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What Young Pitcher Blows a Shoulder First

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What Young Pitcher Blows a Shoulder First

Postby Polar Bear » Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:56 pm

Not trying to make light of injuries here, I wish all players would stay healthy, but the fact is they don't.

So which pitcher end up on the DL first? (Outside of the obvious guys)

I have worries about Nolasco, Volquez and Lincecum. Each had an increase in innings last year and are not all that old yet.

I have read reports that Lincecum's delivery rarely changes which will keep him from being injury prone, but he still pitched a ton of innings last year for as young as he is.

Volquez and you could probably throw Cueto on this list also. They each play for Dusty Baker who is not known for having a short hook on pitchers. Volquez pitches deep into counts which runs his pitch count up. He ranked high on the pitcher abuse chart Baseball Prospectus has.

Nolasco. I really like this guy, but he also pitched more innings last year than usual.
Last edited by Polar Bear on Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Young Pitcher Blows a Shoulder First

Postby Ender » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:03 pm

Nolasco is a huge injury risk. Lester is probably one of the biggest ones as well. I think Lincecum is more likely to go the Livan Hernandez and Carlos Zambrano path. Best years early in his career but fading quickly from throwing too many pitches at a young age.
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Re: What Young Pitcher Blows a Shoulder First

Postby mak1277 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:26 pm

I think Nolasco's the biggest risk of those listed, just because he's been injured.

I also think that trying to fit Lincecum into anyone else's career path is an excercise in futility at this point. I don't think he's like anyone else, maybe ever. If you are going to do that, though, I don't see why he would fit into the Zambrano "path" anymore than I could see him fitting into the Clemens path (check out his innings pitched totals when he was 23 to 26).
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Re: What Young Pitcher Blows a Shoulder First

Postby Ender » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:30 pm

I don't see why he would fit into the Zambrano "path" anymore than I could see him fitting into the Clemens path (check out his innings pitched totals when he was 23 to 26).


Well i was saying I think it is more likely that he wears his arm out at a young age than having shoulder or elbow problems because of his delivery, not that he doesn't have a chance to stay healthy.
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Re: What Young Pitcher Blows a Shoulder First

Postby Yoda » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:56 pm

mak1277 wrote:I think Nolasco's the biggest risk of those listed, just because he's been injured.

I also think that trying to fit Lincecum into anyone else's career path is an excercise in futility at this point. I don't think he's like anyone else, maybe ever. If you are going to do that, though, I don't see why he would fit into the Zambrano "path" anymore than I could see him fitting into the Clemens path (check out his innings pitched totals when he was 23 to 26).


Agreed.

The probability of someone who already suffered a major injury is far more likely to get injured again. People tend to forget what happened 2-3 years ago if a pitcher puts a healthy season coming in. I would put Nolasco way up there.

Lincecum's delivery is very unorthodox so we have no idea what the long term effects will be. Personally I think he is just a freak and will be fine.

Two other guys that come to mind are David Price and Joba Chamberlain. I think they are a bit risky in terms of injury but very few people seem to be.
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Re: What Young Pitcher Blows a Shoulder First

Postby Neato Torpedo » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:52 pm

Ender wrote:
I don't see why he would fit into the Zambrano "path" anymore than I could see him fitting into the Clemens path (check out his innings pitched totals when he was 23 to 26).


Well i was saying I think it is more likely that he wears his arm out at a young age than having shoulder or elbow problems because of his delivery, not that he doesn't have a chance to stay healthy.

That is such a 21st century mindset. :-b Thousands of pitchers have had careers following the normal age curve after throwing 227+ innings. It's less about pitch count and more about mechanics and inherent fragility. Zambrano, for example, has been known to tinker with his mechanics a lot which really messes with his effectiveness, consistency, and ability to revert back to the pitcher he once was. By now, he has a lot of long term wear and tear from his ill-advised experimentation with amateur biomechanics. Harden is just naturally injury prone despite good mechanics and not being used a ton in his youth, as is evidenced by the fact that he can simply turn it on and be extremely effective between injuries.

Lince, on the other hand, has very good mechanics (in case you haven't heard :-b) and to this point hasn't been injury prone in high school, college, or at the professional level. A high pitch count increase is more dangerous than simply a high pitch count, but Lince has been throwing a ton of pitches all his life, just like the many successful pitchers from the 1970s and before, when guys would just dive in and throw 280+ MLB innings at age 22. Even so, pitch count is only dangerous when compounded with the other two factors and is a much lesser risk by itself. It's the same case with pitchers that rely on breaking pitches, if they throw a lot of curves and have poor mechanics, it compounds the problem. If they throw a lot of curves and have good mechanics, no one is worried about them. Lince isn't a "freak of nature" or "unique" to the history of baseball, and endurance of the nature that many are predicting isn't even close to being unheard of. He's just another run-of-the-mill insanely good pitcher that we see only a couple times in a generation.

Though I do agree that Nolasco is an injury risk. It's not the pitch count that worries me most, it's the fact that he's one year removed from a major elbow injury. He's less of a risk to blow his shoulder out IMO, as the thread is about, but maybe we can expand the topic to elbows too?
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Re: What Young Pitcher Blows a Shoulder First

Postby Ender » Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:13 pm

That is such a 21st century mindset. :-b Thousands of pitchers have had careers following the normal age curve after throwing 227+ innings


And I never said they didn't, I never said Lincecum was going to get hurt or lose effectiveness so I fail to see the problem here? I said Licecum is MORE likely to follow a path of early ineffectiveness due to innings THAN to blow out his shoulder or elbow. His mechanics are very sound so I don't worry as much about the major injury out of him. We don't KNOW how the innings are going to effect him, he might be one of those guys who are just fine with them, he might be the type that they aren't fine. I'm saying IF the innings do end up derailing things I expect it to follow the slow decline path rather than the traumatic injury path.

It was a response to him including Lincecum in his list, not me listing Lincecum as one of the guys I'm overly worried about right now but if he starts to slip some say 3 years from now I'll start to avoid him pretty quickly. Of course he gets drafted in the first 3 rounds so I'll never own him in the first place.
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Re: What Young Pitcher Blows a Shoulder First

Postby Havok1517 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:17 pm

Volquez is likeky the guy to blowup. Dusty pitched the crap out of him last year at such a young age. He was in Single-A not too long ago.
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Re: What Young Pitcher Blows a Shoulder First

Postby Kingctb27 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:56 pm

Here's a fun fact.

All young pitchers are injury risks.
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Re: What Young Pitcher Blows a Shoulder First

Postby Pogotheostrich » Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:59 pm

Fixed. :-D
Kingctb27 wrote:Here's a fun fact.

All pitchers are injury risks.
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