Skin Blues wrote:Is there any research done on these innings pitched increases, pitch count limits, and all that? I'm not being facetious, I'm seriously wondering. I assume there is a huge amount of variance on how certain IP counts affect different players. Starting a dozen games and throwing 80 IP is certainly different than being a reliever and throwing 80 IP. Not to mention relievers warm up more often than they actually pitch, they pitch back-to-back days, etc. This whole "limit him to 170" thing seems very arbitrary and a bunch of anecdotal hocus pocus, if you ask me. There certainly should be concern with over-use, but intuitively a guy throwing 120 pitches every 5 days and being shut down in August is far more harmful than consistently throwing 100 pitches every 5 days all season. So many variables to account for. So is there any actual data on this? It can't be hard for somebody with the resources to run the numbers.
The 'Verducci Effect'
Here is an article before last seasonhttp://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/w ... ml?eref=T1
And the one before this seasonhttp://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/w ... index.html
This really doesn't answer my questions at all. It's anecdotal and most of those pitchers had good years. His top 5 "riskiest pitchers" for 2009 all had very good seasons well within the expected range, including the NL Cy Young winner and a 22 year old Clayton Kershaw that ended up with 2.79 ERA in 30 starts. Jon Lester increased his K/9 from 6.5 to 10.0 (!!!) while his BB rate stayed identical, over 32 starts. And these are the absolute WORST CASE scenarios according to Verducci. It seems like a bunch of voodoo to me, and I'd like to see some actual research. In no way is it logical or useful to assume all innings are comparable to each other, which is the fatal flaw of this theory. Picking arbitrary division points (Jan 1 to December 31) is silly when pitchers pitch all year round, in fall leagues, winter leagues, playoffs, spring training, etc. There is at least some logic to the idea that younger pitchers shouldn't be pushed too far in a single game, such as 90 or 100 pitches. But if a guy is going out throwing 95 pitches per game every 5 days, it's not logical to assume he should be shut down once he hits an arbitrary amount of innings. This is assuming innings in March and April have a bearing on his innings in September and October, yet not vice versa. Basically, this is very rudimentary, and not something I would expect to see blindly accepted by a group such as this one. Injuries and drops in production are extremely common with all pitchers, so it's easy to tie a meaningless measure to a catchy title like "The Verducci Effect".
So I ask again... is there any actual data available on this? Something reputable? Or is everybody content with a quick and dirty method of looking at innings pitched totals for a given calendar year?