Chamberlain makes Verducci’s at-risk pitchers list

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Over the past three years the Yankees have employed Joba Rules to one degree or another. In 2007 it prevented him from pitching on back-to-back days. In 2008 it meant him starting the season in the bullpen. In 2009, most frustratingly, it led to three-inning starts in August. The Yankees had the best of intentions in mind, of course. Joba had just 15 minor league starts, about 88 total innings, before making his Major League debut, and the team wanted to make sure they weren’t increasing his workload too quickly. There’s nothing wrong with trying to keep your pitchers healthy.

The recent obsession with innings limits originated with research conducted by Sport Illustrated’s Tom Verducci and then-Athletics pitching coach Rick Peterson. They found that pitchers aged 25 and younger who pitched more than 30 innings over their previous career high were at risk of performance drop-off or injury in the next year. Intuitively, the theory makes sense. Going from the couch to running five miles is a terrible idea. Runners will succeed more often if they start small and build up to those five miles. With data to back up the idea, teams could act by limiting their young starters’ innings.

Many fans might be frustrated, then, to see Joba Chamberlain appear on the 2010 Verducci list. Between the regular season and the playoffs Joba threw 163.2 innings. Verducci identifies that as an increase of 47.2 innings over his previous career high. So what gives? The Yankees went through so much trouble to keep Joba’s innings at a reasonable level. How can Joba still be listed as an at-risk pitcher?

An increase of 47.2 innings means that Verducci identified Joba’s career high as 116 innings. That comes from 2007, Joba’s first professional season, when he threw 88.1 minor league innings. 24 regular season ML innings, and 3.2 postseason innings. Looking at his Baseball Cube page, we can see that Joba threw 118.2 innings at Nebraska in 2005, followed by 89.1 innings in 2006. We can tack on 37.2 innings to his 2006 total, since he pitched in the Hawaiian league, bringing his total to 127. This morning, Mike mentioned that he threw another 45.1 innings in summer ball, the M.I.N.K. League (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas) in 2005, bringing his total that year to 164 innings.


Year IP
2005 164
2006 127
2007 116
2008 100.1
2009 163.2

The progression moves oddly for Joba. How do the Yankees determine his previous career high? Is it his absolute high, which occurred four years prior? Was it his first professional season, most of which he spent in the minors? What about the gap between his innings in 2006? The difference between his bullpen and his rotation innings in 2007 and 2008? The most important question, to me at least, is of the difference between college, minor league, fall league, summer league, and major league innings. The competition is different, but does that change how the pitcher works?

Not even Verducci himself can answer those questions. He admits that the Year After Effect is more a rule of thumb, a general guideline. Each pitcher has throws different pitches with varying amounts of force. Furthermore, each pitcher’s body reacts differently to the stress of pitching. Every year Verducci identifies at-risk pitchers who cruise through the season. Among that group from the 2009 list: Tim Lincecum, Clayton Kershaw, Jair Jurrjens, and Jon Lester. He also identifies five pitchers as confirming his rule, but Mike Pelfrey, Cole Hamels, Chad Billingsley, John Danks, and Dana Eveland spent a combined zero days on the disabled list in 2009. They didn’t perform to their 2008 levels, but that can also be attributed to them being young, relatively inexperienced pitchers.

None of us has any idea what’s in store for Joba health-wise in 2010. From what I can tell he’s missed time only twice in his career with injuries. First came at Nebraska in 2006, when his draft stock dropped because of triceps tendinitis. He again suffered from tendinitis in 2008, this time in his shoulder. Yes, he saw a sharp increase in his 2009 totals over his previous professional highs, but he has thrown that many innings before, and at a relatively high level. How will that play into his 2010 season? I’m comfortable saying that I don’t know.

Credit: AP Photo/Charles Krupa

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Sticking the new guy in left field
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  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    10 for ’10: “Young aces among those at risk of Verducci Effect” by Tom Verducci</b

    This title just comes off as self-aggrandizing douchieness.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Me trying to use bold lettering is even more douchey.

      Andy in Sunny Daytona = FAIL

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

      Well yeah it is Tom Verducci. The first man to discover that baby pitchers shouldn’t just be thrown to the wolves right away!!

    • bexarama

      The Michael Scott Story, by Michael Scott. (And Dwight Schrute.)

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      “Young aces among those at risk of Verducci Effect” by Tom Verducci

      Dr. Hibbert: You have an absolutely unique genetic condition known as “Homer Simpson Syndrome”.
      Homer Simpson: Oh, WHY ME!?!?

      • Rose

        Marge: Can’t you do something for him?
        Dr. Hibbert: Well, we can’t fix his heart, but we can tell you exactly how damaged it is.
        Homer: What an age we live in.

    • Chris

      In his defense, the editor often writes the headline. Not sure if that’s the case here, but it’s possible.

  • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

    Cole Hamels had the same peripherals in 2008 and 2009. He was a lot luckier in 2008 (and outperformed those peripherals) than 2009 and that seems to be the main difference.

    He’ll settle between the two, I’m just tired of seeing him pop up on lists like this.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      Well, since Hamels is now 26, he’s permanently ineligible for Verducci’s list. He’s a free man, if that makes you feel any better.

  • http://forums.projectcovo.com/images/smilies/e6omir.gif Do Not Feed The Trolls!

    Every year Verducci identifies at-risk pitchers who cruise through the season. Among that group from the 2009 list: Tim Lincecum, Clayton Kershaw, Jair Jurrjens, and Jon Lester. He also identifies five pitchers as confirming his rule, but Mike Pelfrey, Cole Hamels, Chad Billingsley, John Danks, and Dana Eveland spent a combined zero days on the disabled list in 2009. They didn’t perform to their 2008 levels, but that can also be attributed to them being young, relatively inexperienced pitchers.

    So basically Verducii rules = bullsh*t. They were flawed to being with but that just confirms it. He should stick to ghost writing books for managers.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      So basically Verducii rules = bullsh*t. They were flawed to being with but that just confirms it.

      I doubt the sample size is yet large enough to either confirm or deny any part of Verducci’s theory. We’ll have to continue waiting and observing.

      • http://forums.projectcovo.com/images/smilies/e6omir.gif Do Not Feed The Trolls!

        I can throw darts at a board full of young pitchers and have the same results. In fact I’m gonna actually do that.

        • Andy in Sunny Daytona

          Call it “The Verdouchie Effect”. Please?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          I can throw darts at a board full of young pitchers and have the same results.

          But, again, doing so doesn’t mean that the Verducci Effect theory is wrong.

          • king of fruitless hypotheticals

            Jair Jurrjens

            isn’t he battling some kind of injury right now? plus, we never know who’s hurt more than they admit, or that the club will allow to become public.

            • Frank1979

              “plus, we never know who’s hurt more than they admit, or that the club will allow to become public.”

              This should officially be known as the “Mets Effect.”

            • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

              Jurrjens has had problems with his throwing shoulder being sore long before Tom Verducci knew who he was. It’s one of the reasons Detroit traded him.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      He should stick to ghost writing books for managers.

      I do find it deliciously ironic that the dude who co-wrote Joe Torre’s memoir is also the guy who co-studied devastating pitcher injury due to overabuse.

      I hope Verducci’s next baseball tome is A Man of Dustiny: The Dusty Baker Story. Published by Hyperion Books, available at Borders and other fine bookstores.

    • bexarama

      Having read The Yankee Years, I can’t help but giggle when Verducci has to say nice things about A-Rod or Brian Cashman on MLB Network.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....id=4917877

      How can Jair Jurrjens be injured now? He survived the Verdouchi Effect.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

    Well, it’s pretty obvious that the Yankees don’t value the Verducci guidelines at all. That’s why they let Joba throw so many innings in 2009.

    Sincerely,
    Rob Neyer

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Templeton_Peck Templeton “Brendog” Peck

      icwudt

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      Well, it’s pretty obvious that the Yankees don’t value the Verducci guidelines Joba at all. That’s why they let him throw so many innings in 2009.

      Another Rob Neyer

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    Verducci has had some success with his list, but last year’s list was certainly a bomb. I think “correlation does not imply causation” is certainly in effect here. Maybe Cole Hamels, who as you noted didn’t get hurt, partied too much after winning the WS. Maybe he was just extremely unlucky in 2009 and pitched very comparably to 2008 (truth). There are way too many other variables to determine what caused either injury or a downtick in performance from one year to the next. I could pull up a list of 30 year old pitchers who had worse 31 year old seasons, find one similarity in their stats and make up my own rule. Again, there is likely some merit to what Verducci is saying, but it’s very flawed.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      Which is why, as Joe noted above,

      “Not even Verducci himself can answer those questions. He admits that the Year After Effect is more a rule of thumb, a general guideline.”

      Does Joba throwing 63 more innings in 2009 than 2008 mean he’s going to get injured or struggle this year? No. Does it mean he’s more likely to get injured or struggle? Maybe, but even that’s a dubious assumption to make.

      Having said that, though, if Joba doesn’t get hurt or struggle in 2010 (even in the wake of his innings increase the year prior placing him on Verducci’s watchlist), it doesn’t mean that Verducci’s implorations to avoid large innings increases are incorrect, nor does it mean that the Yankees were unwise or needlessly overprotective of Joba in the past.

      There’s great doubt about the specificity of the Verducci theory (that X number of innings increased over X length of time is dangerous), but the broad principles behind the theory (don’t overtax young pitchers and dramatically increase the workload pace on their still-developing arms) are pretty sound, IMO.

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        Yeah, I’m just guessing that Nardi Contreras/Brian Cashman/Joe Girardi know more about Joba and his ability to handle innings than cherry picked statistics. They have clearly shown that they are against throwing Joba (and other young pitchers) to the wolves. Even the Verducci “rule of thumb” is flawed, because there is no way to ever determine that increased innings caused injury. Joba and Hughes have both, in their young careers, seen injuries and regression in performance, despite not being Verducci’d. So if Joba does get hurt, or regresses this year, Verducci can’t claim to be right.

      • http://iheartrerun.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/rerun.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        “There’s great doubt about the specificity of the Verducci theory (that X number of innings increased over X length of time is dangerous), but the broad principles behind the theory (don’t overtax young pitchers and dramatically increase the workload pace on their still-developing arms) are pretty sound, IMO.”

        Right… But those broad principles were certainly not first espoused by Verducci, right? The whole point of the Verducci Rule is that it provides more specificity to the broad principles… So if the value of the added specificity the Verducci Rules provides is questionable, at best, then the Rule isn’t really telling us much, right?

        Don’t get me wrong, I hear you… I’ve always thought the Verducci Rule was a decent rule of thumb because the philosophical underpinnings, on their most basic levels, are pretty inarguable. But upon further consideration… If the Rule isn’t adding anything to the idea that teams should be aware of how much stress they’re putting on their young arms and should act to treat those arms carefully, then I don’t think it’s adding anything to the conversation. And, if that’s the case, it’s pretty irrelevant.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          That’s a good point. Verducci’s not the originator of the concept, he’s simply being the loud public advocate for monitoring workload by writing articles on the topic and pimping his attempted theory to codify the concept, even though that theory is flawed and crude.

          Two things I’ll say in his defense:
          1) He admits his theory has flaws, pretty much in every one of his iterations on the topic.
          2) I don’t think he named it after himself; he pretty much always calls it “The Year After Effect”. (The headline of the article was probably not written by him.) Were the rule never subsequently named for him (which happened primarily at the behest of other people, IIRC, not Verducci), I wonder if we’d all react less disdainfully at his writings.

          If it was just “The Year After Effect” that he wrote about every so often, I bet he’d just be respected as writer/reporter examining the phenomenon in greater detail and suggesting players who may be at risk rather than denounced as some pseudoscientist talking out of his ass with flawed analysis not to be trusted.

          JMHO.

          • http://iheartrerun.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/rerun.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Eh, I’m not really annoyed by anyone (including him) calling it the Verducci Rule or anything like that, I’m just realizing that the Rule doesn’t really say anything.

            The attacks on the Rule in the past have largely come from people who just didn’t want to hear that young pitchers’ workloads should be monitored and that they shouldn’t be allowed to throw too many innings, and I still think that’s the wrong reason to attack the Rule. But to attack the Rule because it’s kind of arbitrary and doesn’t really add much to the conversation – while stipulating that, of course, teams should monitor young pitchers’ workloads, etc. – I think is pretty fair.

            I don’t care if it’s called the Verducci Effect or the Year After Effect. I think it’s great that he’s aware that young pitchers’ workloads should be watched/managed, I just don’t see why this flawed, arbitrary rule he discusses every season is relevant. Nobody’s denouncing him as some pseudoscientist talking out of his ass with flawed analysis not to be trusted… I’m just (and I think other people here are) saying that the Rule itself seems pretty irrelevant if all it does is stipulate that teams should observe/manage their young pitchers’ workloads. If it doesn’t actually add anything of value to that idea, which is just about universally accepted (at least by that portion of the sports world who have functioning brains), then it doesn’t really say anything that we all don’t already know.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

              Fair enough. Here, Spring Training is almost here. Have a beer with me. What would you like?

              Pinstripe Steinbrenner Weizenbock™?
              Pinstripe Winn Winter Wheat™?
              Pinstripe CCXL 52oz Malt Liquor™?
              Pinstripe Gritner Pilsner™?

              • http://iheartrerun.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/rerun.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                Ha, that’s awesome. Gotta go with the CCXL… That’s, like, Mondesi-sized.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

                  The extra 12 ounces gets you extra 12 drunk™.

                  (© Pinstripe Brewery, 2010. All rights reserved.)

          • MikeD

            You’re correct. Verducci did not name it after himself. Will Carroll over at BP named it after Verducci, and the name seems to have stuck.

            While I’m not a big fan of the Verducci Effect because it always leads to more questions than answers, it does serve a useful purpose in reminding anyone who is listening that young pitcher abuse is not a good thing. Perhaps even Dusty will one day listen!

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

    This morning, Mike mentioned that he threw another 45.1 innings in summer ball, the M.I.N.K. League (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas) in 2005, bringing his total that year to 164 innings.

    http://www.chrisoleary.com/Pro.....07_006.jpg (safe)

    Sadly, Joba’s old M.I.N.K. team, the Beatrice Bruins, folded this winter following manager Bob Steinkamp’s retirement after 40 years as the driving force behind the organization. Joba went back to speak at the farewell gala.

    Nebraska Fun(ish) Fact #1: The Bruins’ website (http://www.beatricebaseball.com) contains a link to the website http://www.biblestudy.net. Take from that whatever you will.

    Nebraska Fun(ish) Fact #2: The town of Beatrice (a small exurb of Lincoln, NE) is pronounced “bee-AH-triss”. I had a girlfriend from Beatrice once. I constantly pronounced her town “Beat-Rice” when I wanted to piss her off or annoy her for my own amusement.

    Good times.

    • pete

      The “Verducci Effect” is really just common knowledge applied in arbitrary but semi-accurate figures. Increasing a pitcher’s workload too much from one year to the next, or over a previous career high, is unwise. I would, however, trust most MLB organizations (with a few noteworthy exceptions (ahem, cincinatti) to have a better idea of the proper, pitcher-specific limitations than the “rule of thumb” that Verducci has gotten way to much credit for observing.

  • Rose

    So what Tom Verducci is basically saying is…Joba Chamberlain is actually Hispanic and is not a real Native American?

    [scratches head…]

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      Everybody need to calm the f$%# down. Indians got it bad. Indians got it the worst. You know how bad the Indians got it?
      When’s the last time you met TWO Indians?

      You ain’t never met two Indians.

      Shit, I have seen a polar bear ride a f#$%&ing tricycle in my lifetime. I have never seen an Indian family that’s chilling out at Red Lobster. Never seen it. Everybody wanna save the environment. Shit, I see trees every f#$%ing day! I don’t never see no Indians.

      I went to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year. They didn’t have enough Indians for that shit. They had a bunch of Pilgrims. When it came time for the Indians, they had three real Indians… and the rest was a bunch of Puerto Ricans with feathers in their hair. What the f$%#?! Shit, I know Puerto Ricans when I see them. You can’t slip a Puerto Rican by me.

      That’s not Pocahontas, that’s Jennifer Lopez!

      /ChrisRock’d

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    How about the Dock Ellis effect?

    Pitch on LSD, throw a no-hitter.

  • larryf

    That leg drive needs work. Roger-give Joba a call!

  • mryankee

    Man this kid gets more questions than any pitcher I have seen. I hope he can get his velocity back and show the dominance he has shown in the past. One would assume at his young age he should not be declining as yet?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      One would assume at his young age he should not be declining as yet?

      Sadly, Joba’s got IDS. Imminent Death Syndrome.

      /MrShowWithBobAndDavid’d

  • Mike HC

    Jurrigens is getting an MRI for a tired shoulder soon. I guess that is semi related to the article, not that I buy into Verducci’s whole thing. I believe in his general premise that you have to build up arm strength slowly, but that is obvious. And basing arm stress solely on innings pitched is so limited that it really can’t be taken as anything more than the most basic of analysis.

    • Zack

      “but that is obvious”

      Except its not to some.

  • MikeD

    As Verducci himself said, it’s a rule of thumb. Yet I also heard him state that over the years there’s only been four pitchers who didn’t suffer from a performance drop-off or an injury after exceeding his innings limit by more than 30 the prior year.

    So while that sounds quite damning, that also means that Jon Lester is one the proof points to support his rule as Lester “suffered” a performance drop-off in 2009 when his ERA rose from 3.21 to 3.41. Come on, Tom. There are some many variables here the rule becomes almost pointless. If a guy goes on the 15-day DL, then he proves the Verducci rule. Not to mention, a young pitcher with a break-out season is bound to see his ERA rise the following year. Does anyone want to be that King Felix has a LOWER ERA next year? I don’t, yet he can still have a fine season, yet he’d end up supporting the Verducci effect.

    Since Joba had something like a 4.75 ERA in 2009, I’m betting he actually had a good chance of having his ERA go down this year.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      So while that sounds quite damning, that also means that Jon Lester is one the proof points to support his rule as Lester “suffered” a performance drop-off in 2009 when his ERA rose from 3.21 to 3.41. Come on, Tom.

      From the article, emphasis mine:

      I try to stress that the effect is not a predictor — it’s just a guideline of risk. In the previous four years, I have identified 34 at-risk pitchers. Only four of them made it through that year without injury and with a lower ERA: Jimenez and three studs who did it last year, Tim Lincecum, Clayton Kershaw and Jair Jurrjens. (Jurrjens may not have escaped the effect after all. He reported to camp this week with a sore shoulder and will undergo an MRI to determine the extent of the problem.) Jon Lester, with only a slightly higher ERA in a fine 2009 season, merits mention, too.

      • MikeD

        I saw Verducci interviewed last night on Hot Stove, and he says all the right things, even noting that while Joba was on his list, the Yankees did work hard to control his innings.

        Heading into 2010, I’m more concerened about the trend noted above, which was Joba’s loss of velocity last year. Hopefully it’s more of a mechanical issue and related to the growing pains of a young pitcher, and not signs of a physical/structural problem. If I remember, Verlander also lost a couple miles on his fastball in 2008, only to rediscover it again in 2009.

        The Verducci Effect makes for a nice headline prior to Spring Training, but I only find it midly interesting because of its limitations. A more extensive study with comparisons across all ages with more specifics on total innings increase vs. specific ages, etc. would really be interesting. I thought it would exist, perhaps something from Carroll and the BP guys, but wasn’t able to find it last year. Perhaps it hasn’t been done?

  • Bo

    I would like to think a team like the Yankees know how far to push their young pitchers and have their health at the forefront. So they must know something and dont think the 45+ jump in innings is too much to worry about.

  • http://josephdelgrippo.wordpress.com/ Joseph DelGrippo

    Joba may have injury problems this season but it would not be due to overuse, but because his mechanics stink.

    Joba lands on his front heel, sending jarring shock waves throughout his body. That leads to shoulder issues.

    Also, when that front foot lands, his throwing arm is usually pointed downward. That causes him to have to quicken up his arm action to throw the ball, putting added stress on both the elbow and the shoulder.

    Unless Dave Eiland recognizes this and changes his mechanics, Joba will eventually break down – and Verducci can claim another win.

  • RustyJohn

    I would think that the percentage increase in innings pitched would be more telling than the 30+ more innings than the previous high rule. Somehow I don’t think Felix Hernandez is equally at risk after throwing 191, 190, 200 and 238 innings over the past four years as Rick Porcello is.

  • http://josephdelgrippo.wordpress.com/ Joseph DelGrippo

    RustyJohn:

    That is a very salient point about Hernandez and his innings, but Verducci put King Felix on the list because if Hernandez has a higher ERA in 2010 than in 2009 (2.49), Verducci can claim another win in his column.

    Verducci uses his +30 system as an indicator for injuries and decreased production, namely ERA. So unless Hernandez improves upon his miniscule ERA of a year ago, he is deemed to have been “overused” and that overuse somehow resulted in his higher ERA. He used that argument in his SI piece for Cole Hamels and Mike Pelfrey.

    I have never seen a young pitcher (or any pitcher for that matter) lower his ERA every season. So Verducci’s argument has some holes.

    Look at guys like Bert Blyleven, Dennis Martinez, Bob Gibson, Ferguson Jenkins, Juan Marichal and others throughout baseball who increased their innings a tremendous amount from one year to the next and never go hurt. King Felix has what these guys had – tremendous mechanics which puts limited additional stress on the shoulder and elbow joints.

    It appears that everyone wants all these young pitchers to have long, successful careers (like those guys mentioned above), but today’s pitchers can not have those types of dominant careers if they are not allowed to throw enough, not allowed to get out of their own late inning jams and become dominant pitchers.

    A pitcher who goes the distance with a complete game victory sends a demoralizing signal to the opposition (and the rest of the league), that “you can’t beat me and I don’t need any relief help either.”

    I would rather my team to have a dominant pitcher for 6-8 years than a pretty good pitcher for 12-15 any day. I would fix Joba’s mechanics to allow a smoother delivery, then turn him loose. But if his mechanics stay the same, let him go and dominate until he breaks down. Then fix the machine until it is ready to work again.

    Bad mechanics and not overuse gets pitchers hurt, as the strain of the bad mechanics is too much for the joints to handle, then these ligaments, tiny muscles and tendons break down.

  • Bxbomber

    It’s retarded to use pure innings pitched anyway. Not every inning is the same. You mow down the lineup in a 123 inning using 8 pitches and that shouldn’t count the same as you scuffling to throw 30 pitches to get out of a bases loaded one out jam. My fear with Joba is he has WAAAAAY too many of the latter innings for my tastes, especially as a starter.

    With all the stats that are collected these days, we should be able to dissect the IP’s of a pitcher to get a much better gauge on how much his workload is early in his career. Maybe the stat boys can find this info somewhere.

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