There are exceptions to the Verducci rule

Pimping the RAB peripherals
And so it begins...

For years now, Tom Verducci has studied the workload placed on young starters, and how dramatic increases in workload can lead to injury. As most baseball fans know by now, Verducci’s research claims that starters under age 25 are more prone to injury if they exceed their previous year’s innings total by over 30. Each year he identifies the young starters who took the biggest jump in workload and places them under the spotlight. Last year we saw Dustin McGowan go down with a season-ending rotator cuff injury.

Verducci leads off this year’s selection with a conversation he had with Mike Pelfrey, who apparently is familiar with Verducci’s theory (or what he terms a “rule of thumb”). With a 48-inning jump from 2007 to 2008, the Mets right-hander was a shoe-in for this year’s list. Yet he doesn’t think he’s going to fall victim like so many have in the past. Working in his favor, he believes, are his age, 25, and his size, 6’7″. Verducci responds:

“You’ve got a point,” I told him. After all, the dude is big. “I believe the bigger your frame and the older you are — guys near 25 are different from a guy who is 21 — can be mitigating circumstances. They probably put you at less risk — but still at risk.”

“I threw 140 innings at Wichita State — in three months,” Pelfrey said.

“Good point,” I said. “That’s still not 200.”

“The other thing is I bet I went through a lot more stress in 2007 than I did last year,” Pelfrey said. “It seemed like I constantly had runners on in 2007, and I really worked to improve my efficiency. So I might have thrown more innings, but I didn’t have all those innings with runners on base and high pitch counts.”

The last paragraph is the really interesting one. Innings are an inexact measure of workload. No number can give you a real look at a pitcher’s workload — not innings, not pitches, not even Baseball Prospectus’s Pitcher Abuse Points. Pitches and innings surely play a part, but when factors like when the pitches were thrown and how many of them were thrown at once come into play, you get a different picture of a pitcher’s stress level.

Jeff at Lookout Landing covered this a couple of years ago when the Mariners wanted to take this approach with Felix Hernandez:

It’s exactly how a young pitcher should be treated. Counting innings is what’s silly; 200 frames for Gil Meche are way different than 200 frames for, say, Roy Halladay, and the total barely even gives you an approximation of workload and stress level. It’s something of a barometer, since a guy with 100 innings will generally have less wear and tear than someone with twice as many, but it’s incredibly inefficient, to the point where it’s not even worth monitoring when there are better alternatives available. Which there are.

Innings sometimes provide a ballpark estimate, but pitch context and mechanical consistency tell you much much more. If Pitcher A throws 90 pitches and allows ten baserunners in five innings, while Pitcher B throws 110 pitches and allows six baserunners in seven innings, Pitcher A’s going to be doing more damage to himself, since he’s working in more stressful situations. That’s what wears a guy out and puts him at risk for injury – having to focus on every individual pitch with men on is way more tiring than cruising through the bottom of the order with the bases empty. That much we know. So why not account for it when you’re keeping track of a young pitcher’s progress?

I’m sure many teams employ these methods to ensure the health of their young pitchers. The Red Sox are known for administering strength tests throughout the season to make sure their players aren’t breaking down. Apparently Jon Lester, who tops the 2009 Verducci list with an 83.1 inning increase, passed all of his tests last year, so this will be an interesting study. If Lester holds up, you can bet a few more teams will implement a system like the Sox.

Other notables on the list include Cole Hamels, who pitched 79 more innings than in 2007. Hamels had elbow trouble this spring and missed his Opening Day start, though he won’t go on the DL. The NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum is No. 4 with a 49.2 inning increase.

While not an infallible rule, Verducci does note his success in the recent past. Over the past three seasons he’s identified 24 pitchers he’s considered at-risk. Of them 16 were hurt in the season he identified. Further, only one both avoided injury and saw a lower ERA in the Verducci season (Ubaldo Jimenez of the Rockies, for anyone interested). So while some might complain that the Yankees are babying Joba Chamberlain with his innings limit, it’s in place for good reason.

It comes as a relief that no Yankees made this list this year. Ian Kennedy did make it last year, and as we saw he went down with an injury, though it’s tough to say whether it had anything to do with his innings increase. You know what they say about correlation and causation.

Pimping the RAB peripherals
And so it begins...
  • steve (different one)

    While not an infallible rule, Verducci does note his success in the recent past. Over the past three seasons he’s identified 24 pitchers he’s considered at-risk. Of them 16 were hurt in the season he identified.

    of course, not all of the injuries were arm injuries…

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      I don’t think it necessarily has to be an arm injury to count. Pitching puts stress on many parts of the body. For instance, if Tim Lincecum goes down with a back injury, do we say that it’s not part of the Verducci effect because it’s not his arm? I don’t think so. Many have said since the day Timmy was drafted that he’s more of a back injury risk than an arm injury risk because of the massive torso convulsions in his mechanics.

      • KW

        This is a point I think a lot of people don’t consider. It’s similar to a lot of sports, where stress accumulates in a lot of points on the body, not just necessarily the parts constantly in motion. The entire body has to be in tune and in sync and any part of the body is susceptible to breakdown at any point in time.

        This goes hand in hand with the concept of injury risks. Players who seemingly become injured in vastly different parts of the body, or who recover slowly, should be considered injury risks, even if they aren’t hurt in the same part of the body repeatedly or in areas that seemingly aren’t in common use (or considered “freak”).

      • steve (different one)

        yes, your point is valid. but…

        for example, Carmona strained his hip covering first base.

        he was included in the list. he shouldn’t be.

        Yovani Gallardo had a collision at 1B and tore his ACL. another person that shouldn’t be on the list.

        it artificially pads Verducci’s case.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Yovani Gallardo had a collision at 1B and tore his ACL. another person that shouldn’t be on the list.

          Yes, but if he hadn’t been so fatigued from all those innings, he surely would have covered first more nimbly and dodged that collision.

          (No? Not really? Eh, I tried.)

          • Chris

            It is possible that the stress from the added innings made him more likely to tear his ACL in the collision. If he hadn’t put so much stress on his body the previous year, then the collision would have simply resulted in a bruise or no injury at all.

            Just because we don’t know exactly how A causes B doesn’t mean that the relationship doesn’t exist.

            • steve (different one)

              yes, you are correct, we don’t know.

              but think this is a reach.

              • Chris

                The bigger problem is that we know nothing about the mechanism that causes the year-after-effect. Why do the problems only start the year after the increase instead of seeing a decline as the pitcher tires at the end of the season?

            • A.D.

              It would be pretty far out there, the likely scenario is that he would have had no knee issue if he hadn’t had a collision at 1B.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                Yeah, I was totally kidding.

                Please don’t think I was seriously implying a causality between Gallardo’s innings count and his non-throwing injury.

                Just being a dumbass.

                • A.D.

                  I was responding to Chris, who I’m pretty sure was serious.

              • Chris

                Also remember that he injured his left knee in spring training and had to go on the 15 day DL. It was after he came back from that injury that he had the collision and missed most of the season.

                Of course, if he hadn’t blown out his knee, then he obviously would have had arm problems within a few starts.

  • A.D.

    Damn, 140 innings in 3 months, that’s just nuts

    • Mike Pop

      That’s like 1890’s pitching right there.

      • Chris

        Sandy Koufax threw 140 innings between May 10 and July 14 1966. And did it with an ERA of 1.35. And you wonder why he never pitched after age 30.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          And you wonder why he never pitched after age 30.

          I just assumed it was because he was a Jew.

        • KW

          Well, he was derailed by arthritis, and there’s not really a proven link between usage and arthritis.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      That’s a little high, but not a completely ridiculously workload for a college ace on an elite team. Price threw 133 IP as a junior.

  • A.D.

    Be interesting on Joba if other pitchers get injured. Right now it all works out, because there are times that it works out to skip a start, but if pitchers go down and the replacements are so/so (hopefully not with the pitching depth, will they lean on Joba more to make all the starts.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      I don’t know if they’d do that. I think the Yankees would be more concerned with keeping Joba healthy for the long term than making up for a few injuries.

      Speaking of exceptions: it just flurried on my walk back from a canceled class. It’s April 8. WTF, Mother Nature?

      • andrew

        But! But!!! global warming!!11!11!!1!!

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

          If you really want to get into it, it’s not warming in the sense of a temperature increase. It’s global climate change in a way that disrupts a carefully balanced ecosystem. But that’s not completely off-topic.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            True. Global warming also causes increased temperature fluctuations, i.e. more strangely cold days in the spring and fall and more strangely warm days in the winter.

            • andrew

              Thanks guys… I never was a science guy.

              • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                Hey Mr. Science Guy, don’t spray that aerosol in my eyes. I don’t…I don’t really wanna die. I’m a noble rabbit.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  What is your damage, little boy?

        • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi
      • MattG

        I remember a 26″ blizzard when I was in second (I think) grade. My parents have a picture of me sitting on a frozen hedge in front of our house.

        It was 1976 or so, and it was Easter break, so it happens.

      • jsbrendog

        it is snowing in midtown. dubya tee eff

    • kunaldo

      this is a bit off topic, sorta…but in reference to joba, werent we skipping him the first time through the rotation? I’m pretty sure i saw that when peteabe had listed the order a little while ago…

      oh and i’m wondering this now b/c on the yankees website it says that joba is pitching on saturday, meaning he wasnt skipped

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

        He was always supposed to start on Saturday the 11th for his first start. The order from now on, after the skip, will be CC-Joba-Wang-Burnett-Pettitte.

        http://riveraveblues.com/2009/03/duncan-survives-first-day-in-the-outfield-9442/#comment-310951

        • kunaldo

          Matt, I don’t know if I’m missing something, but the comment you linked to shows CC pitching on saturday the 11th, and joba on sunday…while the yankees article i’m referencing says the opposite…

          • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

            Hmm, I guess I’m missing something, too, then.

            • kunaldo

              yeah, espn has the same thing on their probable starters…maybe they just don’t know the dealie…slackers

          • A.D.

            Its odd, everything pointed to CC on Sat, not Joba. My guess is the Yankee’s website is wrong, but there’s a chance after his bad outing they wanted to give CC an extra day off, however that seems doubtful as all signs pointed to the Yanks wanting CC to open up the new building, not Joba.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        this is a bit off topic, sorta…but in reference to joba, werent we skipping him the first time through the rotation?… i’m wondering this now b/c on the yankees website it says that joba is pitching on saturday, meaning he wasnt skipped

        He was skipped the first time through the rotation: yesterday, Tuesday, our off day. That was his skip day.

        It’s a misnomer to say that the rotation is
        1) CC 2) Wang 3) AJ 4) Pettitte 5) Joba
        … the rotation is really
        1) CC 2) Joba 3) Wang 4) AJ 5) Pettitte

        We just lined up the rotation in a way that allowed us to put Joba’s first turn in the rotation on the dark day on our opening week schedule so that we can skip him the first turn through the rotation without taking anybody else off their normal routine.

        • kunaldo

          that makes sense, although I honestly remember the “official”(or whatever peteabe had reported) rotation had it lined up differently…

          but touche, tsjc

  • MattG

    It has been apparent to me for a few years that both the Red Sox and Yankees are using some proprietary methods to nurture their pitching. I am not surprised to learn of the Red Sox’s ‘stress tests.’ Both the Yankees and Red Sox have been able to deliver their pitching to the majors with a superb success rate. While I realize many of those pitchers have both been injured, none are in danger of having their careers derailed from arm injuries…yet.

    This is a new development in baseball–and I am sure it cuts much deeper than inning and pitch counts.

    • anonymous

      Detroit laughs at our silly methods.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Detroit’s method:
        1) Pitch our pitchers until their arms fall off
        2) Wait for federal bailout

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

          3) Make medical diagnoses based on incredibly unrelated tests.

          Detroit Free Press headline tomorrow: Verlander diagnosed with elbow tendinitis after urinalysis.

        • Clayton

          Pittsburgh’s Method:
          1) Pitch our pitchers until their arms fall off in the minors
          2) ???
          3) Profit!

          • jsbrendog

            the underpants gnomes

  • yankeefan91 arod fan

    Ubaldo jimenez is just f…… nasty.

  • Steve

    I think Melancon is a good example of the pitcher that does not necessarily correlate # of innings with workload. He was just coming back from injury last year, yet went way up in his inning count because he was able to keep his pitch count down.

    • Drew

      I don’t think he applies here. He only pitched 7 innings before getting injured two years ago. Sticking to a 30 inning jump for his next pitching season would’ve meant resting him like a starter even though he only pitches 2 innings per game.
      Speaking of Melancon, why the hell does chone and the other one have him above a 4.5 era. I know it’s AAA but come on!!

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

        Those are projections for the Major League level.

        • Drew

          Ohh okay. Thanks

      • A.D.

        Well obviously a 30 inning jump wouldn’t have done much, but Melancon threw 95 innings last year, many more that one would expect from a reliever.

        Steve has that right in that Melancon mowed through a lot of batter last year, and thus sometimes threw less pitches then they wanted him too in an inning, and thus they sent him out for a 2nd or 3rd inning of work.

  • Mike Pop

    He tell his buddy Joe Torre to be careful with Kershaw, McDonald, and that pen?

    That’s why Beimel got out of there.

    • jsbrendog

      /TORRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Coming to bookshelves 2014:

        “The Dodger Years: How my friendship with Tom Verducci was ruined over his stupid rule”
        (Coauthored by Mitch Albom)

        • anonymous

          2022:

          “Why we lose: The Cubbie Years” (Coauthored by Pitching Coach Scott Proctor)

  • Tseng

    The most alarming thing about that article is the number of pitchers from that list I own on my fantasy teams.

    • andrew

      Agreed, it was very stressful reading that list.. but then again, when you’re talking about fantasy teams in the plural, chances are you’re going to be owning a lot of guys who pitched a lot of innings last year. No need to worry, you’re in the same boat with the rest of us. And yes, you’re on a boat.

  • tim randle

    when tracking turbine engine maintenance, they not only look at hours (pitches) but starts (innings).

    we know there is a cool down/warm up issue with pitchers–we see it all the time for rain delays, long innings, etc. heck…if you through 7 efficient innings you have to through 35-49 warm up pitches!

    i’m sure there is some perfect algorithm with type of pitch, standard deviation of velocity tailored to that pitch, innings (by length of rest), games started, etc.

    any candidates for phd in stats out there looking for a thesis?

    most importantly, 11 year olds should not throw curve balls.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      most importantly, 11 year olds should not throw curve balls.

      Yes. Yes. One thousand times YES. I umpire over the summers and constantly tell the kids that they don’t need to throw a curveball when they’re that young. They can easily get by to high school with just fastball/changeup.

      • Mike Pop

        I’ve had carpell tunnel ever since I started throwing curves at 13. That might of been the reason….

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

          No…that’s just ’cause you’re less of a man than most people.

        • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Hmmm… 13, you say? I’m sure it was caused by all the nasty curves you were throwing.

          • Whitey14

            That’s awesome dude!

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Semen related costs run into the thousands every year

            That’s what SHE said!!!

          • Mike Pop

            Suck it Mondesi, suck it long and suck it hard.

            • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              Ok Ok too many responses!

              1. That’s what she said!

              2. Ew. Not that there’s anything wrong with it… People’s personal sexual preferences are nobody’s business but their own.

              3. That’s what Mrs. Popavero said!

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                3. That’s what Mrs. Popavero said!

                Saw that one coming a mile away.

                And yes, that’s also what she said.

                • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  I know, it was too easy.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  See, if I was Pop, this would have been my comeback:

                  —————————————–

                  That’s what Mrs. Mr. Popavero said!

                  Fixed. You LOVE the cock.

                • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Hold on, I’m confused… Wouldn’t that “fix” mean that Pop would be calling his dad gay?

                  And I prefer this:

                  Fixed. You LOVE theose gamecock ladies.

                • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Ha, that sucked. Should have linked here: http://tinyurl.com/cvhc7q

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Hold on, I’m confused… Wouldn’t that “fix” mean that Pop would be calling his dad gay?

                  Perhaps. But you’d be gay too, that’s good enough. Can’t make an omlete without breaking some eggs.

                  Besides, I’m sure Pop’s dad has a hot ladyfriend that he bangs on the side so as not to be all the way gay (like, for instance, Pop’s mom), but you, you’re 100% queer.

                  You love the cock.

                • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  I’m pickin’ up what you’re puttin’ down. Clarification appreciated.

                  Homophobia FTW!

      • andrew

        Tore my labrum throwing the curve when I was 16… It’s a tough situation though, so if I don’t throw the curve, I probably don’t have to end my pitching career,but I hadn’t developed a good change yet, so I wouldn’t have been pitching on varsity in the first place without the curve.

    • Rick in Boston

      The youth league I coach in has a rule that says any curveball will be called a ball automatically.

  • Bo

    Hamels is only on this list because of the post season and I think the Philly org will take the exchange of a title for Hamels being treated with care early in the year.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      Even without the playoffs he made a 44-inning jump, so he would have made the list anyway.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      Actually, just counting the regular season, Hamels went up 44 innings so even w/o the post season. Counting the ’08 playoffs, Hamels jumped up 79 innings.

  • MJ

    To try and predict injuries or say a certain inning count over the previous years inning count will lead to injury is absolutely idiotic.

    Every human reacts differently and every pitchers ride through the majors is different. Different training methods, development, pitches, and coaches. All injuries are at random and no inning count is going to determine injuries.

    Some people can pitch 300 innings with no problem at all and some people just don’t have the body to handle those type of workloads. Innings obviously have no affect on Sabathia, but have a serious affect on Mark Prior.

    It’s all random. I hope no one wastes their time with this stuff.

    • steve (different one)

      yes, every pitcher is different.

      that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t study everything you possibly can to try to come up with ways to prevent injuries. that’s crazy.

      • jsbrendog

        youre like mondesi with the reply omment. and i love it.

        you are the sure, what you said is true, but youre dumb if you think its blatantly true without examining said new method of science/stats that breaks it down and tries to eplain why it is true and that it might/might not actually be true.

        well played.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      It’s all random. I hope no one wastes their time with this stuff.

      Yes, injuries are all random. However, to totally ignore/write off attempts at studying patterns of injury is pretty “idiotic” as well. Verducci is at least trying to gain an understanding of something that has seemed random. The more we investigate the issue, the less random it will become. If there’s no study done, how can we gain any sense of understanding? Wouldn’t it be a good thing to collect as much data as possible to predict injury to young, valuable commodities?

      • MJ

        I’m all for studying to protect the young. Who knows….maybe if Mark Prior was trained better at the beginning he would have had 5 Cy Youngs by now.

        It just seems impossible to measure. A guy like Greg Maddux would never have any problems with innings pitched and a guy like Prior can’t pitch more than 20 innings a season. Maddux could probably pitch every 5 days for 12 months of a year and never lose his edge.

        Maybe if they could find some medical research related to pitchers body structure/muscle tissue/joints, that could show how fragile he is. Then great, limit his innings.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          It just seems impossible to measure. A guy like Greg Maddux would never have any problems with innings pitched and a guy like Prior can’t pitch more than 20 innings a season. Maddux could probably pitch every 5 days for 12 months of a year and never lose his edge.

          So, your evidence that the Verducci rule is dumb is… Greg Maddux.

          Allow me to quote the title of Joe’s post:

          There are exceptions to the Verducci rule

    • Chris

      So you’re advocating just pitching everyone as many innings as they can, and hoping they can do it?

      You’re right that not every pitcher will be affected by a significant innings increase, but most will and there’s no way to tell the difference right now.

      • MJ

        Chris, they pitch every 5 days. They get the rest needed inbetween starts and there are already measures in place for every team that if a pitcher feels any sort of pain/fatigue, they skip a start or get medically reviewed.

        I’m advocating pitching everyone every five days and taking the necessary procedures to adjust their innings/starts based on how they feel week-to-week.

        • Chris

          But this problem isn’t a week to week issue. It depends on the workload from season to season. As far as I know, there generally aren’t any indications the prior season, so just monitoring between starts won’t help.

          If you take the approach you’re suggesting, then you’ll have a lot of injured pitchers. Of course there will be some guys that can handle it and will succeed, but most of your pitchers will breakdown with injuries.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      To try and predict injuries or say a certain inning count over the previous years inning count will lead to injury is absolutely idiotic.

      To try and predict volcano eruptions or say a certain seismic activity over a certain time period will lead to an cataclysmic natural disaster is absolutely idiotic.

      Sincerely,
      Bobby Jindal, Governor of the State Devastated by Hurricane Katrina

      • Bobby Jindal

        Sincerely,
        Bobby Jindal Kathleen Blanco, Governor of the State during the Devastation by Hurricane Katrina

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          A) We don’t post under pseudonyms anymore. Show your face.
          B) Yes, Bobby Jindal wasn’t governor during Katrina. But Kathleen Blanco wasn’t dumb enough to go on national TV and pooh-pooh early warning systems. Bobby Jindal is the governor of a state that was devastated by a force of nature and is still recovering. How that guy whose job it is to help New Orleans recover things weather early warning systems are a bad idea that we should defund is beyond me.

          Bobby Jindal picking a fight with USGS or NOAA = bad idea jeans and non-delicious irony

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            “How that guy whose job it is to help New Orleans recover things thinks weather early warning systems are a bad idea that we should defund is beyond me.”

            Whoops!

          • Clayton

            Well, volcano monitoring and early warning weather systems are too very different things. Also, his quote was in relation to the economic stimulus bill.

            Now I completely agree that money needs to be funded towards early warning weather detection and volcano watching and that his wording was stupid.

            However, the point about volcano watching being in the stimulus bill still stands. And $140 millions seems like a lot to spend on any system.

  • Babe’s Ghost

    Thanks MJ, I feel the same way. If statistics don’t provide complete certainty then they’re bunk!

    Wanna join my weekly poker game? We could use another player.

    • MJ

      Sorry, I have more important tables to play. Doubt you play the stakes I do.

      • steve (different one)

        BURN!!!!

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    Not to sound too much like Old Ranger, but Bob Feller came back from World War II, at the age of 27, and threw 370+ innings after missing basically the last 4 years. He pitched great that year, but for the next 11 years he was just a decent pitcher instead of an elite one.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Feller kept his arm in top shape by throwing about 310 innings of coconut baseball during every year he spent onboard the USS Alabama.

    • Mike Pop

      I miss Old Ranger ;(……

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Yeah, where is he? Hope he didn’t die on us…

        • Mike Pop

          He’s prepping for Gardner. He loves Brett more than Brett’s mother.

          • Andy In Sunny Daytona

            I miss the tales of remembering a player “a few years back” by the name of “insert hall-of-famer” who could “list accomplishment” and Brett Gardner reminds him of them.

            • jsbrendog

              indeed

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Especially since that “few years back” is invariably at least 50+ years back.

      • jsbrendog

        agreed. he was like the fatherly voice of reason

        • Andy In Sunny Daytona

          He was like the fatherly voice of exaggeration.

          • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Be nice, Old Ranger’s a pim…I mean Old Ranger’s the man.

            • Andy In Sunny Daytona

              He’s the Bee’s Knees.

              • Mike Pop

                Hellz yea!

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                He’s the Bee’s Knees.

                Any of the rest of you chaps suddenly have a mean hankering for a tall, neat glass of sarsaparilla?

                • Andy In Sunny Daytona

                  23 skadoo, yet bet I do.

            • Whitey14

              He’ll pop in when you least expect him….

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                He’ll pop in when you least expect him….

                “That’s what–”
                Brian: “Peter, if you say ‘That’s what she said’ one more time, I’m gonna pop you.”

                • http://dylankidd@earthlink.net dkidd

                  he’ll blow it open on jackson’s granny

  • MJ

    So, how many wins do people expect Joba to get this year? Considering he’s starting against every other teams weakest pitcher.

    I’ll take a stab at…….14-6.

    • MJ

      Btw, hopefully I get to witness Joba in person this weekend in Kansas City. Heading down for the Royals-Yankees matchup on Saturday. Fifth game of the season and obviously our Ace is the fifth man of the rotation. Him and Teixiera, probably have a heart attack.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Considering he’s starting against every other teams weakest pitcher.

      He’s probably not.

      Like we’ve said before, the rotation is effectively CC-Joba-Wang-Burnett-Pettitte.

      Joba stands likely to face a lot of #2 starters, not a lot of #5 starters. Unless they juggle the rotation at some point down the line due to rainouts and such, Pettitte is currently lined up as our #5.

    • Expired Milk

      If he does make this reported 30 starts, I see atleast 12 wins with a low to mid 3 era.

  • Thomas A. Anderson

    I love the xkcd reference. Best webcomic on the interweb.