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Monday, May 12, 2014

MLB: Marlins’ ace Jose Fernandez to DL with sprained right elbow

According to Jeff Passan on Twitter, Tommy John surgery is basically an inevitability for Fernandez.  Welp, here’s your bummer of the month:

LOS ANGELES—Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was placed on the disabled list with a right elbow sprain Monday. The club was awaiting results of an MRI on the 21-year-old right-hander’s throwing arm.

Losing Fernandez is a blow to an upstart Miami team that is built around its rotation.

“You see how much he means, so much to our team and our rotation and really all of baseball,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “He’s been a dynamic player. He’s been a huge lift and a huge spark for our team. We just hope everything goes well and he just has to take a little bit of a break.”

Fernandez was initially scheduled to pitch in Wednesday’s series finale at the Dodgers. For now, the Marlins have yet to announce who will take his place.

Miami did recall lefty reliever Dan Jennings to fill Fernandez’s roster spot.

Fernandez expressed to the team that he felt some discomfort following his start on Friday.

Depressoteric Posted: May 12, 2014 at 07:45 PM | 101 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: miami marlins, no joy in mudville

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   1. AndrewJ Posted: May 12, 2014 at 08:58 PM (#4705463)
Ouch.
   2. Gamingboy Posted: May 12, 2014 at 09:20 PM (#4705471)
AAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSS!
   3. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: May 12, 2014 at 09:23 PM (#4705474)
It's the cost of doing business these days. We'll see how much comes back.
   4. Howie Menckel Posted: May 12, 2014 at 09:26 PM (#4705475)

Make one column of pitchers this good, this young who just kept on pitching 160+ IP with no interruptions.

Make another column of those who wound up in this boat, one way or another, in the past oh, 80 years.

it's REALLY lopsided
   5. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 12, 2014 at 09:29 PM (#4705478)
he's out for the season

sigh
   6. Depressoteric Posted: May 12, 2014 at 09:37 PM (#4705482)
he's out for the season

sigh
Is this just a supposition or are you hearing/reading this somewhere?
   7. Rob_Wood Posted: May 12, 2014 at 09:44 PM (#4705488)

tommy john surgery required
   8. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 12, 2014 at 09:45 PM (#4705489)
post 6

nope. just heard it reported
   9. bobm Posted: May 12, 2014 at 09:50 PM (#4705493)
Make one column of pitchers this good, this young who just kept on pitching 160+ IP with no interruptions.

Make another column of those who wound up in this boat, one way or another, in the past oh, 80 years.

it's REALLY lopsided


Okay.

For single seasons, From 1901 to 2014, For players in the saved report : (For single seasons, From 1901 to 2014, No older than 21, (requiring earned_run_avg_plus?150 and Qualified for league ERA title), sorted by greatest Seasons matching criteria: Results), (requiring IP>=160 and Qualified for league ERA title), sorted by greatest Seasons matching criteria

                                                    
Rk                  Yrs From   To                Age
1      Don Drysdale  12 1957 1968 20-31 Ind. Seasons
2        Bob Feller  12 1938 1953 19-34 Ind. Seasons
3     Dwight Gooden  10 1984 1996 19-31 Ind. Seasons
4         Vida Blue  10 1971 1982 21-32 Ind. Seasons
5     Hal Newhouser  10 1941 1950 20-29 Ind. Seasons
6      Ralph Branca   4 1947 1951 21-25 Ind. Seasons
7         Babe Ruth   4 1915 1918 20-23 Ind. Seasons
8    Smoky Joe Wood   4 1909 1912 19-22 Ind. Seasons
9      Harry Krause   2 1909 1911 20-22 Ind. Seasons
10   Jose Fernandez   1 2013 2013 20-20 Ind. Seasons
11     Mark Fidrych   1 1976 1976 21-21 Ind. Seasons


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/12/2014.
   10. Dr. Vaux Posted: May 12, 2014 at 09:51 PM (#4705496)
Martin Perez, too.

Something must have changed in the past few years, because pitchers are getting seriously injured more often even though they're throwing fewer pitches and fewer innings. Who knows what's to be done about it, but it's really taking the fun out of the game.
   11. guajolote2 Posted: May 12, 2014 at 10:11 PM (#4705509)
This really really sucks.
   12. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 12, 2014 at 10:11 PM (#4705510)
Repeating from the chatter thread, I fully expect Tyler Skaggs, Shelby Miller, Martin Perez, Nathan Eovaldi, Gerrit Cole to all go down at some point... just assume everybody in the under-23 set has TJ surgery coming to them.
   13. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: May 12, 2014 at 10:47 PM (#4705523)
From MLB Trade Rumors:

The Marlins expect that Fernandez will require season-ending surgery, reports Rodriguez (via Twitter).
   14. billyshears Posted: May 12, 2014 at 10:56 PM (#4705526)
Have the diagnostic/treatment protocols for elbow injuries changed recently? This is bordering on absurd.
   15. Howie Menckel Posted: May 12, 2014 at 11:04 PM (#4705530)

great chart to exact specs, Bobm!

Feller happened to go off to war, of course.

and no one else on the chart kept chugging past age 32
   16. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 12, 2014 at 11:06 PM (#4705532)
Every time a good young pitcher suffers a serious arm injury, this is where I feel obliges to write the following:

James Shields is way more valuable than many people at BBTF give him credit for being. (Usually in the context of the trade involving Wil Myers). We look at the ability to throw really hard, or induce lots of ground balls, or have excellent control as examples of a skill that identifies a pitcher as highly skilled.

Too often, people overlook arguably the most impressive trait of all: The ability to pitch all the time, and never get hurt, while giving league-average or better innings.

Every month or two somebody blows out an elbow or a shoulder...and every month or two I write an updated version of how durable at above-average performance, Shields continues to be:

Since 2007, Shields has pitched at least 203 innings every season.
In 2007, he started 31 games. Since then he has started 33 or 34 games every season. He has averaged 223 IP during the last seven years, with a low of 203, and a high of 249.

His ERA+ over that seven years is 111, though that is a little deceptive, as he had once clunker year of 75. He has been comfortably above 111 in four other seasons.

This year is no different. He has started eight games, which ties for the league lead, has an ERA of 2.70, and a 4/1 K/BB ratio.

The man never misses a start, and he never gets hurt, and he is always pitching at an above-average level.

Pitchers are going to get hurt, because throwing hard overhand hundreds of times a week is not a natural thing for human beings to do. When you find a person that can pitch to over 900 batters a year - every year - and not get hurt, that is truly a "freak" thing to be able to do.
   17. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 12, 2014 at 11:14 PM (#4705536)
18. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 09, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4703548)

And Jose Fernandez...oh boy.



Sigh. I just hope Dr. Andrews does a good job on him when the time comes.


Wow. Three days later. As the great John Prine said, "and I wished for once I weren't right."
   18. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 12, 2014 at 11:18 PM (#4705537)
#16, Mark Buehrle belongs in the same category. While he's been a good pitcher for years (118 career ERA+) and is making $19 million, I feel he's been under-appreciated. (Only received Cy Young votes once.) He's had 13 straight years of 30 or more starts, 200 or more innings. That's valuable.

And then there's Justin Verlander, who has started off his career with 8 straight 30-start seasons (7 of them 200 IP or more, 186 in his rookie year) and he's shown the dominance that Buehrle and Shields rarely/never have. That's super-valuable.
   19. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: May 12, 2014 at 11:22 PM (#4705540)
though that is a little deceptive, as he had once clunker year of 75


Maybe he was carrying an injury!

Totally bummed about Fernandez though, dude is fun to watch. Like Trout, Kershaw, Gomez, Pedroia, Puig et. al. ...some guys are just fun to watch play baseball.
   20. Dale Sams Posted: May 12, 2014 at 11:39 PM (#4705550)
#16, Mark Buehrle belongs in the same category.


Lester too. Man's gonna get paid.
   21. KT's Pot Arb Posted: May 13, 2014 at 12:07 AM (#4705560)
Since 2007, Shields has pitched at least 203 innings every season.
In 2007, he started 31 games. Since then he has started 33 or 34 games every season. He has averaged 223 IP during the last seven years, with a low of 203, and a high of 249.


This doesn't make him less likely to get hurt, it makes him more likely to get hurt.

KC got (a little) lucky.

And then there is the $12M a year extra Shields cost over Myers, if Shields gets hurt KC has no options. If Myers gets hurt they have $12M a year to spend fixing the problem.
   22. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 13, 2014 at 12:26 AM (#4705576)
's had 13 straight years of 30 or more starts, 200 or more innings. That's valuable.

On that note, and with his hot start in 2014, is it still too early to discuss Mark Buehrle's Hall of Fame candidacy? I get the feeling that no one is thinking of him as a serious candidate, but he's one of those guys who requires a second (and third) look.

He has a very good chance of moving past 200 wins this year (needs 8 more), will pass 3,000 innings barring injury, and he just turned 35. If he continues to stay healthy and maintains some level of competence, he could win 250 games. He should also reach 3,500 innings and could approach 4,000, which is HOF territory (Top 40, though there are guys like Jamie Moyer there too).

Obviously the lack of Cy Young recognition hurts him (he has never deserved to win one, but he only has a single 5th place finish in 14 years) and he's not sporting much black ink (though he does have a decent amount of gray ink). Four All-Star Games is OK, not great. He hasn't pitched well in limited postseason appearances, but he did have a CG 1-run game in the 2005 ALCS.

However, he's up to 56.5 WAR now, and a lot of people consider 60 WAR to be the HOF borderline. He has 4 Gold Gloves and a World Series ring. He's been ridiculously reliable (in addition to the starts and innings, he's been in double-digits in wins for 13 straight years) and has never really had a "bad" year, though he did have a 4.99 ERA once (but still 2.2 WAR).

He's already fairly comparable to Andy Pettitte and Jack Morris, two guys who have gotten/will get more support than him, I expect. If he pitches until he's 40, he could blown past Pettitte in WAR (he's already ahead of Morris) and maybe reach the Top 40 (pitchers) all time. Unfortunately, he's also pretty comparable to guys like Chuck Finley, Frank Tanana, and Jerry Koosman, who never got any traction with HOF voters.

I fully expect that Buehrle will not be in the HOF 20 years from now. But he's worth watching.
   23. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: May 13, 2014 at 12:27 AM (#4705577)
Bronson Arroyo is also in that category. He has thrown at least 199 mostly league-average innings every year for the last nine.
   24. theboyqueen Posted: May 13, 2014 at 12:39 AM (#4705583)
This doesn't make him less likely to get hurt, it makes him more likely to get hurt.


You say this with such certainty. Do you know something nobody else does?
   25. TFTIO can't talk like this -- he's so sorry. Posted: May 13, 2014 at 12:43 AM (#4705587)
Buerhrle gets about a zillion votes from me strictly on aesthetic grounds. I like guys who work fast.
   26. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 13, 2014 at 12:47 AM (#4705589)
Bronson Arroyo is also in that category. He has thrown at least 199 mostly league-average innings every year for the last nine.

But in 2011 he would have been better off throwing about 199 fewer innings. :) (Whoa, he gave up 46 home runs!)
   27. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 01:17 AM (#4705598)
I am so bummed about this. From a sheer aesthetic perspective being deprived of Fernandez just sucks. There has to be a better way.``
   28. Baldrick Posted: May 13, 2014 at 01:26 AM (#4705601)
#16, Mark Buehrle belongs in the same category. While he's been a good pitcher for years (118 career ERA+) and is making $19 million, I feel he's been under-appreciated. (Only received Cy Young votes once.)

Don't disagree with the general premise here, but citing Cy Young votes as evidence of under-appreciation is not a good way to go about it. Your point is that he has solid value every year. But by definition the higher-quality guys who are healthy in any individual season will be more valuable. Buehrle's value is precisely the sort that won't and shouldn't be captured by looking at Cy Young style metrics. Arguably, he might have been the 2nd best pitcher in the league in 2001. I can't see any other year where there's a particularly strong argument for him in the top 3. Most years he's not in the top 10. But he IS in the top 10-20 like clockwork.
   29. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: May 13, 2014 at 02:01 AM (#4705607)
But he IS in the top 10-20 like clockwork.


Not a HOFer, but a guy you'd love to have on your team year after year assuming the price isn't outrageous.

As mentioned above, Buehrle is aesthetically pleasing because he works fast. He also controls the running game nicely, fields his position well and you never know if he'll be really on and maybe get close to another no hitter or something. A fun guy to watch to play.
   30. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 13, 2014 at 02:45 AM (#4705609)
citing Cy Young votes as evidence of under-appreciation is not a good way to go about it

Fine, I wasn't writing a PhD thesis on this. :) Just collecting some random thoughts and facts without the benefit of an editor.

I do feel that the average fan doesn't think of Mark Buehrle as a top 10-20 pitcher, the average fantasy player does not have him high on his draft list, and the average writer doesn't think he's a future Hall-of-Famer. I do not have data to support this, it's just my sense.

(Well, here's some evidence: In Yahoo fantasy drafts this year, Buehrle was, on average, taken in the 19th round with the 215th overall pick -- the 61st starting pitcher chosen, behind Patrick Corbin, Ervin Santana, and Aaron Harang, and just before Alfredo Simon, Tyson Ross, and Ian Kennedy. He actually does pretty well in Baseball Reference's Fan EloRater though -- #86, ahead of Kevin Appier, Dennis Martinez and Ron Guidry, and not far behind Dave Stieb, Bob Lemon, and Bret Saberhagen. So maybe he's appreciated more than I thought.)
   31. Baldrick Posted: May 13, 2014 at 03:05 AM (#4705612)
He's a bad fantasy pitcher because he doesn't strike anyone out.
   32. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 13, 2014 at 03:30 AM (#4705615)
He's a bad fantasy pitcher because he doesn't strike anyone out.

Depends on your rules/scoring system, I guess. In my (points-based) league, where strikeouts are pretty valuable, he's #22 among SP this season, which is pretty good. But he was, coincidentally, #61 last year.

Anyway, I think that most years his fantasy "value" is less than his real-life value. And a lot of fans judge real-life players through the fantasy lens.
   33. Mom makes botox doctors furious Posted: May 13, 2014 at 03:33 AM (#4705616)
bad karma from the homerun celebration debacle... somewhere a Yankee catcher is thinking, "payback, baby, payback"

seriously, this stinks. he's been such an exciting player to follow since he came to MLB
   34. KT's Pot Arb Posted: May 13, 2014 at 03:45 AM (#4705621)
You say this with such certainty. Do you know something nobody else does?


I know what everyone knows, that lots of MLB innings don't make a pitcher's arm tendons and ligaments healthier, it puts more wear on them. Pitching at the MLB level an ongoing destructive act.

Shields arm was indisputably in worse condition in 2012 than it was in 2007, because it had far more wear and tear on it, just as it is also indisputably in worse condition now.

Health may be a skill for both position players and pitchers, but there is a likely a significant exception. For position players, it's reasonable that years demonstrating the skill of good health is predictive of future good health.

But for pitchers, the skill of health is likely only evidenced looking backwards, and poorly predictive going forward. Years of great health for a pitcher just means he's able to throw many more pitches, bringing those ligaments closer to their end date. When that date is, no one knows. Shields may retire at 40 never having any serious arm injury, and that alone will prove he had ligaments of steel. But until then, he continues to pile up excess miles on that arm and we'll never know when the end is. We only find out he doesn't have steel ligaments when one finally shreds and his Tommy John announcement is made.

There is a lot of small sample sizing going on in this thread. Some years many pitchers get hurt, some years few do, one year isn't a trend. And one pitcher dodging disaster through a stretch of 220 inning seasons doesn't make them immortal, it just makes every succeeding season that much harder to get through.
   35. bookbook Posted: May 13, 2014 at 04:42 AM (#4705622)
Hey, I'd be happier with Buehrle in the HOF than Jack Morris. We are in an era where Kevin Brown, Mike Mussina, and Curt Schilling are struggling to get in without a ticket. It's hard to imagine Buehrle gaining any traction, nor really deserving to.

Tim Hudson may soon be a very interesting case of a guy who ought to define borderline HOF, but gets no notice whatsoever. (Assuming he achieves just a bit more here near the end of his career.)
   36. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 13, 2014 at 05:48 AM (#4705628)
It's hard to imagine Buehrle gaining any traction, nor really deserving to.

I agree with you, barring a late-career Nolan Ryan-style renaissance.

However, if Buehrle pitches until he's 42 or 43 and gets close to 280 or even 300 wins, he could be a Don Sutton-style candidate. Of course, by that time, many of the voters won't be so concerned with wins, and they'll see (rightly so) that Buehrle has almost always been good-to-very good but has almost never been excellent. That's not most people's idea of a Hall of Famer. (Even Don Sutton had a better peak.)

I also agree that Tim Hudson's a more deserving "overlooked" candidate, though this discussion was originally prompted by the mention of James Shields' boring but valuable reliability, and Hudson has lost quite a bit of time to injuries so he doesn't really fit into the category.
   37. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: May 13, 2014 at 08:00 AM (#4705645)
Man, that really sucks. What a horrible break for Miami and the kid.
   38. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: May 13, 2014 at 08:01 AM (#4705646)
Health is a skill.
   39. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 13, 2014 at 08:33 AM (#4705657)
This sucks this sucks this sucks this sucks this sucks this sucks this sucks.
   40. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 08:43 AM (#4705662)
Man. Jose Fernandez and Daniel Bryan in one day.

The breakout stars of 2013 just took a major hit.
   41. Astroenteritis (tom) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 08:51 AM (#4705663)
Too often, people overlook arguably the most impressive trait of all: The ability to pitch all the time, and never get hurt, while giving league-average or better innings.


Absolutely. I always hope my team will sign guys like this, even though they don't get much acclaim. It is very valuable to have a guy who take his 31-33 starts every year and keep his team in games.
Of course, we only know a pitcher has this ability after he's been around a while.

And, real downer about Fernandez. Sad to hear the news.
   42. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:35 AM (#4705691)
Wow. Three days later. As the great John Prine said, "and I wished for once I weren't right."

So you're admitting that you're responsible?
   43. AROM Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:02 AM (#4705725)
(Even Don Sutton had a better peak.)

Sutton had an awesome peak. From 1971-76 his average season was 18-10, 2.70 ERA (125 ERA+) with 265 innings, top 5 in Cy voting each year. He didn't have as great a peak as Seaver or Carlton, that's all.
   44. bobm Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:06 AM (#4705729)
Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1901 to 2014, (requiring WAA_pitch<=2 and WAA_pitch>=-2), sorted by greatest WAR for Pitchers

                                                                                         
Rk             Player  WAR WAA/pitch From   To   Age   G  GS   W   L W-L%  SV     IP ERA+
1      Earl Whitehill 36.3       2.0 1923 1939 24-40 541 473 218 185 .541  11 3564.2  100
2         Jerry Reuss 33.1       1.6 1969 1990 20-41 628 547 220 191 .535  11 3669.2  100
3        Ken Holtzman 27.1       1.1 1965 1979 19-33 451 410 174 150 .537   3 2867.1  105
4            Vern Law 26.2       0.7 1950 1967 20-37 483 364 162 147 .524  13 2672.0  101
5     Danny MacFayden 26.1       1.4 1926 1943 21-38 465 334 132 159 .454   9 2706.0  101
6       Mike Flanagan 26.0       0.8 1975 1992 23-40 526 404 167 143 .539   4 2770.0  100
7     Livan Hernandez 25.2      -0.2 1996 2012 21-37 519 474 178 177 .501   1 3189.0   95
8        Dave McNally 25.1       1.6 1962 1975 19-32 424 396 184 119 .607   2 2730.0  106
9     Bill Gullickson 23.9       1.1 1979 1994 20-35 398 390 162 136 .544   0 2560.0   98
10       Stan Bahnsen 23.8       1.7 1966 1982 21-37 574 327 146 149 .495  20 2529.0   97
11           Guy Bush 23.3       1.3 1923 1945 21-43 542 308 176 136 .564  34 2722.0  104
12    Paul Splittorff 22.8      -0.9 1970 1984 23-37 429 392 166 143 .537   1 2554.2  101
13       John Burkett 21.6      -0.9 1987 2003 22-38 445 423 166 136 .550   1 2648.1   99
14         Jim Clancy 21.2      -0.8 1977 1991 21-35 472 381 140 167 .456  10 2517.1   98
15   Todd Stottlemyre 21.1       1.9 1988 2002 23-37 372 339 138 121 .533   1 2191.2  100
16        Steve Renko 21.0      -0.8 1969 1983 24-38 451 365 134 146 .479   6 2494.0   98
17       Jesse Barnes 20.9       0.9 1915 1927 22-34 422 312 152 150 .503  14 2569.2  105
18      Nelson Briles 20.6       1.9 1965 1978 21-34 452 279 129 112 .535  22 2111.2  103
19         Kyle Lohse 20.4       1.1 2001 2014 22-35 395 371 133 120 .526   0 2224.0   99
20          Ron Kline 20.4       0.9 1952 1970 20-38 736 203 114 144 .442 108 2078.0  102
21         Aaron Sele 20.2      -0.4 1993 2007 23-37 404 352 148 112 .569   0 2153.0  100
22     Scott McGregor 20.2       1.3 1976 1988 22-34 356 309 138 108 .561   5 2140.2   98
23    George Earnshaw 20.1       1.8 1928 1936 28-36 319 249 127  93 .577  12 1915.1  100
24        Bill Singer 19.5       0.2 1964 1977 20-33 322 308 118 127 .482   2 2174.0   99
25     Fritz Peterson 19.5      -0.1 1966 1976 24-34 355 330 133 131 .504   1 2218.1  101
26        Kirby Higbe 19.5       2.0 1937 1950 22-35 418 238 118 101 .539  24 1952.1  102
27       Mudcat Grant 19.4      -0.5 1958 1971 22-35 571 293 145 119 .549  53 2442.0  100
28       Larry Benton 19.3       1.0 1923 1935 25-37 455 261 128 128 .500  20 2297.0   98
29        Ron Darling 19.0      -1.9 1983 1995 22-34 382 364 136 116 .540   0 2360.1   95
30      Mike Caldwell 19.0      -1.8 1971 1984 22-35 475 307 137 130 .513  18 2408.2   99


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/13/2014.
   45. Jose Molina wants a nickname like "A-Rod" Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:20 AM (#4705742)
Whenever I think of Jose Fernandez, I say JoFer in my head, which then makes me think HOFer. Let's hope this is only a little speed bump on the road to the HOF.
   46. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4705761)
Repeating from the chatter thread, I fully expect Tyler Skaggs, Shelby Miller, Martin Perez, Nathan Eovaldi, Gerrit Cole to all go down at some point... just assume everybody in the under-23 set has TJ surgery coming to them.


You shut your damn whore mouth.
   47. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4705769)
Sutton had an awesome peak. From 1971-76 his average season was 18-10, 2.70 ERA (125 ERA+) with 265 innings, top 5 in Cy voting each year. He didn't have as great a peak as Seaver or Carlton, that's all.

Or Phil Niekro, or Gaylord Perry, or Jim Palmer, or Ferguson Jenkins, or Nolan Ryan, or Catfish Hunter, or Tommy John, or Jim Bunning, or Denny McLain, or Frank Tanana, or Jerry Koosman, or Dennis Martinez, or Mickey Lolich, or Luis Tiant, or Vida Blue, or Jim Kaat...

OK, for some of those it depends on how you define "peak" (e.g., how many years, and do they have to be consecutive). But I think they were all better at their best. I'm a big Don Sutton fan, but he's kind of the classic "compiling" Hall-of-Famer.
   48. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4705771)
Most fans don't understand how valuable average players are. Talent isn't evenly distributed in MLB, and a guy that can consistently put up 2-3 WAR has enormous value to a team. Look at the Mariners of the late 90s -- the lack of average or even below average players to complement the stars killed them.
   49. GuyM Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4705797)
At some point, teams are going to have to start putting speed limits on their young pitchers, instead of (or addition to) pitch count limits. If I were running a minor league system, I'd seriously consider telling my starting pitchers they aren't allowed to break 95mph until they are at least 24, and keep a gun on them at all times. $200 fine for any pitch over 95.

I just don't see any evidence that a starting pitcher can regularly throw 97+ and NOT blow out their elbow. Maybe Verlander is/was a freak exception, but basically every young pitcher with that kind of velocity needs Tommy John at some point. MLB pitchers have now reached the limit of what human ligaments can do. Now, I don't know if keeping their velocity to 95 and below will save their elbows or not. But seems worth a try.....
   50. Squash Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4705802)
OK, for some of those it depends on how you define "peak" (e.g., how many years, and do they have to be consecutive). But I think they were all better at their best. I'm a big Don Sutton fan, but he's kind of the classic "compiling" Hall-of-Famer.

I don't think you're disagreeing, but that's kind of AROM's point. There is a peak and compiling component for every HOFer - you can't be Norm Cash, you can't be Johnny Damon, you have to be both Norm Cash and Johnny Damon. Vis-a-vis Buerhle, even Sutton, whose bar swings about a far toward compiler as possible, had a much better peak that Buerhle. It's just more to the point that Buerhle won't make the HOF (which we all knew) and isn't close to deserving (again, which we all knew).
   51. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4705803)
How much of it is also throwing sick sliders that have crazy break? Finding pitchers who can cruise at 90mph and have great command might be a way to find undervalued assets.
   52. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:35 AM (#4705804)
Young phenoms who have had TJ surgery over the couple years: Strasburg, Bundy, Harvey, Fernandez (probably), Taillon. Who else?
   53. alilisd Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4705806)
Tim Hudson may soon be a very interesting case of a guy who ought to define borderline HOF, but gets no notice whatsoever. (Assuming he achieves just a bit more here near the end of his career.)


I've been thinking about how there will need to be a revolution in how the HOF voters view/elect pitchers in the coming decades. Historically, they've had a very high standard for starting pitchers in terms of longevity, and they haven't had to revise that standard yet due to several real outliers such as Maddux, Glavine, Clemens, and the upcoming debut of Johnson. However, with the universal adoption of the 5-man rotation, universal adoption of modern bullpen usage, near extinction of the CG, pitchers are simply not going to make it to the level of innings which has historically been "required" for HOF election. If 20 years from now HOF voters are still insisting on 3,500+ IP from starters, I don't think they're going to have anyone to elect.
   54. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:42 AM (#4705807)
It's just more to the point that Buerhle won't make the HOF (which we all knew) and isn't close to deserving (again, which we all knew).


I think it's a very real possibility that Mark Buerhle will both deserve and make the Hall of Fame, but that's because I think he's as good a bet as any pitcher to be throwing effectively into his early 40s. I see him as the type of pitcher (Wells, Moyer, Pettitte spring to mind) that typically ages well. I think 300 wins is not out of reach.

And Dial and I have been saying this for years, so it's not based on his great start to 2014.

By the way, on a WAR basis, I'm not seeing a whole lot of difference between Sutton's 6-year peak and Buehrle's best 6-year stretch, and Buehrle's got him on that weird "non-consecutive peak" thing some people use.
   55. Nasty Nate Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4705812)
Young phenoms who have had TJ surgery over the couple years: Strasburg, Bundy, Harvey, Fernandez (probably), Taillon. Who else?


If we define 'phenom' loosely, add Matt Moore.
   56. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4705814)
So you're admitting that you're responsible?


I confess. And not just for Fernandez - I've spent most of this year so far flying around the country and surreptitiously shredding pitchers' ligaments while they sleep. I'm from the non-cyber wing of Anonymous. The other guys get all the press.
   57. alilisd Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:55 AM (#4705818)
It's just more to the point that Buerhle won't make the HOF (which we all knew) and isn't close to deserving (again, which we all knew).


Won't make it seems likely, but isn't close to deserving? He already has more WAA than Bunning and Drysdale, and is nearly their equal in WAR. Granted, Bunning gave back quite a bit of WAA in his late 30's, but Drysdale didn't. Yes, you can point to their superior peaks, but Buerhle has had an exceptionally long, steady prime with some very nice peak seasons. Also, if you like WAR7, or JAWS, his WAR7 is only 3 off of Smoltz, and if he continues to pitch into his late 30's with any sort of success, he'll close much of the career ground on Smoltz. His WAR7 exceeds Sutton, and if he can add 9 more to his career total, his JAWS score will match Sutton's almost exactly.

I think he's very close to deserving, though he'll need to pitch as well as he has the past three to four seasons for another three to four seasons to really cement it.
   58. alilisd Posted: May 13, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4705838)
Sutton had an awesome peak. From 1971-76 his average season was 18-10, 2.70 ERA (125 ERA+) with 265 innings, top 5 in Cy voting each year. He didn't have as great a peak as Seaver or Carlton, that's all.


But you can replace those names with Buerhle, Martinez, and Halladay (or Santana) though. From 2001-2006 Buerhle was 16-11, 3.81 ERA (121 ERA+) with 229 innigs, he just received no CY respect. Also, in terms of IP, Buerhle was 10th, 2nd, 5th, 1st, 1st in his league during that span, while Sutton was 5th, 5th, 9th, 8th, 5th. So, relative to era, Buerhle was actually more durable despite the lower raw innings count.

If you go with non-consecutive peak, Sutton's top 3 are clearly better than Buerhle's, but Buerhle wins the rest of the way down through the top 10. Other than that non-consecutive peak, I don't think Sutton is clearly better than Buerhle other than by IP, which is really a product of era, and not anything inherent in either of them as individuals.
   59. alilisd Posted: May 13, 2014 at 12:19 PM (#4705847)
and Buehrle's got him on that weird "non-consecutive peak" thing some people use.


Sosh, why do you think of non-consecutive as weird? I hadn't thought of it in that way before.
   60. madvillain Posted: May 13, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4705849)
If mb pitches 800 moreminnings at league average or better put him in. As is, too early to tell. HVG ATM.
   61. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 13, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4705864)
Sosh, why do you think of non-consecutive as weird? I hadn't thought of it in that way before.


I don't have a problem with looking at a guy's best non-consecutive seasons in a comparison. It's calling that collection of unconnected data a "peak" that rankles.
   62. Ron J2 Posted: May 13, 2014 at 01:01 PM (#4705888)
But for pitchers, the skill of health is likely only evidenced looking backwards, and poorly predictive going forward.


My favorite example of this is Bill James' comment on Ted Higuera in 1988 (the last time Higuera was healthy)

It starts, "Higuera, I suspect, is one of the half-dozen pitchers in our generation who can work eight or ten innings a start without being destroyed by it." And (after a brief digression)
"That's how managers used to test starting pitchers, and to some extent still do -- just throw them out there and let them pitch. In each generation there are a handful of pitchers who can start thirty-five or forty times a year and pitch seven innings a start -- a handful, but no more than a handful. If you try that and it ruins the pitcher's arm, then you know he's not one of those pitchers. Managers establish as a normal workload the workload that Jack Morris and Teddy Higuera are capable of handling, but which destroys most pitchers in a year or two. They're a little better about it now, but there are still an awful lot of young pitchers whose arms are ruined by managers who are under pressure to win now, and who don't see any point in making sure that the pitcher isn't overloaded."

Scratch Teddy from the list.
   63. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: May 13, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4705897)
At some point, teams are going to have to start putting speed limits on their young pitchers, instead of (or addition to) pitch count limits.

It's more like at some point, people are going to have to realize that there is not one iota of evidence that babying pitchers does anything whatsoever to prevent injuries.

Furthermore, there is no evidence whatsoever that fastballs in particular are what cause pitchers to get injured as opposed to other types of pitches, so I'm not sure what would give you that idea.
   64. Martin Hemner Posted: May 13, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4705921)
Young phenoms who have had TJ surgery over the couple years: Strasburg, Bundy, Harvey, Fernandez (probably), Taillon. Who else?
If we define 'phenom' loosely, add Matt Moore.


Brandon Beachy, Neftali Feliz, and Patrick Corbin would all fit some definition of phenom. Nate Eovaldi had it in high school.
   65. alilisd Posted: May 13, 2014 at 02:10 PM (#4705934)
It's calling that collection of unconnected data a "peak" that rankles.


So if a guy cannot repeat his top level of talent in consecutive years, it's not a peak for you? Not looking to argue this with you, I'm just curious about your perspective.
   66. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4705941)
It's more like at some point, people are going to have to realize that there is not one iota of evidence that babying pitchers does anything whatsoever to prevent injuries.


I don't believe it does anything to prevent injuries. But it probably does improve their performance.
   67. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 13, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4705944)
So if a guy cannot repeat his top level of talent in consecutive years, it's not a peak for you? Not looking to argue this with you, I'm just curious about your perspective.


No, to me, that's not a peak. It doesn't make the seasons any less impressive or meaningful or valuable, but a peak to me suggests a singular grouping (whether that's three or five or seven, they've got to be in a row). It's the terminology that bugs me. If you want to call it something else, xxx at his best or some such, it wouldn't bug me.
   68. Moeball Posted: May 13, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4706039)
alilisd - I'm guessing you're a SD local as am I - did you see the game Friday night?

I was there and it was weird watching it because before the game I was thinking the following:

1)Jose Fernandez is one of the best pitchers around
2)Pitching in a pitcher's park (Petco)
3)Against the worst collection of non-hitting misfits I've seen in a long time that has been struggling to score more than two runs in a game.

I had him figured to hold the Padres to 1 run at most, not that that would be difficult against this ragtag lineup.

So, of course, the Padres lit him up like a Christmas tree, which should have been a very large clue that something was very wrong with Jose. He probably was actually injured sooner than this but no one paid any attention until a result like this happened that was so impossible to account for. What else could it be other than that he was injured? A healthy Fernandez not only shuts out the Padres in Petco, he probably pitches a no-hitter against this group.
   69. alilisd Posted: May 13, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4706060)
Thanks SoSH!
   70. alilisd Posted: May 13, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4706061)
alilisd - I'm guessing you're a SD local as am I - did you see the game Friday night?


Good guess! :-)

No, I did not see the game, but I was stunned the next day to learn what had happened. It is all much more clear now with the hindsight provided by this very sad news! I so hope he comes back healthy!
   71. Walt Davis Posted: May 13, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4706100)
On Shields' health "skill"

Shields was drafted all the way back in 2000.

He missed the ENTIRE 2002 season due to injury. It was the dreaded shoulder surgery. He was 20, a year younger than Fernandez.

He was not very good at 21-22. I'm not sure why but he threw only 115 innings in 2005, making only 17 starts in the minors -- I would guess another injury.

He did not top 150 innings until age 24 with 60 in the minors and 120 in the majors.

So through age 24, 6 professional seasons, Shields had pitched about 680 innings, missed one entire season to injury and probably 1/3 of another.

But one of his innate "skills" is health and durability.

In the expansion era, I get 87 pitchers with at least 650 ML innings by the time they were 24. 21 of those from 1995 to 2014.

Shields now has 1736 IP in the majors. He is still 200 innings (and 9 ERA+ points) behind the career of Carlos Zambrano.

He's had 1550 IP from 25 to 31. From 1980-2014, only 29 pitchers had 1450+ IP in that age range. As you might expect, it's a mix of the good, the bad and the ugly. FWIW, Shields is 20th in ERA+.

In that group of 29 pitchers, there are 6 active including Shields. Colon and Hudson are nearing the end of their careers but will obviously add more innings; Buehrle, CC and Haren probably have quite a ways to go. Anyway, they don't have much effect on the median future IP for this group which is around 720 IP -- Mike Moore/Bruce Hurst.

Durability sometimes takes a hit. Hurst took parts of 5 years to get his 720 innings, Drabek parts of 4 to get to 640, Boddicker parts of 4 to get to 550. Even Tim Hudson averaged "just" 160 IP for the last 6 seasons.

And of course we have the horror stories of Tom Browning, Johan, Hentgen, Stieb, Erickson.

In the earlier time period, the median ERA+ of this group was about 119; in the latter period it's about 105. That may come down a bit as some of the active players age. The guys close to Shields in ERA+ were Zito, Vazquez, Moore, Boddicker, Hurst, Hentgen and Welch. That's not a terrible group but it's not awesome. The best was probably Hurst at over 700 IP at 103 or Welch with over 1000 IP at 96. But even Vazquez (570, 107) or Boddicker (540/101) are far from terrible futures.

As to Arroyo, I labeled him a hot potato type -- he may have one more year left but you know he's going to implode soon so you hope not to be the one holding him when he does. Right now he's got an ERA of nearly 5, 75 ERA+, 4.70 FIP and is average 5.5 IP/start. Early yet and he's coming off three good starts. The DBacks have him under contract through next year.
   72. Christopher Linden Posted: May 13, 2014 at 06:44 PM (#4706135)
One of the things Joe Sheehan's been pounding lately, almost to the point where he's taking it as axiomatic, is that pitcher injuries are, by and large, functionally random. Obviously in the literal sense they aren't random; each injury has a cause, but our ability to look at a pitcher's workload or injury history or body type or mechanics and determine based on those things the likelihood of his being hurt tomorrow or next month or two years from now is close to zero. Some look at Shields's run in high-IP seasons and say he's demonstrated the skill of health. Others say the clock is ticking *because* he's thrown so many innings. There are dozens of examples on either side where pitchers are reliably healthy until they get hurt, and others are always hurt until they suddenly become healthy.

We know that very high pitch counts, the likes of which have been eradicated from the game, were harmful, and doubly so to young pitchers. Beyond that, we know nothing. Does throwing 95 put more harm on the arm than relying on changeups? Maybe, but we don't know. Does the elimination of the full windup and high leg play a role? We really don't know. Do 100-pitch limits help? We really don't know. And on and on.

Heath is a demonstrable skill for position players. For pitchers, there are no durable pitchers, only guys who haven't been hurt yet, and past durability does not seem to be a strong marker for future longevity.

Happy Base Ball
   73. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 07:13 PM (#4706149)
You can say that James Shields has been durable, but you cannot say that James Shields will be durable, any more than any other pitcher.
   74. PreservedFish Posted: May 13, 2014 at 07:30 PM (#4706158)
Heath is a demonstrable skill for position players. For pitchers, there are no durable pitchers,


You can say that James Shields has been durable, but you cannot say that James Shields will be durable, any more than any other pitcher.


These seem like exaggerations to me.

I mean, am I allowed to suggest that Mark Buerhle is probably more durable than Nathan Eovaldi?
   75. madvillain Posted: May 13, 2014 at 07:51 PM (#4706162)
I mean, am I allowed to suggest that Mark Buerhle is probably more durable than Nathan Eovaldi?


Yea, I think it's fairly easy to say that Mark Buehrle is more durable than Mark Prior. I also don't think Shields' history of durability (and thus his innings load) also makes him more likely to get injured than pitcher x in the future. His ligaments most be pretty strong.

That would be an interesting study pitchers with more than 1000 innings injury rate verse those under 1000. Alot of confounders to try and control though.
   76. Publius Publicola Posted: May 13, 2014 at 08:13 PM (#4706164)
Partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. Tommy John looming. Out 12-18 months.
   77. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 08:46 PM (#4706175)
I mean, am I allowed to suggest that Mark Buerhle is probably more durable than Nathan Eovaldi?


Really, no. You're allowed to observe that Mark Buehrle has been more durable than Nathan Eovaldi, but I know of no reason to expect him to be so in the future. Roy Halladay was more durable than Mark Prior, until he wasn't.

When it comes to pitcher health, past performance definitely does not guarantee future returns.
   78. bunyon Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:33 PM (#4706203)
Did you guys see the roundtable on MLBTV? It was pretty good, I thought. A surgeon, plus a teleinterview with Dr. Andrews, Tom House, Tom Kaat, John Smoltz and then Costas and Verducci to govern things I guess.

One thing they pounded, which made me happy, is that a lot of the damage is likely done well before these guys become pros. Kids are pitching much more than they used to and at younger ages. Kaat claims he didn't throw off a mound until he was 15. But he threw all the time. Kids are playing on multiple teams and they're playing year round. I've always thought it likely that professional usage isn't the problem. It's amateur usage.

The surgeon also said there was a study that correlated pitch velocity with injury risk. He didn't give specifics but that struck me as interesting.
   79. Christopher Linden Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:03 PM (#4706263)
If someone offered an even-money betting line of 350 innings from now thru end of next season, on which pitchers would you take the over?

Happy Base Ball
   80. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:11 PM (#4706271)
I say this half in jest, but maybe it's time some team gave Dr. Mike Marshall a chance. Doesn't he claim that he knows how to keep pitchers healthy? People think he's a bit of a crackpot, but it seems that it can't get any worse.
   81. Nats-Homer-in-DC Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:30 AM (#4706320)
Well, at least the pitching injuries aren't as bad as the concussions routine in football
   82. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:33 AM (#4706327)
73. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 07:13 PM (#4706149)
You can say that James Shields has been durable, but you cannot say that James Shields will be durable, any more than any other pitcher.


I have not studied the issue, and I would like to see some data in this regard, but my underlying assumption in my high valuation of James Shields is exactly the opposite of the above. I am suggesting that the fact that Shields has a long track record of never missing a start, pitching 200+ innings, and doing it at an above-average level for seven years suggests that he is among the most likely bets to be able to throw 200+ innings of good baseball for the next, say, three years.

Starting pitchers are not like, say, automobiles. With modern cars, if you did not get 100K miles from a new car, you'd call it a lemon, yes? In fact, it is increasingly the case that you can get 150K with high probability if you do the regular maintenance well. However, they are machines with thousands of parts - if you tell me I've got two cars - one has 60K miles on it, and the other has 120K miles on it - and you ask me which is more likely to still be on the road on four years, I'd obviously take the lower-mileage car. It is highly predictable.

Pitchers are totally different. How many pitchers give you confidence that they will give you 400 IP, combined, in 2014-2015? Until a pitcher shows me they can start 33 games, and throw 200+ innings, in any season, why would I think they will do it in the future? James Shields has been in the top six in IP in the AL five of the last six years. He's on pace to do it again this year.

We know who these guys are - Shields. Lester. Verlander. King Felix. Scherzer. A few others in the AL, like CJ Wilson, are in that neighborhood, too.

If I let you pick any five pitchers age 27 or under you want, and I get to pick any five pitchers age 28 or older I want, and we see which group has more starts and IP at the end of the year, I will win that bet virtually every time...because I will be able to use track record, and you will not. It's a little luck, and perhaps superior preparation...but a lot of it, I am convinced, is nothing more than favorable genetics. Really strong or limber elbow ligaments. Resilient shoulders. Big, strong upper legs. Stuff like that...
   83. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:58 AM (#4706350)
If I let you pick any five pitchers age 27 or under you want, and I get to pick any five pitchers age 28 or older I want, and we see which group has more starts and IP at the end of the year, I will win that bet virtually every time...because I will be able to use track record, and you will not. It's a little luck, and perhaps superior preparation...but a lot of it, I am convinced, is nothing more than favorable genetics. Really strong or limber elbow ligaments. Resilient shoulders. Big, strong upper legs. Stuff like that...

I would like to see someone take this bet/run this experiment. It's an interesting issue, and I think both sides have compelling arguments.

It does seem that "healthy" pitchers are more likely to stay healthy than those who have suffered frequent injuries, but it also seems that most (or at least a lot of) injuries are random. Also, everyone (not just baseball players) seems to be more likely to get injured as they get older, so if you look at a guy like Mark Buehrle, you can say, "Yeah, he's been healthy every year for 13 years, he's got health in his genes" but you also have to say "He's 35 years old, playing a game for young men, this can't last too much longer."

Tim Hudson has been discussed here. He was super-reliable for his first 5 years. In his 6th and 7th years he missed some starts (still made 27 and 29, respectively), then he was reliable again for two seasons. So he made at least 27 starts (prorating his rookie year) for his first 9 seasons. The next two seasons he made 22 and 7.

Jack Morris was one of the most reliable starters ever, but if you would have bet on him in 1989, you would have only gotten 24 starts out of him. Roger Clemens, another all-time great in terms of health and reliability, missed some starts in 1995, and would have missed even more without the strike. (He made 23 starts in a 144-game season, but it looks like he would have made 23 starts in a 162-game season too. I don't remember what happened.)

So I really don't know. It seems like the past-healthy guys are better bets to be future-healthy guys (Morris and Clemens, after their injury seasons, went right back to making every start until they got old), but there are plenty of always-healthy guys who suddenly got hurt and never came back.
   84. PreservedFish Posted: May 14, 2014 at 01:02 AM (#4706353)
Really, no. You're allowed to observe that Mark Buehrle has been more durable than Nathan Eovaldi, but I know of no reason to expect him to be so in the future. Roy Halladay was more durable than Mark Prior, until he wasn't.

When it comes to pitcher health, past performance definitely does not guarantee future returns.


So you think that it is completely 100% utterly random? That every pitcher on earth has the same prognosis for future health (barring catastrophic injuries already suffered)? I find that tough to believe.

When it comes to pitcher health, past performance definitely does not guarantee future returns.

Obviously everyone on this site would agree with this statement. Nothing in baseball, or life, is ever guaranteed. This is actually a step back from your argument, which is that past performance is entirely irrelevant. (I realize you're quoting the boilerplate warning for stocks etc)
   85. vivaelpujols Posted: May 14, 2014 at 01:35 AM (#4706359)
As far as I know there is no evidence either way, so people should stop talking like they know they are right. The experiment proposed in 82 is interesting.
   86. Josh1 Posted: May 14, 2014 at 07:22 AM (#4706385)
Buehrle will likely be the Lou Whitaker of pitchers.
   87. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 08:29 AM (#4706407)
I say this half in jest, but maybe it's time some team gave Dr. Mike Marshall a chance. Doesn't he claim that he knows how to keep pitchers healthy? People think he's a bit of a crackpot, but it seems that it can't get any worse.


I think his pitchers haven't gotten a chance because his pitchers aren't any good, which is partly because of the extreme difficulty of being good with that goofy delivery.

So you think that it is completely 100% utterly random? That every pitcher on earth has the same prognosis for future health (barring catastrophic injuries already suffered)? I find that tough to believe.


That is the null hypothesis that I'm yet to see any persuasive evidence to disprove.

I would not argue that there is no physiological difference between one pitcher's arm and another's; in fact I'm certain there IS. I don't believe with our current technology and knowledge we yet have any way to tell the difference in advance. The first team that succeeds in devising a way will gain the greatest competitive advantage since Branch Rickey's farm systems.
   88. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 14, 2014 at 09:20 AM (#4706422)
I agree that we have not yet figured out how to identify either:

1) how to identify in advance which pitchers are more likely to enjoy injury-free careers relative to others; or
2) how to develop a regimen for pitchers that will largely prevent major injuries to pitchers.

However, my hypothesis is that, while we are trying to figure out solutions to those two points, I think we can do this much: We can better identify which pitchers are most likely to avoid major injuries by identifying how much track record is needed of good health to say that there is a meaningful predictive relationship with future performance.
   89. AROM Posted: May 14, 2014 at 09:41 AM (#4706428)
A surgeon, plus a teleinterview with Dr. Andrews, Tom House, Tom Kaat, John Smoltz and then Costas and Verducci to govern things I guess.


Tom Kaat? Beatrix Potter's character all grown up?
   90. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4706432)
I agree that we have not yet figured out how to identify either:

1) how to identify in advance which pitchers are more likely to enjoy injury-free careers relative to others; or
2) how to develop a regimen for pitchers that will largely prevent major injuries to pitchers.


I think that eventually--probably not in the next 20 years, but eventually--figure (1) out. I think (2) is impossible. I would add (3) surgical advances may eventually--probably not within my lifetime--reach the point where pre-emptive surgery can give a pitcher an effectively bionic arm. Oh the moral slapfights we'll see on the internet in that day.
   91. alilisd Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4706588)
A really intelligent, knowledgeable guy on pitcher injuries is Eric Cressey of Cressey Performance. He tends to go with the youth angle as a significant issue in terms of injuries, and I'm on board with it. Sure, there are other factors, but youth baseball in the US has changed dramatically in the past few decades. Kids play Fall ball, the tradtional spring/summer leagues, they are on travel teams or club teams, the top players are in showcases all over the country. Scouts and college recruiters are all out there looking for the kids who throw the hardest to recruit/draft. So not only is the volume of play/throwing way up, but kids are very conscious of velocity being required to get noticed and move on. Increased volume plus increased intensity on young arms is a formula for injury.
   92. Moeball Posted: May 14, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4706633)
Buehrle will likely be the Lou Whitaker of pitchers.


He'll only start against right handers late in his career?
   93. Christopher Linden Posted: May 14, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4706682)
I don't think anyone's arguing that pitchers' injuries are literally random. We're arguing that they are *functionally* random in that there seems to be little evidence that anyone can accurately predict who will be healthy and who won't be.

BTW, I agree with the idea that the changes in youth ball are one factor in this. Kaat might be embellishing things a tick when he says he never threw off a mound until 15, but I don't think there's any question that for today's more-promising 14- to 16/17-year-olds the ratio of "throwing off a mound as you would in a game" to "just generally tossing around a baseball" has skyrocketed.

Happy Base Ball
   94. bunyon Posted: May 14, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4706698)

Tom Kaat? Beatrix Potter's character all grown up?


D'oh!

   95. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 14, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4706699)
By the way, on the five-person challenge, I'd take Mark Buehrle, Justin Masterson, Bronson Arroyo, Cliff Lee and Jeremy Guthrie, and let someone else take the sub-27s.

Now, some of my guys might not make the innings limit due to suckage, but I like their health chances.

   96. PreservedFish Posted: May 14, 2014 at 02:20 PM (#4706710)
We're arguing that they are *functionally* random in that there seems to be little evidence that anyone can accurately predict who will be healthy and who won't be.


Has anyone tried to put together the evidence and failed? Are there studies showing that demonstrated durability means nothing? That the durable pitcher is the equivalent of the clutch hitter, impossible to identify even if he exists?
   97. theboyqueen Posted: May 14, 2014 at 02:33 PM (#4706727)
I must say, given the massive amount of retrospective data we have on this issue, figuring out whether longevity is a predictor of longevity should not be difficult at all. I am not volunteering to do this.
   98. theboyqueen Posted: May 14, 2014 at 02:36 PM (#4706734)
And I will also say that whatever Billy Beane is doing with his starting pitching right now (assuming there is a method to this madness) is perhaps his most genius move yet.
   99. Ron J2 Posted: May 14, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4706758)
#80 The problem as I understand it is that Marshall's people skills are so bad that nobody will work with him. Can't say I find it difficult to believe given how he comes across in Ball Four.
   100. Swedish Chef Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:21 AM (#4707148)
Marking the end of the mourning period.
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