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Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - Dierker on Baseball: Only way to go forth is with five-man rotation

Take a look at couple of innings pitched pages from IP Career Leaders and Year-by-Year League Leaders for IP.

Teams are not getting their monies worth.

jimfurtado Posted: June 22, 2005 at 10:41 AM | 205 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros

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   201. Backlasher Posted: June 25, 2005 at 05:04 PM (#1430054)
Actually most say "up to 72 hours". That's three days.

Who said up to 72 hours? The closest I find to that is the paraphraze of House that tells you the performance difference between 2 days and 3 days, but not an endorsement that 3 days is enough.

You did effectively what you hate - you made a statement then presented some evidence that doesn't actually support your point (it doesn't refute either).

No, not even close. I presented an opinion on why I don't advocate less than 4 days rest, and why I think given other considerations, that would mean that a 4 man rotation, as a four man rotation is currently understood, is impractical.

Then I presented information on body repair including opinions of others. One of which said he would need a month to recouperate. I don't pretend this is dispositive.

I also presented tons of information that shows present overwork of pitchers and the ramifications of that overwork. Now how present overwork leads to the conclusion that "you should work them even more" is beyond me. It would tend to tell me that we should seek even better methods of exertion control.

To me, the Treder position is nonsensical. If I spend more money than I make, I should look to either increase intake or reduce outflow. If I cut out my cable TV bill and I still spend more money than I make, I still need to do the same two things I did before. Its not evidence that I should just reorder the SPICE channel.

Every system that we devised for reliever utilization has created positive utility in any way we wish to measure. We can continue to optimize, but the hue to return to the good old days just seems rather foolish.

The same is not true for starters. So it does require further discussion.

Your second paragraph says 4 days rest isn't enough.

My second paragraph implies that less than 4 days will rarely ever be enough, and in some cases 4 days is not enough. And yes, I believe that is the case. I think we can improve beyond the current model. I don't think going back to an old model is the answer. But, you tell me, if 4 days or 7 days or even 15 days in any given instant is not enough for Adam Eaton, do you pitch him anyway. And if it does vary toward the individual, and you are constrained by your number of individuals, what type of plan do you use.

Remember, you still are getting a fair number of innings from some guys. Maybe Livian could go 270 and his losing 40 innings is an output of the current plan. And at the same time, maybe Eaton can only go 180, and through either DL trip or plan, that is what he gets.

So yes, there is much room to search for better plans. But I don't think retroactively going back to an old plan, that has prima facie problems in recoupment time is the answer.

Remember other than "Throw them to the Die" Treder, the Pro-4 guys do advocate a major change to the plan. They advocate a very strict pitch count.

And my major point of disagreement in how they have articulated that plan is primarly the Jayzerleski version, "Its not how much you pitch, but how much you pitch when you are tired." I think that is wrong. I think they are correct in that poor mechanics through fatigue greatly exacerbates risk potential. But I also believe that RSI's are a function of repeated stress, and are exacerbated by the lack of healing. I also believe there is no such thing as perfect mechanics, that all pitching will create the propensity for an RSI. Ergo, you have to supplement this by providing the needed rest. Moreover, I think fatigue can carry over if there isn't enough risk, so there is the potential for worse mechanics in the first pitch thrown.

Now, Wright, Carroll, Jayzerelli, and the others are far more qualified in this area than I am. They have undoubtedly read far more on this issue than I have. If they come out here and tell me how I'm wrong about the RSI hypothesis, I am going to give great weight to what they say. If they come out here and repeat a talking point that does not address my point, I'm more likely going to think they are just trying to win an argument.

And *YES* I think an extra inning from Pedro is better than an inning from Koo. Not *every* extra inning, but on average

There is little doubt about this statement being true. But we aren't talking about a random inning. We are talking about an inning where Pedro is fatigued and Koo is fresh. That is those 30 or so innings that are under investigation.

The other innings under investigation are the low leverage innings where Koo's percentage of obtaining the desired goal is only marginally worse than Pedro's percentage to obtain the desired goal. Why fatigue Pedro and lessen his future effectiveness or risk injury.

If there are :43 left to play in the first half and you are up by 12, and Ray Felton has 2 fouls, would you bring in another point guard, or would you leave him on the court to pick up #3. Is it universally true for all players? Are there some, you would want to reduce that risk, or not trust their ability to not get the foul?
   202. Backlasher Posted: June 25, 2005 at 05:06 PM (#1430057)
The dual causes of not enough rest, and lack of strength building for starting resulted in muscle fatigue and mechanical breakdown - the combination resulted in a near-complete tear.

I wish I had a good means to post this. In one of the last major threads on this topic, I looked at rel/star performance over time. There became categorization problems with who is a reliever and who is a starter, so I isolated these "swingmen" No group of pitchers performs worse than swingmen.
   203. Bob T Posted: June 25, 2005 at 06:50 PM (#1430161)
Are "swingmen" bad because they get erratic amounts of rest or just because they're the kind of pitchers who just aren't good enough to be either a dependable reliever or a dependable starter? (E.g. Wilson Alvarez)
   204. Backlasher Posted: June 25, 2005 at 07:21 PM (#1430204)
Are "swingmen" bad because they get erratic amounts of rest or just because they're the kind of pitchers who just aren't good enough to be either a dependable reliever or a dependable starter? (E.g. Wilson Alvarez)

I would opine both, but I do not know the answer definitively. But it should not matter whether either is exclusively true, unless there is some other basis for your roster makeup.

If you move from a 5 man to a 4 man makeup, you are essentially taking your 5th starter and making them a swingman. That is unless you have a method to source swingmen and cut the 5th starter.

So unless you think that reducing certainty of role and given inconsistent work with inconsistent rest would improve performance, then you are going to be bounded by present performance. Now there may be some room for thought that the relief innings would be better than the swingman's starter innings, because a bullpen transition usually increases productivity. But this is based on the thought that you can increase your exertion because of the short outing. This would really go out the window if you are going to be called on to spot start frequently.

Now its possible that this swingman could outperform one specific member of your bullpen, but I don't think this creates an advantage. Unless your 4-Day rotation requires the pitchers to pitch the same amount on each start, you still need just as many innings and just as many or more pitchers to cover them.

If you are monitoring exertion at all, it just means you are going to your bullpen even earlier. This may mean you need even more pitchers for your plan. I don't facially see a plan that guarantees you are maximizing the leveraged innings in this arrangement.

But, I'll repeat and emphasize, especially since Chris is thinking I'm dishonest. I don't think swingman is the answer. It is possible that you could devise a plan that did transfer LI with a swingman and get a net positive benefit.

But if the inconsistent pattern of use of the swingman would threaten his availability, exacerbate his injury potential, or reduce his effectiveness, then the plan would likely be inefficient.
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