Tom Verducci of SI has posted his annual ‘Year After Effect’ post which poses that young pitchers who threw more than 30 innings last year than they had the year before as injury risks. I had reference this theory as part of my risky pitchers tests. For those who haven’t read this and are too lazy to click on it now…..or even now….I did find that significant pitching volume increases year-over-year does seem to have a carry-0ver effect but pitchers who threw high percentages of breaking pitches were more vulnerable (and a combination even worse).
A quick comparison of Verducci’s 10 vs. my risky pitchers shows the following:
- 3 pitchers we agree are risks (Lester, Pelfrey, Eveland)
- 5 pitchers that I feel can handle it because of their pitch mix (i.e., lack of breaking pitches), body type, or irrational exuberance (Hamels, Billingsley, Lincecum, Danks, Jurrjens)
- 2 pitchers I didn’t touch on – Kershaw (didn’t have enough major league pitches to qualify) and Niese (Met pitcher who didn’t make the team out of spring training)
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. Verducci does claim a high level of success (“Of those 24 at-risk pitchers, 16 were hurt in that same season. Only one of the 24 pitchers managed to stay healthy and lower his ERA”) but does ‘healthy’ mean makes every single start? For fantasy purposes, if Hamels misses 5 starts and pitches as effective as last year, that’s not going to disappoint drafters. Peavy was injured in 2008 but the part that really hurt was his team wouldn’t score for him so his Wins tanked.
While on the subject of Verducci, I never voiced a POV on his book with Joe Torre – ‘The Yankee Years’. I enjoyed it. I think Torre was sincere in his comments (on other people) and Verducci did a good job writing and reporting around him. The three things that still resonate are:
1) It’s surprising that Joe Torre put his name on a book like this. He seemed the ‘keep it in the locker room” type. This book takes swipes at several players not to Torre’s liking. The A-Rod stuff, in particular, goes well beyond what is necessary (forgetting the A-Fraud nickname).
2) Joe Torre could’ve aimed his candor a little more at himself. How could he not admit that he mismanaged bullpens and/or his success is completely dependent on having 1-2 rubber-armed middle relievers in his bullpen (like Jeff Nelson and Mike Stanton in 1996-2000)? Torre must fantasize about a guy like Scot Shields.
3) Mike Mussina definitely doesn’t pull punches. See this quote on Mariano Rivera. I remember some other pretty harsh quotes about less likable fellows like Carl Pavano. Definitely interesting to read but makes you wonder what he was really like as a teammate.