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Postby uanap » Sun Jun 16, 2002 1:06 am

Ok, I've been reading some posts and I have to admit I'm rather curious why everyone is so interested in trading RJ. He's, at worst, the second best pitcher out there. Let me clear up some of your confusion for you.

First of all, he's NOT hurt. The reason he has been "struggling" is that he is working with a splitter and has had some problems with his curve. But he's well passed that now. Even with his supposed problems he's still a top pitcher. I dont know why everyone is gambling on trading him away beacuse he might get hurt. Guess what, ANYONE could get hurt at anytime.

One more point. I'm sure everyone has been looking at his strikeout numbers as well and wondering why they are so low. The reason they are so low this year is that he is trying to lessen his pitch counts by getting more batters to hit the ball on the ground. A la Maddux and Schilling. He's trying to save himself for the end of the season and beyond.

I hope I helped you out and cleared up some confusion. I just cant believe that there are so many people willing to part with probably the most dominant pitcher out there. I wish the team in my league that has Randy wanted to trade him.
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Postby Arlo » Mon Jun 17, 2002 2:09 pm

Point taken (points, actually :-D ). Trading based on an injury that might or might not happen does not make sense, especially when you're talking about one of the league's premiere players. I don't really see him as struggling, either - both his numbers and the way he's handled himself on the mound seem fine to me.

Still, it's understandable that Unit owners are getting a tad nervous about his tremendous workload, especially those who follow stress factors or one of the many variations thereof. Johnson is at the very top of most of these stress lists, and that, while it obviously doesn't mean he's going to break down, isn't exactly where you want to see your ace. I admit that the Unit's pitch counts have taken me a bit by surprise - especially with all the talk that the D-Backs want to make absolutely sure he'll be in top shape come playoff time.

Aside: What does everyone think of these stress ratings? They're certainly en vogue in the fantasy community this season. Are they useful? Long-term or short-term? Or are they just a weak attempt to predict the unpredictable?
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Postby timkell » Mon Jun 17, 2002 11:21 pm

I think the stress ratings are worth while for young pitchers, but I think they're meaningless for guys over 30. 100 pitches used to be nothing. I don't know what Bob Gibson's usual pitch counts were, but I bet it was way more than 100.

The Unit has been throwing a ton of pitches for the last 5 years. It doesn't matter. Here's something from Sporting News:
Randy Johnson shows no signs of slowing down at age 38. He still relies on two devastating pitches, a 98 mph (or more) fastball and a slider that can get up to 90 mph and breaks onto a righthander hitter's shoe tops.
All this comes from a three-quarter's arm angle that keeps many lefties out of the lineup the day he pitches.
But Johnson is a pitcher, not just a thrower. He has incorporated a two-seam (sinking) fastball and a split-finger pitch into his repertoire. He can use the two-seamer to get a grounder with men on base and the splitter as a changeup, each just a few times a game.
Normal pitch-count guidelines seem not to apply to Johnson. He can throw 120-130 pitches and come back five days later at normal strength."

Johnson will evetually break down, as all pitchers do, but there is no reason to expect it to happen this season.
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