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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sabathia (130 pitches) goes 8-0

Sabathia asked a lot of his 6-foot-7, 290-pound body Monday night at Miller Park. He was allowed to throw 130 pitches, which he thought to be a career high…

Yost also is confident in Sabathia finishing games. With his pitch count at 111 after eight innings and the Brewers safely on top, 9-2, Sabathia was given his chance for his league-leading fifth complete game.

pyrite Posted: August 19, 2008 at 06:06 AM | 64 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, brewers

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   1. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: August 19, 2008 at 06:13 AM (#2908047)
Yost also is confident in Sabathia finishing games. With his pitch count at 111 after eight innings and the Brewers safely on top, 9-2, Sabathia was given his chance for his league-leading fifth complete game.


Don't come crying to me when he loses games 1 and 5 in the ALCS....
   2. pyrite Posted: August 19, 2008 at 06:34 AM (#2908067)
I don't understand Yost's motivation. The game is not in doubt. Sabathia has ~8 regular season starts left and hopefully a few after that. He's already at 195ip. Eight more starts and he'll finish the regular season at ~260ip. Last season, he was toast in the playoffs after 241 IP in the regular season. Why push your luck?
   3. Bowling Baseball Fan Posted: August 19, 2008 at 06:37 AM (#2908069)
To make Mets fans cry a little more about Santana.
   4. PreservedFish Posted: August 19, 2008 at 08:30 AM (#2908094)
To make Mets fans cry a little more about Santana.


?

2.75 ERA, 150 ERA+. 177 IP.
   5. Bowling Baseball Fan Posted: August 19, 2008 at 08:32 AM (#2908095)
About him not finishing games. Thats all they whine about. How he should go 9 so the bullpen isn't allowed to blow it.
   6. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 19, 2008 at 09:27 AM (#2908100)
Teams need to put down the clicker and start pulling pitchers out of the game when they're tired -- not when they reach a certain number of pitches.

Teams want to protect their young arms by not putting them under too much strain, but rather than monitoring them for signs that they're tiring, they're going by a number. The upshot of this is that pitchers are no longer capable of throwing as many pitches as their predecessors, and they're getting tired earlier -- which means the risk of injury is not reduced at all.

Young pitchers should pitch until they begin to tire (if they get knocked out of the game, they should go to the bullpen and throw more pitches until they tire), with the goal being to gradually build up their endurance. Their pitch counts should be gently pushed upwards until the pitcher reaches their natural limit (the point at which they're getting tired around the same pitch count every time, rather than "around 100 pitches". If a 21-year-old kid has thrown 105 pitches and shows no signs of being tired, then let him throw some more pitches.

Roger Clemens used to average 120 pitches a start, as did Randy Johnson. They often threw over 130 pitches, and sometimes reached 150. The current "workhorse" in baseball is Roy Halladay, who averages 108 pitches. That's obviously the extreme, but a properly conditioned pitcher, IMO, should be able to throw 110 pitches regularly, and 120 pitches when he has to. That shouldn't make a guy a "workhorse".

If you go to the gym for the first time you don't immediately pile all the weights on and try to lift them -- you'll hurt yourself trying. You start at low weights that you can manage and gradually move up. Teams have finally figured out the first part, but IMO, they need to start applying that second part, too. Ditch the clicker, learn to see when a pitcher is getting tired, and you'll win championships with your starters while everyone else is desperately looking for a seventh inning guy.
   7. Craig Calcaterra Posted: August 19, 2008 at 10:15 AM (#2908102)
Maybe so neknhaM, but Sabathia looked tired at the end of the seventh last night. Yes, he was able to draw on some reserve of energy and make it through, but I don't know that the Brewers are best served by making him press like that for a game that was already in the bag in mid-August.
   8. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 19, 2008 at 10:21 AM (#2908104)
Maybe so neknhaM, but Sabathia looked tired at the end of the seventh last night. Yes, he was able to draw on some reserve of energy and make it through, but I don't know that the Brewers are best served by making him press like that for a game that was already in the bag in mid-August.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating what the Brewers are doing (though from the standpoint that there is no benefit to them to keep Sabathia healthy beyond 2008 -- actually, it would be beneficial to them for him to get hurt after this season, as it would hurt their opponents -- overworking Sabathia isn't a terrible strategy, at least in close games). What I'm specifically advocating is a change in the development of pitchers.

Joba Chamberlain, for example, may end up becoming the most dominant starter per inning in baseball, but I think he'll be a 100-pitch pitcher, because I don't think the Yankees will ever push him.
   9. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: August 19, 2008 at 10:31 AM (#2908105)
I'll advocate what the Brewers are doing. It's Machiavellian, sure, but smart, for exactly the reasons Larry stated. They won't be keeping him after the season, and Sabathia breaking down while on a $150 million contract with some other team can only be a good thing for the Brewers. They're overworking him on purpose, and that's fine with me... but last night was still too much. The game wasn't close, and you don't want to work him so hard that he has nothing left come October, not in games that aren't in doubt anyway. He wore out last year in the playoffs, and the Indians didn't abuse him nearly as much as the Brewers are.
   10. Russ Posted: August 19, 2008 at 11:29 AM (#2908108)
The Brewers won't think this was such a good idea when Sabathia's arm is hanging by a string at the end of October and then he accepts their arbitration offer to sit on the DL all of next year (starting, of course, next February).
   11. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 19, 2008 at 11:35 AM (#2908109)
The Brewers won't think this was such a good idea when Sabathia's arm is hanging by a string at the end of October and then he accepts their arbitration offer to sit on the DL all of next year (starting, of course, next February).
If Sabathia is hurt so badly that one year of arbitration is more valuable than his FA offers, he won't be offered arbitration. If he's hurt, then the contract he gets this offseason will be the best he could ever get.
   12. OCD SS Posted: August 19, 2008 at 11:55 AM (#2908119)
I await Hank Stienbrenner's next pronouncement about how Yost is disrespecting the game and riding a player who wants to be a Yankee too hard before he has a chance to be in pinstripes.
   13. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 19, 2008 at 11:55 AM (#2908120)
6-foot-7, 290-pound body


Its hilarious that he keeps being referred as under 300 lbs. If he's 6'7", he's closer to 350 than 300.
   14. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 19, 2008 at 12:11 PM (#2908128)
9-2? Why not just throw a fungible relief pitcher out there at that point. Yost needs to start thinking about October. There's a difference between can and should.
   15. whoisalhedges Posted: August 19, 2008 at 12:34 PM (#2908131)
There's no pitcher in baseball right now I'd more trust to throw 130 pitches than CC.

That said, I'm VERY worried about what might happen should the Crew make the postseason. Sabathia was exhausted last year, and it showed. Sure, small sample size and all, but he LOOKED beat down. If it's a 1- or 2-run game, sure, leave the stud out there, he's better than anyone in the pen. But in a blowout like that? Come on, Ned. There's no excuse to mortgage your postseason hopes on that.
   16. Spahn Insane Posted: August 19, 2008 at 12:39 PM (#2908135)
It's Machiavellian, sure, but smart, for exactly the reasons Larry stated.

I don't think Ned Yost is smart enough to think it through that thoroughly.

And even if he is, do you REALLY think he's planning on burning CC out just enough so he breaks down NEXT year, but not so much that he doesn't suffer the effects of overuse down the stretch or in the postseason THIS year, when the Brewers still need him? Do you really think any manager, no matter how smart (IOW, not Ned Yost) would know when CC had reached that tipping point with the kind of precision that'd be necessary to make using CC the way he was used last night a good idea from the perspective of this year's Brewers? Please.

CC leads the league in complete games, he was an inning shy of another one last night at 111 pitches, and Yost decided to send him out there so he could rack up another CG. That was his motivation. Period.
   17. noiseboy Posted: August 19, 2008 at 12:51 PM (#2908144)
As a Cub fan, I fully endorse Yost and the Brewers sending CC out for 7+ innings from now thru the post-season!!

In fact, he gets my full backing for manager of the year!!

Go Yostie!!!!
   18. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 19, 2008 at 12:57 PM (#2908150)
As a Cub fan, I fully endorse Yost and the Brewers sending CC out for 7+ innings from now thru the post-season!!

In fact, he gets my full backing for manager of the year!!

Go Yostie!!!!
You haven't thought this through all the way.

See, if Sabathia gets hurt this season, then yeah, that helps the Cubs. If he tires in September, that helps the Cubs. But if he doesn't tire and doesn't get hurt, it hurts the Cubs.
   19. plim Posted: August 19, 2008 at 01:36 PM (#2908186)
is anyone else surprised that sabathia, only having been in the league since since the beginning of july (except his july 2nd start) is leading the *national* league in complete games? it's not just cheeseburgers he's eating =)

Young pitchers should pitch until they begin to tire (if they get knocked out of the game, they should go to the bullpen and throw more pitches until they tire), with the goal being to gradually build up their endurance. Their pitch counts should be gently pushed upwards until the pitcher reaches their natural limit (the point at which they're getting tired around the same pitch count every time, rather than "around 100 pitches". If a 21-year-old kid has thrown 105 pitches and shows no signs of being tired, then let him throw some more pitches.


i really like this idea. Never really thought about that (both parts in parenthesis). You probably get a lot of young kids who get knocked around...but if all they do is go back to the bench or hit the showers (let alone the mental effect of having to sulk on the bench after a bad outing) after 40-60-ish pitches, they're incrementally shooting themselves in the stamina foot.

Obviously, you've never seen a pitcher who has been pulled from the game "warming down" in the pen, but unless they have a much more rigorous side session (which could be dangerous because it could "hamper" their next start)...what are these kids doing?
   20. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 19, 2008 at 01:38 PM (#2908192)
Yost is a guy of extremes. I won't bore you with all the examples but the one that is germane is that in 2007 Yost had a well-publicized "plan" for finishing games. Starter would go six then separate relievers in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings. By early July several relievers were tired and hurt and come late July the bullpen completely imploded leading to the Brewers surrendering a 3 run lead 16(!) times last season. Derrick Turnbow has never recovered, Matt Wise is toiling in obscurity, and GM Doug Melvin completely turned over the relief corps in search of guys with fresher arms.

In 2008 Ted Simmons joined the team as a bench coach and he tried to teach Ned the concept of having starters go deeper in games. Yost was resistant and was going down the same bullpen usage path until come late April Gagne exploded and the bullpen was already looking ragged. Somewhat panicked Yost turned to the approach offered by Simmons and over time the starters have responded even BEFORE CC. Now with Sabathia in the fold the starters are now handling the bulk of the innings with even guys like Jeff Suppan(!) going 8 innings when possible. The Brewers lead the NL in innings pitched by the starters.

Parra has never pitched this much in a season and is starting to show the effects pitching poorly the last 3 weeks. Ben is also scuffling but Ben ALWAYS struggles in the second half so who KNOWS if the workload is related. And frankly, nobody cares. He's gone after the season, the Brewers spent years coddling him and when the team has needed him most come August/September he has been MIA. Bush and Suppan have been solid of late and look in good form.

Melvin responded to his manager's bullpen challenges by finding a staff that minimizes the need for the bullpen.

The hope is that the upcoming off days and Ned's decision to let guys get the extra rest versus keep CC and Ben on five day schedules will help the guys catch their breath.

We will see......
   21. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 19, 2008 at 01:46 PM (#2908204)

Roger Clemens used to average 120 pitches a start, as did Randy Johnson. They often threw over 130 pitches, and sometimes reached 150.


The question is -- was that ability learned, or natural? We all know some famous workhorse pitchers. The answer is probably some of both. Which means that pushing players to higher pitch counts is playing Russian roulette -- if you have a Clemens, you win, if you have a Gooden, you lose.
   22. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: August 19, 2008 at 01:51 PM (#2908208)
Matt Cain threw 126 against the Dodgers last week. He got a no decision, but the Giants did maintain their five game lead over the Padres.
   23. Herr Mike Posted: August 19, 2008 at 01:51 PM (#2908209)
I think in a lot of cases, it's not pitch counts that hurt guys, it's going for that CG. Reaching back for the high heat to close out those late innings, when you are getting tired. But mainly, that effects guys that don't often go the distance. For CC, it's become pretty routine. I don't think I'd worry.

Pitch counts aren't based on any science. How could they be? Every pitcher has a different arm. If the guy is tired, take him out.
   24. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 19, 2008 at 01:57 PM (#2908214)
By the way, if JJ Hardy doesn't fumble an EASY double play grounder by Brad Asmus this isn't really an issue.

Hardy is going through one of his bad patches that seems to happen every year where he makes a series of late inning errors.

You wanna talk about crazy patterns........
   25. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: August 19, 2008 at 01:59 PM (#2908224)
You haven't thought this through all the way.


You missed the first four words of his post:

As a Cub fan
   26. Jay Z Posted: August 19, 2008 at 02:04 PM (#2908228)
Halladay threw 130 pitches nine days ago, in a game he didn't finish the 7th in, for a team that's not going to the playoffs.

Interesting that Sabathia never made it to 120 pitches last year. The post season wasn't his worst 3 start sequence of the year; he had 3 starts in late June that were worse. So it could have just been bad timing, or better teams.

Dempster's being worked like a horse this year; his highest workload for a long time. I expect he'll probably make it through this year okay at least.
   27. SouthSideRyan Posted: August 19, 2008 at 02:11 PM (#2908235)
Yes, we Cub fans are really going to regret Sabathia throwing 130 pitches where he was visibly tiring with a 7 run lead. Genius Ned got us again, stretching out CC so he can throw 150 should we run into them in an NLCS.
   28. Spahn Insane Posted: August 19, 2008 at 02:25 PM (#2908256)
Matt Cain threw 126 against the Dodgers last week. He got a no decision, but the Giants did maintain their five game lead over the Padres.

Heh.
   29. rfloh Posted: August 19, 2008 at 02:27 PM (#2908257)
Young pitchers should pitch until they begin to tire (if they get knocked out of the game, they should go to the bullpen and throw more pitches until they tire), with the goal being to gradually build up their endurance.


I agree with this, somewhat. It depends on why he got knocked out of the game. If he was knocked out of the game because he was struggling (badly) with his mechanics / technique, for whatever reason, it might be better to just call it a day. Trying to force a workout when an athlete is struggling with technique is sometimes not a good idea. Not just because it might lead to an acute injury. But also because it might ingrain bad habits technically.
   30. Spahn Insane Posted: August 19, 2008 at 02:30 PM (#2908263)
Genius Ned got us again, stretching out CC so he can throw 150 should we run into them in an NLCS.

If the Cubs can force CC to throw 150 pitches, I'll like their chances in that game.
   31. rfloh Posted: August 19, 2008 at 02:31 PM (#2908264)
The question is -- was that ability learned, or natural? We all know some famous workhorse pitchers. The answer is probably some of both. Which means that pushing players to higher pitch counts is playing Russian roulette -- if you have a Clemens, you win, if you have a Gooden, you lose.


Not pushing players to higher workloads is also playing Russian roulette. How will the player fully develope if he isn't pushed?

Also, pitch counts don't measure workload. They only measure half of what constitutes workload: volume. They don't measure intensity, at all.
   32. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: August 19, 2008 at 02:32 PM (#2908265)
Heh.


Heh?
   33. Excel Hearts Choi Posted: August 19, 2008 at 02:33 PM (#2908266)
Harvey,

Do you know if the Brewers are preparing their pitchers in the minor leagues to throw deeper into games? If not, do you think the "culture shock" of having to throw more innings in the majors could lead to injury?

On a related note, Nolan Ryan will be taking a bigger role in the development of pitchers for the Rangers next season. He has said on several occasions that he is not a fan of the 100 pitch limit, and that he wants pitchers to challenge themselves by throwing an additional inning. Given the dearth of injuries to the current crop of Rangers pitching, there has been a fair amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth about Ryan's ideas. If there are so many injuries under these "normal" circumstances, what will happen when they throw more innings? Many people think that this plan is doomed to failure because Ryan is expecting the young pitchers to be like him. I don't think this is the case (throwing an additional inning does not seem very Ryan-esque). If Ryan takes an approach to pitching that revolves around being tired as opposed to an arbitrary number, I think the Rangers only stand to benefit.

Of course, "looking tired" seems kind of arbitrary as well. I wonder what would be good indicators that a pitcher is tired? Loss of control, drop in velocity, etc.?
   34. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 19, 2008 at 02:34 PM (#2908267)
CC's pitch log with Milwaukee:

97, 122, 110, 106, 124, 109, 103, 114, 130

The 122 pitches was against Cincy on the last day of the first half. Milwaukee was at risk of being swept by the Reds at home, the bullpen was weary and CC wouldn't start again until the following Friday.

The 124 was against the Cubs and after the game CC freely admitted he didn't have his best stuff. As shown by the Brewers bullpen giving the game away late Yost was correct in the assessment that Sabathia was the better option.

Last night is the only time where I REALLY thought Yost had goofed with respect to CC's handling.
   35. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 19, 2008 at 02:35 PM (#2908270)
Excel:

They are not. Just the opposite. In the low minors especially guys are on strict counts....
   36. Delino DeShields & Yarnell Posted: August 19, 2008 at 02:55 PM (#2908297)
What Harvs said, mostly.

Given the alternatives, CC at 111 pitches was still best option to get 3 more guys out without giving up 4 runs. Once it's 9-6, Yost would have gone into the auto-save mode and used up 2 relievers. I seriously don't believe he trusted Mota / Riske / Gagne to hold it to 3 more runs against a fairly hot Houston offense.
   37. Spahn Insane Posted: August 19, 2008 at 03:05 PM (#2908305)
Heh?

I assumed the original post was a tongue-in-cheek comment on the "benefits" of allowing Cain to throw 126 pitches--helped the Giants maintain the all-important 5-game lead over the Padres.
   38. Spahn Insane Posted: August 19, 2008 at 03:07 PM (#2908306)
Of course, "looking tired" seems kind of arbitrary as well. I wonder what would be good indicators that a pitcher is tired? Loss of control, drop in velocity, etc.?

In the case of last night's Sabathia start, I'd say "getting smacked around, and not having any of the location he had previously, with the knowledge he'd thrown around 120 pitches."
   39. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 19, 2008 at 03:10 PM (#2908312)

Not pushing players to higher workloads is also playing Russian roulette. How will the player fully develope if he isn't pushed?


This may be true. Is it impossible to push a player without going deep into games? Via weight-training, for example?

Even if that's not possible, is the tradeoff worth it? Would you take a 30% chance of a 150 ERA+ pitcher over a 70% chance of a 125 ERA+ pitcher? Or a 30% chance of 230 innings over a 70% chance of 180 innings?

The fact that good data is hard to come by simply reinforces teams' inherent conservatism.

Also, pitch counts don't measure workload. They only measure half of what constitutes workload: volume. They don't measure intensity, at all.


We don't really have a good way to measure intensity, though. Nor do we really know if intensity is 50% of what goes into workload, or 20% or 80%. With less information the natural tendency is to take fewer risks, not more.
   40. Delino DeShields & Yarnell Posted: August 19, 2008 at 03:13 PM (#2908318)
I wouldn't call - Single, ROE, Infield hit, Walk - scattered around two fly balls and a ground out getting "smacked arouund"
   41. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 19, 2008 at 03:20 PM (#2908333)
The question is -- was that ability learned, or natural? We all know some famous workhorse pitchers. The answer is probably some of both. Which means that pushing players to higher pitch counts is playing Russian roulette -- if you have a Clemens, you win, if you have a Gooden, you lose.
See, that's not my point at all. First of all, Gooden threw 218 innings in the majors at age 19. That not a gradual increase in workload by any definition.

My point about Clemens and Johnson isn't "this is how many pitches a pitcher should throw!", but rather that they were the workhorses when we started counting pitches in the late 80's, and now the workhorse of 2008 throws considerably fewer pitches than they do. I haven't really looked at it, but I would guess that averaging 108 pitches per start wasn't particularly exceptional in 1990.

My point isn't that guys should throw 130 pitches, or that you should push a guy to throw 130 pitches, it's that when you don't let your young pitchers throw more than 100 pitches, you end up developing pitchers who can't throw more than 100 pitches. You shouldn't EVER say, "this is how many pitches we're going to make this guy throw" -- you merely increase his workload gradually until you find what his natural limit is. It requires more talent as a coach to pull off, because you need to start picking up indications that the pitcher is tiring rather than looking at a clicker.

If teams did that, I bet they'd get an extra 2 or 3 batters per game out of their starters.
   42. Dan The Mediocre Posted: August 19, 2008 at 03:31 PM (#2908347)

Last night is the only time where I REALLY thought Yost had goofed with respect to CC's handling.


It reminds me of a certain manager's handling of a very young star and an injury prone star for a team in the same division.
   43. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 19, 2008 at 03:34 PM (#2908352)
It reminds me of a certain manager's handling of a very young star and an injury prone star for a team in the same division.

Uh oh. This thread has just gained new life!
   44. jwb Posted: August 19, 2008 at 03:56 PM (#2908382)
I wonder what would be good indicators that a pitcher is tired? Loss of control, drop in velocity, etc.?
It happens before then. Looking at results, the first thing to go is movement on the fastball. This results in the pitcher getting "smacked around" although the radar gun is not seeing a problem. From a mechanics standpoint, the back leg flails to the side.
   45. Excel Hearts Choi Posted: August 19, 2008 at 03:59 PM (#2908386)
From a mechanics standpoint, the back leg flails to the side.

What about a change in arm angle? It seems that this happens a lot during a season; Pitcher X gets roughed up for a few starts, and when the return to form they usually credit working on him arm angle with the pitching coach. Is this a sign of fatigue, or is this just a mechanical mistake?
   46. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: August 19, 2008 at 04:15 PM (#2908402)
I just noticed - Sabathia has now won 11 straight games over 14 starts with an overall ERA of 1.67. Not bad.

The Brewers lead the NL in innings pitched by the starters.

By 29 innings. The gap between first and second is greater than the gap between second and seventh.
   47. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2008 at 04:26 PM (#2908410)
In 2008 Ted Simmons joined the team as a bench coach and he tried to teach Ned the concept of having starters go deeper in games. Yost was resistant and was going down the same bullpen usage path until come late April Gagne exploded and the bullpen was already looking ragged. Somewhat panicked Yost turned to the approach offered by Simmons and over time the starters have responded even BEFORE CC. Now with Sabathia in the fold the starters are now handling the bulk of the innings with even guys like Jeff Suppan(!) going 8 innings when possible. The Brewers lead the NL in innings pitched by the starters.


I'm a huge Ted Simmons fan, but it is kinda funny that Simmons is the one championing for longer appearances by starters, when he was the one that championed for the exact opposite rule for the minors (he had a rule that no true prospect was allowed to record a loss, if after the 4th inning there became a chance where a pitcher was ahead, if the go ahead run came up to bat the rule was that the starter was to be pulled.
   48. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 19, 2008 at 04:32 PM (#2908414)
CC Sabathia is 28 years old and has been in the rotation for years. He is not (He Who Shall Not be Named) that Manager of Infamy rode allegedly drove into the ground.

And CC WANTS TO PITCH. Again, and I feel vomit forming in my throat, it is incumbent upon me to come to Yost's defense in that CC has made it PERFECTLY CLEAR to the Brewers that he wants to showcase himself. As in, "I am going for the big money dudes. Give me the f*cking ball and don't talk to me about coming out. Got it?"

CC also wants to hit as much as possible to show NL clubs why he would work in THIS league as well.

So you have two veteran pitchers who are looking to maximize their next contracts. In essence the Brewers are merely benefiting from the players avarice.

And let me state clearly that if Yost can't win in THIS scenario then he REALLY needs to find another profession. You have key players desperate to succeed not only for the love of winning but for the sake of their pocketbooks and you STILL can't bring home the bacon?

If that happens what a CHUMP. C....H....U....M....P.
   49. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 19, 2008 at 04:34 PM (#2908417)
cfb:

As I understand it Ted is a believer in the notion that once a guy establishes himself in the rotation at the age of 25 or later you can start pushing him. Because now the guy isn't learning to pitch. He's learning to pitch WHEN he feels tired.

Simmons has stated that young pitchers need to focus on pitching and NOT pitching through fatigue because that creates bad habits/technique that impairs their development.

It makes sense to me.......
   50. rfloh Posted: August 19, 2008 at 04:46 PM (#2908429)
This may be true. Is it impossible to push a player without going deep into games? Via weight-training, for exampl


But unless he's a weightlifter or powerlifter, weight training isn't sport specific training. Lifting weights won't condition him to maintain, not perfect, but at least decent mechanics, when under stress, to name just one problem.


We don't really have a good way to measure intensity, though. Nor do we really know if intensity is 50% of what goes into workload, or 20% or 80%. With less information the natural tendency is to take fewer risks, not more.


Ohh. I agree that measuring intensity is a problem. I'd still like to see teams TRY to do so, by tracking pitch velocity, and pitch type, at least.

As for the percentage issue, IF you can find a way to at least approximate intensity, then you can use physics. Work = Mass * Acceleration * Distance. Power = Work / unit time. Whether Roger Clemens or Rich Harden, Usain Bolt or Kenisa Bekele, Nastia Liukin or Ilya Ilin, every athlete, every human is subject to physical laws. Physical laws that ARE used in other sports, such as weightlifting to regulate workload. There's no need for baseball to try to reinvent the wheel, when it can stand on the shoulders of giants.

Even if that's not possible, is the tradeoff worth it? Would you take a 30% chance of a 150 ERA+ pitcher over a 70% chance of a 125 ERA+ pitcher? Or a 30% chance of 230 innings over a 70% chance of 180 innings?


The problem is these percentages are completely arbitrary. If the guy isn't properly pushed, how do you know what the percentages are?

Note, I'm not advocating that a guy who was just drafted, be asked to throw 200 MLB innings witor some such. Or a guy being asked to continue to throw when he seems to be struggling with his mechanics, because of mental / physical fatigue, without very careful monitoring.
   51. greenback calls it soccer Posted: August 19, 2008 at 04:48 PM (#2908433)
CC Sabathia is 28 years old and has been in the rotation for years.

This needs to be repeated. CC knows what he's doing out there even if his manager doesn't. A few 120-130 pitch starts won't make his arm fall off in October.
   52. Fred C. Dobbs Posted: August 19, 2008 at 05:00 PM (#2908443)
Yes, we Cub fans are really going to regret Sabathia throwing 130 pitches where he was visibly tiring with a 7 run lead. Genius Ned got us again, stretching out CC so he can throw 150 should we run into them in an NLCS.


I love this time of year...when Cubs fans are all cocky and talking s*** shortly before their team chokes in the playoffs.
   53. Excel Hearts Choi Posted: August 19, 2008 at 05:00 PM (#2908444)
This needs to be repeated. CC knows what he's doing out there even if his manager doesn't. A few 120-130 pitch starts won't make his arm fall off in October.

The problem I have with Sabathia's usage over the last two years is that it appears the Indians were not gradually increasing his innings pitched. He has averaged 194 innings a year from 2001 to 2006. Then he leaped to 241 innings in 2007, and he is on pace to beat that this year. Can Sabathia handle this workload? Maybe, but it certainly does not look like he has conditioning himself to do so.
   54. Dan The Mediocre Posted: August 19, 2008 at 05:02 PM (#2908446)
CC Sabathia is 28 years old and has been in the rotation for years. He is not (He Who Shall Not be Named) that Manager of Infamy rode allegedly drove into the ground.


I agree, but I still think it's stupid for Yost to do, even if Sabathia wants to. I don't think many pitchers ever want to come out of the game, and that's why they shouldn't manage themselves.
   55. rfloh Posted: August 19, 2008 at 05:03 PM (#2908447)
We don't really have a good way to measure intensity, though.


Also, if a pitcher is willing, during the offseason, I'd like to see his team try to get some biomechanics people to measure the forces he generates, and subjects his various bodyparts to, when he throws his pitches, fastball, curve, change, etc. This would provide a baseline to approximate workload when he throws real in game pitches.
   56. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 19, 2008 at 05:08 PM (#2908450)
This needs to be repeated. CC knows what he's doing out there even if his manager doesn't. A few 120-130 pitch starts won't make his arm fall off in October.

How do you know? What's the point of risking it? Even if it's only a 2% chance, why bother? I can see if it's a tight game, but it's wasn't. I can't believe there's even any argument that letting CC pitch the 9th wasn't stupid. I don't care what Sabathia says, or if he's trying for a big contract, or what his usage was in the past--there is zero reason to take the chance. CC isn't an idestructible force. He's had his aches and pains just like any other pitcher. The Brewers haven't been in the posteason for 119 years. You don't want your manager screwing up a chance at a World Series because it's neat if Sabathia gets another complete game or you want to keep the last man in the pen fresh in case there's another blowout tomorrow.
   57. JPWF13 Posted: August 19, 2008 at 05:10 PM (#2908456)
And let me state clearly that if Yost can't win in THIS scenario then he REALLY needs to find another profession.


Yes he has Sheets on pace for 200 IP for the first time since 2004 and CC starring in a remake of the 1984 Rick Sutcliffe Story. If this team can't make the playoffs NOW, when can it?

The problem I have with Sabathia's usage over the last two years is that it appears the Indians were not gradually increasing his innings pitched. He has averaged 194 innings a year from 2001 to 2006. Then he leaped to 241 innings in 2007, and he is on pace to beat that this year. Can Sabathia handle this workload? Maybe, but it certainly does not look like he has conditioning himself to do so.


Hasn't CC been at the top of BPro's "Pitcher Abuse Points" lists just about every year for the past 5- either PAP doesn't work- or CC is simply a freak...

Also CC is in no worse shape than this guy was, and he managed to pitch quite a few innings after his age 28 season,
   58. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 19, 2008 at 05:14 PM (#2908460)
Also CC is in no worse shape than this guy was, and he managed to pitch quite a few innings after his age 28 season,

True dat, but he had his share of nagging injuries, too. The Brewers don't need fo Sabathia to tweak something pitching meaningless innings. I'm not against a heavy workload for CC, but you gotta pick your spots. You just gotta.
   59. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: August 19, 2008 at 05:22 PM (#2908467)
The fact that the Brewers have an off-day Thursday (extra day of rest for CC) is probably another reason Yost gave CC the ball in the ninth. That's not a defense of Yost, mind you -- I turned the game on in the 6th and CC looked like he was 'laboring' (completely subjective, although the Brewers announcers made the same comment). I was absolutely shocked when I turned the game on an hour or so later to see CC with the ball in the 9th.
   60. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 19, 2008 at 05:31 PM (#2908472)
The fact that the Brewers have an off-day Thursday (extra day of rest for CC) is probably another reason Yost gave CC the ball in the ninth. That's not a defense of Yost, mind you -- I turned the game on in the 6th and CC looked like he was 'laboring' (completely subjective, although the Brewers announcers made the same comment). I was absolutely shocked when I turned the game on an hour or so later to see CC with the ball in the 9th.

See, I see this as the opposite. If they have an extra off day, and you don't push CC, you can bring him back on his usual rest and maybe get an extra start out of him. Also, with the off day, you don't need to worry about not having someone in the pen available for your next game, which is all the more incentive to just go to the pen in this situation. Anyway, I'm belaboring the point. I feel like I'm channeling Harv! (J/K Harv!)
   61. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 19, 2008 at 07:04 PM (#2908562)
shooty:

No issue. Because of the significant number of reading challenged posters the best form of communication on this site is repetition. So belabor away.

I think this season puts a nail in the coffin on the notion that Ned Yost has ANY idea on how to handle a pitching staff. Over and over again we get told about his experience in Atlanta (which is now six years in the past) and over and over again I have some snot-nosed punk wander through here and explain that Yost's usage is no different than any other manager.

Which, of course, is nonsense. As it flies in the face of the evidence presented.

I also get told of how Yost mentions concepts espoused on this site.

And I patiently explain how knowing something and IMPLEMENTING something are two different things.

The Brewers are succeeding this season because they have been healthy, Cameron/Kendall have significantly improved the defense, Ted Simmons has provided good advice and Salomon Torres has defied Father Time.

Each time Yost has meddled in something other than writing the correct names on the lineup card it has blown up in his face.

By experience, since nobody knows more about damage control now than Ned Yost, Yost has learned to adjust quickly.

Ned wants Gagne as his closer--KABOOM---go to Torres.

Ned wants Mota as his setup guy--KABOOM--go elsewhere.

Ned wants to platoon starters (Bush and McClung)--KABOOM--go elsewhere.

I could continue but these are just a few of this season's examples.

Based on Ned's learning curve I figure by 2013 he will be a legit major league manager since he will have made every mistake possible TWICE.......
   62. MM1f Posted: August 19, 2008 at 07:38 PM (#2908622)
Whether Roger Clemens or Rich Harden, Usain Bolt or Kenisa Bekele, Nastia Liukin or Ilya Ilin, every athlete, every human is subject to physical laws.

The difference is the Usain Bolt can break those laws whenever he damn well pleases... and then look around behind himself to see where you are, and then look into the crowd to find his mom so she can bring him some more chicken nuggets
   63. Excel Hearts Choi Posted: August 19, 2008 at 07:43 PM (#2908628)
Harvey,

If Sabathia and the other pitchers who continue to reduce the need for Yost's bullpen mismanagement help put the Brewers in position for a successful postseason, doesn't that increase the probability that Yost will return? If Yost can survive last season, a strong playoff run would guarantee him an extension, no? In 2009, can the Brewers continue to win in spite of Yost? Or does Melvin need to find somebody who can better utilize the talent this team already posses?
   64. AJMcCringleberry Posted: August 19, 2008 at 07:59 PM (#2908636)
The difference is the Usain Bolt can break those laws whenever he damn well pleases... and then look around behind himself to see where you are, and then look into the crowd to find his mom so she can bring him some more chicken nuggets

I read an article on the 100m the other day that had this funny passage;

After the race "Bolt whipped off his golden spikes and took the world's slowest victory lap, stopping every few meters to pose for cameras, wave his Jamaican flag, dance to the reggae music blasting over the public address - in short, all the things he nearly got around to doing before hitting the finish line."

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