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  • #1 by EastexHawg on 05 Jun 2018
  • A few nights ago the Astros had Verlander going.  He had a 3-2 lead after six innings and had thrown 101 pitches when they pulled him.  His replacement immediately gave up three runs, the lead, and eventually the game.

    The pitch count thing is crazy.  It got me thinking about Nolan Ryan.  In 1974 Ryan threw 235 pitches in a game against the Red Sox.  Luis Tiant threw a 15 inning complete game to take the loss.  In 1989, at the age of 42, Ryan threw 164 pitches for the Rangers five days after throwing 150.  It obviously blew out his arm, because he only threw two more no-hitters...the last at age 44, when he struck out 16 and was hitting 96 plus on the radar gun.  He only pitched until he was 46.  Just thing how long he may have lasted if he hadn't thrown so many innings and pitches.

    Warren Spahn threw two no-hitter in six starts at the ages of 39 and 40.  He won another 73 big league games after the last one.  In 17 seasons between the ages of 26 and 42 he averaged 278 innings per season and threw 361 complete games...over 21 per season.  That was in a four man rotation.

    The idea that a horse like Verlander needs to be pulled after 101 pitches is nothing more than a manager outsmarting himself. 
  • #2 by jrulz83 on 05 Jun 2018
  • Thereís waaaaay more money involved. That brings more caution in regard to injury. I wouldnít want $200 million of my dollars tied up in a guy throwing 150+ pitches a game. Did Nolan Ryan make anywhere near that kind of equivalent money? Warren Spahn? No they didnít.

    Thatís just the game today. Thereís, unfortunately, plenty of soccer to watch if you donít like the modern MLB game.
  • #3 by EastexHawg on 06 Jun 2018
  • There’s waaaaay more money involved. That brings more caution in regard to injury. I wouldn’t want $200 million of my dollars tied up in a guy throwing 150+ pitches a game. Did Nolan Ryan make anywhere near that kind of equivalent money? Warren Spahn? No they didn’t.

    That’s just the game today. There’s, unfortunately, plenty of soccer to watch if you don’t like the modern MLB game.

    Have injuries attributed to throwing too many pitches gone up since the first 100 years of baseball?  How many years and innings did guys like Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Christy Matthewson, Bob Feller, Warren Spahn, Tom Seaver, Don Sutton, Jim Palmer, Gaylord Perry, and Steve Carlton pitch?  How many pitchers today are as effective 3,000 to 4,000 innings into their careers as those guys were?  How many of them even make it to 3,000 innings?  Pedro Martinez retired at 2,800 and Verlander, a "workhorse", has thrown 2,600 at age 35.

    Steve Carlton reached the 2,600 inning mark in 1974.  Over the next nine years he went a combined 168-92 with 128 complete games, winning 20 or more in a season four times.  He averaged well over 250 innings per year during that time, including 304 in 1980...six years later...when he won 24 games and had an ERA of 2.34 in a Cy Young-winning season.  All that overwork devastated his arm so much that over the next two seasons he only went 36-15 with another 29 complete games, winning 23 more games and a fourth Cy Young...while pitching 295 innings...at the age of 37 in 1982.

    Sadly, though, he was forced to retire in 1988 at the young age of 44 after pitching a mere 5,217 innings.  Imagine how much more use his GMs and managers could have gotten out of him if they had pulled him after six innings and 101 pitches more often.  I'm sure the middle relievers they brought in would have been just as effective anyway.

    Spending $200 million of your money for an asset that you don't fully utilize is smart.  Really, really smart.
  • #4 by jrulz83 on 06 Jun 2018
  • Have injuries attributed to throwing too many pitches gone up since the first 100 years of baseball?  How many years and innings did guys like Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Christy Matthewson, Bob Feller, Warren Spahn, Tom Seaver, Don Sutton, Jim Palmer, Gaylord Perry, and Steve Carlton pitch?  How many pitchers today are as effective 3,000 to 4,000 innings into their careers as those guys were?  How many of them even make it to 3,000 innings?  Pedro Martinez retired at 2,800 and Verlander, a "workhorse", has thrown 2,600 at age 35.

    Steve Carlton reached the 2,600 inning mark in 1974.  Over the next nine years he went a combined 168-92 with 128 complete games, winning 20 or more in a season four times.  He averaged well over 250 innings per year during that time, including 304 in 1980...six years later...when he won 24 games and had an ERA of 2.34 in a Cy Young-winning season.  All that overwork devastated his arm so much that over the next two seasons he only went 36-15 with another 29 complete games, winning 23 more games and a fourth Cy Young...while pitching 295 innings...at the age of 37 in 1982.

    Sadly, though, he was forced to retire in 1988 at the young age of 44 after pitching a mere 5,217 innings.  Imagine how much more use his GMs and managers could have gotten out of him if they had pulled him after six innings and 101 pitches more often.  I'm sure the middle relievers they brought in would have been just as effective anyway.

    Spending $200 million of your money for an asset that you don't fully utilize is smart.  Really, really smart.

    I guarantee you that they are fully utilizing their asset according to their value scale.

    Baseball has changed. Thereís video of everybody. I think that the third time through the order batting average against a pitcher is somewhere around .400. That drives something called win probability down, so managers do what they can to increase their win probability. I hate pretty much all the sabermetric crap by the way, itís a tempest in a teacup to me.

    Analytics have changed the game. All you hear about now is launch angle and exit velocity. Itís rather silly. The search for launch angle and exit velo (thatís how the cool kids say it) has spiked the K rate and made the game increasingly boring to watch. I remember when a strikeout was the worst thing that could happen and people were fined for not putting the ball in play or fined for hitting fly balls. Now itís, ďI was 0 for 4 and struck out three times but the one I did put in play had an exit velocity of 107 and a hit probability of ____ and Iíve got to hit the ball in the air more.Ē Thatís just where baseball has gone.
  • #5 by EastexHawg on 06 Jun 2018
  • Middle relievers are middle relievers because they aren't good enough to be starters or closers.  There is no way that any middle reliever in baseball is a better option than Verlander, Kershaw, or any other top starter who has thrown 6 innings and 100 pitches.

    The Astros thought Nolan Ryan was finished and put him on a ridiculous 100 pitch limit in about 1987.  He went on to the Rangers, threw two more no-hitters, and struck out 300 in a season.
  • #6 by jrulz83 on 07 Jun 2018
  • Middle relievers are middle relievers because they aren't good enough to be starters or closers.  There is no way that any middle reliever in baseball is a better option than Verlander, Kershaw, or any other top starter who has thrown 6 innings and 100 pitches.

    The Astros thought Nolan Ryan was finished and put him on a ridiculous 100 pitch limit in about 1987.  He went on to the Rangers, threw two more no-hitters, and struck out 300 in a season.

    And, if memory serves, Ryan blew his elbow out with the Rangers in Ď93.

    Most Major League Baseball franchises seem to think this is the best way for them to do business. I donít presume to know their business better than they do. Buy a franchise and change the way they do things. Iíd love to see all the World Series you would win.
  • #7 by EastexHawg on 07 Jun 2018
  • And, if memory serves, Ryan blew his elbow out with the Rangers in ‘93.

    Most Major League Baseball franchises seem to think this is the best way for them to do business. I don’t presume to know their business better than they do. Buy a franchise and change the way they do things. I’d love to see all the World Series you would win.

    Yes, Ryan blew out his elbow at the tender age of 46.  He had only pitched 5,386 innings.  Considering he holds MLB records for both strikeouts and walks, it is a safe bet that he threw more pitches than anyone in the history of baseball...at an average speed of 95-100 mph.

    That's probably why he only lasted 27 years in the bigs.
  • #8 by jrulz83 on 07 Jun 2018
  • Yes, Ryan blew out his elbow at the tender age of 46.  He had only pitched 5,386 innings.  Considering he holds MLB records for both strikeouts and walks, it is a safe bet that he threw more pitches than anyone in the history of baseball...at an average speed of 95-100 mph.

    That's probably why he only lasted 27 years in the bigs.

    So a handful of Hall of Famers from completely different eras is the standard for how all pitchers should be handled? Also Nolan Ryan is well, Nolan Ryan. They broke the mold when they made him. And who knows, maybe Ryan pitches until heís 50 if he was on something of a pitch count in his career.

    Numbers donít lie. Modern pitchers are generally horrible when they go through a lineup for a third time. Thatís just the way it is. Itís not 1974 anymore, bean counters rule the day. Itís a different era.

    Again, buy a franchise or become a pitching coach and show them the way Nolan Ryan would do it. Change baseball forever. Iím all for you.
  • #9 by EastexHawg on 08 Jun 2018
  • So a handful of Hall of Famers from completely different eras is the standard for how all pitchers should be handled? Also Nolan Ryan is well, Nolan Ryan. They broke the mold when they made him. And who knows, maybe Ryan pitches until he’s 50 if he was on something of a pitch count in his career.

    Numbers don’t lie. Modern pitchers are generally horrible when they go through a lineup for a third time. That’s just the way it is. It’s not 1974 anymore, bean counters rule the day. It’s a different era.

    Again, buy a franchise or become a pitching coach and show them the way Nolan Ryan would do it. Change baseball forever. I’m all for you.

    It wasn't a handful of Hall of Famers, it was every pitcher in the big leagues.  They all pitched in four man rotations.  In 1980 there were ten pitchers who threw 256 or more innings.  There hasn't been a single one reach that level in 15 years.  In 1970 there were ten who pitched more than 284 innings.  No one has done that since 1987.

    As for how much better pitching is since starters quit throwing so many innings and batters don't get to see them a third time...the MLB-wide ERA in 1980 was 3.84, one of eight seasons it was below 4.00 in a nine year stretch ending in 1987.  Last year it was 4.36.  It has been below 4.00 three times in the last 26 years.

    Newer isn't always better.
  • #10 by jrulz83 on 08 Jun 2018
  • It wasn't a handful of Hall of Famers, it was every pitcher in the big leagues.  They all pitched in four man rotations.  In 1980 there were ten pitchers who threw 256 or more innings.  There hasn't been a single one reach that level in 15 years.  In 1970 there were ten who pitched more than 284 innings.  No one has done that since 1987.

    As for how much better pitching is since starters quit throwing so many innings and batters don't get to see them a third time...the MLB-wide ERA in 1980 was 3.84, one of eight seasons it was below 4.00 in a nine year stretch ending in 1987.  Last year it was 4.36.  It has been below 4.00 three times in the last 26 years.

    Newer isn't always better.

    Practically all youíve cited are Hall of Famers, so excuse my confusion.

    This is you. ďDamn kids with your loud music and new thinking about baseball! Get off my infield grass!Ē  :)

    Iím not an advocate for either the old school or new school approach. I know and admit what I donít know: everything about managing the health and wellness of an MLB pitching staff. 

    Baseball changes. Itíll probably swing in another direction away from this kind of thinking about pitching. Look at what the Tampa Bay Rays have done with their pitchers. Talk about strange. At one point they were using a four man rotation that youíre apparently a proponent of. The fifth day is a ďbullpen day.Ē I say they were as Iím not sure if they still are, but that was their plan entering the season.

    I for one would like to see a change in the all or nothing offensive strategy most players use now. Cut down the strikeouts and put the ball in play, make something happen.

    But similar to the all or nothing at bats we see, starters are conditioned for about 100 pitches now and teams believe that gives them the best chance to win. Thatís just the way it is. If it aggravates you turn on the World Cup, it starts sometime soon.
  • #11 by EastexHawg on 10 Jun 2018
  • I don't know if we will ever again see the combination of power and discipline at the plate that DiMaggio and Ted Williams demonstrated.  I don't know who started the swing for the fences on every pitch, screw it if you strike out style...maybe Reggie Jackson. 

    It is amazing how few major leaguers know how to square up and lay down a bunt, and the inability to put the ball in play with less than two outs and a runner on third would make The Splendid Splinter go postal if he was still managing today.
  • #12 by clutch on 26 Jun 2018
  • I don't think Nolan is a good example, because he was an extreme freak of nature.

    Pitch count has trickled down to all levels of baseball, and I'm a proponent of it. Especially the new High School pitch count rules. I coach high school baseball, and granted they aren't major league caliber players, but you can see a clear difference after the kids hit around 80 pitches. There were tons of coaches in the high school ranks that had 1 good pitcher and would wear him out. They'd throw him 130 pitches twice a week, and by the time the kid was a senior his arm would be dead.

    It's made coaching a lot harder, but has seemed to lower the injuries as well.

    There's been tons of studies on this and there has definitely been a correlation between number of pitches and injuries. Interestingly though, total pitch count doesn't seem to be as big of a factor as number of pitches per inning. There's been studies that show that every pitch over 15 in an inning is like adding an additional 2-3 pitches per throw to arm fatigue. They found that for the most part, they rebound after the break between innings and are good for about another 15 pitches before the arm stress starts adding back up. 
  • #13 by Rocky&Boarwinkle on 26 Jun 2018
  • I don't think Nolan is a good example, because he was an extreme freak of nature.

    Pitch count has trickled down to all levels of baseball, and I'm a proponent of it. Especially the new High School pitch count rules. I coach high school baseball, and granted they aren't major league caliber players, but you can see a clear difference after the kids hit around 80 pitches. There were tons of coaches in the high school ranks that had 1 good pitcher and would wear him out. They'd throw him 130 pitches twice a week, and by the time the kid was a senior his arm would be dead.

    It's made coaching a lot harder, but has seemed to lower the injuries as well.

    There's been tons of studies on this and there has definitely been a correlation between number of pitches and injuries. Interestingly though, total pitch count doesn't seem to be as big of a factor as number of pitches per inning. There's been studies that show that every pitch over 15 in an inning is like adding an additional 2-3 pitches per throw to arm fatigue. They found that for the most part, they rebound after the break between innings and are good for about another 15 pitches before the arm stress starts adding back up.
    This.  Not every pitcher is Satchell Paige or Nolan Ryan.  I know it doesn't transfer with Ryan and his velocity, but the weight training and everyone in the majors throwing over 90.  John Tudor wouldn't have gotten out of double AA these days.  I think this is contributing to the arm problems more than anything.

    And I help coach high school too.  It was ridiculous how a coach would ride that one pitcher all year.  I think it will help develop more pitching across the state and give more kids a shot to make it to JC and Division 3 than would've before.
  • #14 by EastexHawg on 29 Jun 2018
  • Why do you keep trying to say it is all about Nolan Ryan?  Every pitcher in the big leagues used to be in a four man rotation.  Look at the Orioles.  How many innings did Dave McNally, Mike Cuellar, and Jim Palmer throw, and for how many years did they do it?  Cuellar was an old man when he retired, first coming up to the bigs in 1959 and retiring close to 20 years later.  Palmer pitched until he was almost 40 despite 211 complete games and topping 300 innings in a season multiple times.  How many innings did Warren Spahn and Early Wynn pitch?  Spahn was still throwing over 250 per season when he was 42 years old.  Wynn threw almost 300 complete games.  He pitched over 250 innings and won 22 games when he was 39 years old.  How much did pitching all those innings and complete games, on three days rest, shorten their careers and the careers of every pitcher who ever lived until someone decided that they and their arms aren't capable of doing what they did for over 100 years?
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