Originally Posted by voodoochile
I don't think it's just a workload carryover it's the type of work. I would be willing to bet that every single player playing in the World Series is playing right at the edge of their ability. There is no tomorrow. There is nothing to hold back this is why you play the game. Adreniline is maxed, effort is pushed to the extreme and every single pitch could be the difference between winning and losing the game.
The extra 6-8 starts from playing a full post season don't help but when the final 2-3 of an extra long season require every single thing you have left in the tank, that can cause fatigue.
At least that's what I would speculate. I admit I am not a doctor and have nothing but anecdotal evidence to rely on.
Attributing less production the year after a pitcher goes to the World Series to pitching deeper into the season is a bit simplistic. As you noted, there is more to it than simply inning pitched and pitches thrown. There also tend to be more distractions during the off-season. Players get more scrutiny the more they have succeeded. Pitchers and hitters alike can go into slumps and the chances are that there are fewer, less severe slumps in your most successful seasons.
But the idea that pitching less this year will make you a better pitcher next year has even less foundation than the idea that pitching in October makes you a weaker pitcher the following April.
Keeping Sale under 220 innings isn't going to make him a better pitcher next year. Shutting him down at 200 innings this year isn't going to add seasons to his career. There is no evidence that it should, anyway.