On Strasburg remaining healthy and productive
June 11th, 2010 by czar

I don’t see why the odds of Strasburg flaming out are any different than Kerry Wood.

Was there anywhere close to as much A) money invested in Kerry Wood, B) national media hype, and most importantly C) FO scrutiny, innings caps, about 50 team doctors following his every ailment?

LoBC brought up a conversation we had in SoSH fantasy draft last year about young pitchers vs. old pitchers. I didn’t disagree with the notion that pitchers with long-term track records are equally or more risky than you young players; however, I felt that using historical data points from previous generations is a bit short-sighted given the monumental shift that has occurred with major league pitching over the last 20 years. My logic is that the knowledge of avoiding injuries (and treating them) has grown IMMENSELY over the past few decades. There are now FO employees whose sole job is to research the most efficient way to bring a young pitcher up through the minors and curtail their usage earlier on in their major league career.

Players who have reached the 300 win plateau have (as JoePas hit on) traditionally won many of their games beyond the age of 32-34. This (as also pointed out) is primarily due to attrition; for every Jamie Moyer or Phil Niekro, history is littered with 10 other young phenoms with equal (or better) pitching ability who flamed out due to injury or opportunity or whatever.

The emphasis on restricting innings early in a career, pitch counts throughout a given season, the five-man rotation a strict rotational rest, and bullpen specialization (etc.) all will contribute to it being very difficult for pitchers in this era to reach 300 wins at a clip anywhere near those of the previous generations. HOWEVER, all these factors are designed to help keep starting pitchers fresh and healthy so teams can maximize their (growing) investments in young phenoms like Strasburg– it could end up being the saving grace to keep young pitchers healthy and effective beyond the first few years of their career.

Posted in Message Board Ramblings

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  • Traversing the land that is known as Red Sox Nation, The Czar Who Wears Red Sox is an attempt at compiling a repertoire of my ever-so-sexy forum posts (when I'm too lazy to write my own damn entry) and other random baseball thoughts that strike. For those whose posts serve as the inspiration of my epiphanies and rants, do not be angry, but merely, be honored that you have achieved such status. Names will never be revealed. Feedback appreciated, as this is a work in progress.

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