. Also when pitchers are warming up, they are not exerting themselves. Pitchers start to fatigue when they pitch roughly around 75% of effort.


I never said pitchers should pitch more,I said they should throw more,perhaps I should have clarified.

Tommy John,and several others are a large proponent of pitchers throwing every day,in a regiment that starts out from 25 ft and gradually moves to long toss,about 70 feet,along with almost no weightlifting.

TornLabrum
04-12-2004, 06:49 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
Actually if you read the BP article it was adjusted to 110 pitches a couple years back I believe.

A big problem with this thread is everyone is focusing on exact numbers far too much. I've never claimed there is an exact number that applies to every start by every pitcher, it is merely an approximation. The idea here is about a general trend. Research indicates unless you're a seasoned veteran, anything over 110 pitches equates to some type of risk. The researches argues that pitchers under 25 are at a much greater risk. What this suggests to me is that there is a significant risk and it is careless to regularly trot Garland and also to some extent Buehrle out for 120 pitches. Considering that Ozzie would do so early in the season when the results tend to be more extreme than those numbers indicate since pitchers aren't stretched out yet and his comments about throwing pitchers a lot I am concerned about games in which these pitchers will throw more than 120 pitches or regularly throwing well over 100 pitches not an exact pitch count in a game.

Jeremy, do you want to see how you actually started this thread?

...well Ozzie has thrown two young pitchers for 119 and 117 pitches the past two days in games that weren't all that close. Those pitching counts aren't horrendous but anything over 110 isn't really good and most importantly it is the beginning of the season, these guys can't be completely stretched out yet.

Seems like your original statement is that "anything over 110 isn't really good." You put no other qualifications on it. You're the one who started the numbers game, and now you're trying to back out of it.

Dadawg_77
04-12-2004, 07:16 PM
Originally posted by Daver
I never said pitchers should pitch more,I said they should throw more,perhaps I should have clarified.

Tommy John,and several others are a large proponent of pitchers throwing every day,in a regiment that starts out from 25 ft and gradually moves to long toss,about 70 feet,along with almost no weightlifting.

I know Daver but I found it funny that you and jeremb1 were arguing while not talking about the same thing. SO I was trying to help clarify it.

Wieghtlifting could help a pitcher with legs more then his arms.

poorme
04-12-2004, 07:43 PM
from Marshall's website:

I am one guy in a little town in Florida. I will not take credit cards. I will accept money orders and cashier checks. If you send a personal check, my bank says that it will take a week to clear before I can sent your tape. You could probably send cash, but you had better disguise it well.

Please send your return address, your email address and one hundred dollars ($100.00) to:

He's always struck me as a snake-oil salesman.

Oh, and for those of you not familiar with Marshall, he was a relief pitcher. made about 20 starts in a 15 year career.

jeremyb1
04-12-2004, 08:05 PM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
Jeremy, do you want to see how you actually started this thread?

Seems like your original statement is that "anything over 110 isn't really good." You put no other qualifications on it. You're the one who started the numbers game, and now you're trying to back out of it.

110 is a guideline. I don't feel like my orgininal statement or any other I made in this thread contradicts that. I'm using that guideline in this case because it is the best estimate we have. The fact that I said its"not horrendous" in two individual games seems to indicate my acceptance of some flexibility in terms of singular starts and not a strict adherance to one number. The willingness for that type of usage indicated by throwing 119 in a nine run game early in the season deeply concerns me and still does.

Lip Man 1
04-12-2004, 09:06 PM
Poorme:

It would be a disservice to Mike Marshall to leave your post without also saying that in 1974 he appeared in I think over 100 games in relief for the N.L. champion Dodgers, was a member of the All Star team and may also have won the Cy Young that season. One of the few relief pitchers to do so.

He is an extremely intellectual individual with multiple degrees to prove it. He also had a reputation in MLB as a little bit of a flake and a definate 'red ass.' That being said he was a pretty good pitcher in his time. If anyone wants to know more about him read Jim Bouton's "Ball Four," the two were teammates on the 1969 Seattle Pilots.

Lip

Dadawg_77
04-12-2004, 10:25 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Poorme:

It would be a disservice to Mike Marshall to leave your post without also saying that in 1974 he appeared in I think over 100 games in relief for the N.L. champion Dodgers, was a member of the All Star team and may also have won the Cy Young that season. One of the few relief pitchers to do so.

He is an extremely intellectual individual with multiple degrees to prove it. He also had a reputation in MLB as a little bit of a flake and a definate 'red ass.' That being said he was a pretty good pitcher in his time. If anyone wants to know more about him read Jim Bouton's "Ball Four," the two were teammates on the 1969 Seattle Pilots.

Lip

He also finished in top ten for the NL MVP three times. That is a lot for a RP.

JC456
04-12-2004, 11:50 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
...well Ozzie has thrown two young pitchers for 119 and 117 pitches the past two days in games that weren't all that close. Those pitching counts aren't horrendous but anything over 110 isn't really good and most importantly it is the beginning of the season, these guys can't be completely stretched out yet.

I'd like to see proof pitching over 110 pitches or even 120 tears an arm. If nothing else, it stretches it more for more endurance later. Get over the 100 pitch count paranoia. I agree with Ozzie here.

Randar68
04-13-2004, 07:32 AM
I will try to weigh in on this WHOLE thread in one post...


Pitching and the philosophies and ideals under which it is both learned and taught have changed over time. Kids, player, and professionals to this day, do not throw anywhere near the amount they used to. You cannot change a way of being overnight. It is going to take an organization with a long-term vision or a grass-roots movement in baseball in order for anything to change.

Kids have too much going on. Everyone wants to hit homeruns. Nobody practicesplays enough to be polished defenders or fundamentally sound hitters. Mechanics are sorely lacking across the board. Weight training and the stress the additional muscle-masses place on the joints.

Baseball is a great sport for stat-heads. However, mph gun readings, ERA's, and pitch counts don't mean squat. Numbers are useless in trying to evaluate why pitchers injure their arms more in the past 10-20 years than in the previous 100 years. The backgrounds of every individual pitcher means many times more than any pitch-count. Bartolo Colon grew up throwing rocks at coconuts all day long. Joe Shmoe pitching prospect from Florida throws long toss a couple days a week between starts. There's a fundamental difference there in the development of said players and their long-term arm strength and endurance. Throwing curve-balls at age 10-12, etc etc etc...

Young kids today and their over-ambitious parents, lack of good teachers of the game, lack of time spent playing/practicing, over-emphasis on winning at young ages and during fragile physical development, cultural differences, physical differences, etc etc etc...

In short, there are too many independant and non-quantitative factors involved here to make any kind of educated generalization.

A farm system must have talented individuals at teaching positions and pitching coaches (one-and-the-same sometimes) in order to be able to recognize, correct, or account for many of these factors in a knowledgeable way. It's a feel for every individual and knowing their tendencies, psyche and physical limitations.


Pitch counts are asinine IMO, but with today's high turn-over, pitching coaches come and go, players change teams frequently, many times the trust and understanding a pitcher and pitching coach must have in eachother is never developed or sustained. The game has changed, and making these kinds of comparisons over the decades is not necessarily valid.

Many coaches don't have the time or skill to learn their pitchers intimately enough, so they come up with generalizations like 100 pitches. Pitches are all weighted differently. High pressure situations, a 40-pitch inning, etc etc etc all take their toll much more than other factors. I don't think it's possible to come up with a statistical model which minimizes pitching injuries or overuse.


This is kind of a continuous stream of consciousness, but I'm trying to say that all this arguing over pitch counts, etc etc is silly, and instantly changing anything in the status quo could be catastrophic to a farm system and pitchers. A good pitching coach or manager invalidates or outperforms any statistical method 100% of the time, IMO.

jeremyb1
04-13-2004, 02:24 PM
Originally posted by JC456
I'd like to see proof pitching over 110 pitches or even 120 tears an arm. If nothing else, it stretches it more for more endurance later. Get over the 100 pitch count paranoia. I agree with Ozzie here.

Haha. No offense but did you read any of the thread? There are several articles linked that show a significant relationship between throwing a lot of pitches an arm injury. There is no proof that the 111th pitch tears your labrum, that's not an argument anyone is making.

jeremyb1
04-14-2004, 03:21 PM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
Neither Buehrle nor Garland appeared to be struggling, so that would tend to indicate that perhaps they were not fatigued. If they were not fatigued, then there is less risk of any damage being incurred. And if that's the case, this entire thread is completely and utterly meaningless.


Originally posted by jeremyb1
this is not an issue of one game. A big concern is the effect on future performance. Its possible that both pitchers were fine but will tire after 80 pitches in their next starts. If they then throw another 120 or even 95 pitches while fatigued there could be serious consequences. This is not about individual games but overall usage over the course of a season or seasons.

So you can blame it on Pena's pep talk or the third time through the outing but coming off his 119 pitch outing, Garland gave up 1 hit and 1 walk through the first five innings and 75 pitches and then proceeded to give up two singles, a double, two home runs, and a walk in the next 1.2 innings.

jlh0023
04-15-2004, 04:45 PM
the pitch count is killing baseball. different pitchers can go for different lenghths. there is no guarantee that every pitcher should stop at 100. bartolo colon wasn't even warmed up until he threw 100 pitches. it should be about how the pitcher is feeling on the mound and how they are throwing the ball. especially with a bullpen like ours, if our starters get into their groove, let them stay there

jeremyb1
04-15-2004, 04:54 PM
Originally posted by jlh0023
the pitch count is killing baseball. different pitchers can go for different lenghths. there is no guarantee that every pitcher should stop at 100. bartolo colon wasn't even warmed up until he threw 100 pitches. it should be about how the pitcher is feeling on the mound and how they are throwing the ball. especially with a bullpen like ours, if our starters get into their groove, let them stay there

If you read the thread I assure you no one has argued at any point that there is an exact number at which all pitchers need to stop throwing. I also guarantee you no major league team operates in that manner.