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Sixty feet, six inches


djm305
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Below is an article I read today at SI.com, I don't understand the emphasis some so called "experts" are putting on Innings Pitched. I mean I they do not even take into account the FACT that that Marlins have the LOWEST P/IP (Pitches/Innings Pitched) in the entire MLB. If anything they need to come up with a more efficient stat on how "burned out" or over used a pitcher is. Anyhow below is the article, which by the way, does have some good information in it, albeit a little misleading. He talks about Beckett's Innins pitched from last season and tried to comapre that to what he is on pace for all while never mentioning that he spent a few stints on the DL.

 

Holy mackerel! Beckett, Burnett, Willis working deep

 

"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting."

-- Buddha

 

Or perhaps that was Jack McKeon who said that. Actually, Jack said, "I'm not afraid to let [burnett or Beckett] go nine. ... They [minor league managers] baby them so much." That's Jack's form of tough love. One look at the innings for the top three Florida Marlins starters for their first two games, and you wonder how much more love they can take: Dontrelle Willis (18 IP), Josh Beckett (15), A.J. Burnett (15). I normally wouldn't be concerned this early in the season, but let's remember what these guys did in the spring -- Willis (28 IP), Beckett (27 2/3), Burnett (27) -- which made them the fourth, sixth and seventh most used pitchers, respectively. And all three already have at least one complete game.

 

Last year major league pitchers made 4,856 starts and averaged just over 6 1/3 innings per start. The top 100 pitchers in starts averaged a little less than 6 1/3 innings, so the figure is relatively consistent. Obviously, the D-Train won't pitch 34 complete games, but each time he goes 8 or 9 innings means he needs a 4- or 5-inning outing to get back down to the average, which isn't likely because the bullpen needs him to go longer and he wants at least a shot at a win. However, a pitcher's arm health isn't about staying at the average, but about how much he increases his workload over the previous year.

 

Assuming 33 starts, Willis is on a 297-inning pace, and Beckett and Burnett are at 247 1/3. I realize they won't keep this up (only three pitchers logged more than 240 innings last year), but the more they work early in the season, the less they'll have in the tank later. Willis' workload has increased the last two years from 160 2/3 to 197 (an increase of 22 percent). Beckett, meanwhile, is up from 142 to 156 2/3 (10 percent). This seems to indicate that perhaps Willis is better suited to the above-average game pace than Beckett.

 

Or perhaps he's on the fast track for an injury. Burnett pitched 120 innings last season after his surgery rehab. The two years prior to his injury he had 173 1/3 (2001) and 204 1/3 (2002) -- or an increase of 18 percent, which is less than Dontrelle's increase. Considering 200 innings would be an increase of 67 percent over 2004, I am also concerned about his workload.

 

Now I know McKeon has more World Series rings than I do, but we're talking about a pitcher two years removed from Tommy John surgery, another who gets blisters from waving, and a third who has a delivery so contorted that not even UPS would take the job. These are not guys who make you think of Nolan Ryan. They are young fireballers whom the Marlins can ride hard for three months, but they really need them for seven. In the preseason I said the Marlins would be back in the World Series, but that doesn't happen if Willis, Beckett or Burnett (or some combination of the three) are on the DL in September.

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Hello,

 

Upon reading your piece entitled "Sixty feet, six inches" found here: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/fant.../15/sixty.feet/ I felt the need to comment.

 

I run MarlinsBaseball.com and was surprised by your commentary on the Marlins. The pitchers are throwing a lot of innings but that is not the important part. 100 pitches in 9 innings or 100 pitches in 6 innings is the same thing. The fact is the Marlins starters are getting complete games throwing a shy over 100 pitches making the fact they are being overused null and void as 100 pitches is average for a starter in this day and age. While the injury concerns for those starters you listed are accurate in general-- the fact that they are being overused thus far is not.

 

I just wanted to give you the view from the Marlins side of things in case you were not aware of this.

 

Admin Walansky

Webmaster of MarlinsBaseball.com

 

 

My email to him.

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Hello,

 

Upon reading your piece entitled "Sixty feet, six inches" found here: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/fant.../15/sixty.feet/ I felt the need to comment.

 

I run MarlinsBaseball.com and was surprised by your commentary on the Marlins.? The pitchers are throwing a lot of innings but that is not the important part. 100 pitches in 9 innings or 100 pitches in 6 innings is the same thing.? The fact is the Marlins starters are getting complete games throwing a shy over 100 pitches making the fact they are being overused null and void as 100 pitches is average for a starter in this day and age.? While the injury concerns for those starters you listed are accurate in general-- the fact that they are being overused thus far is not.

 

I just wanted to give you the view from the Marlins side of things in case you were not aware of this.

 

Admin Walansky

Webmaster of MarlinsBaseball.com

 

 

My email to him.

746330[/snapback]

:notworthy

 

net to mention that if he ever sees that he might come visit the site

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Guest Juanky

This is strictly from memory, don't hate me if I'm off, but these are the pitch counts for the complete games:

 

Beckett- 113

Burnett- 103, 105

Willis- 97, 114

 

But no one says a word when Kerry Wood throws 130.

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hmm, i'm gonna do some quick research...

 

marlins pitchers so far...

 

AJ Burnet: 294 Pitches in 3 Starts - 24 innings

Josh Beckett: 299 3 starts 20 ip

Dontrelle Wilis: 211 2 starts 18 ip

 

 

through three starts

pedro martinez has thrwon 311 pitches

johan santana has thrown 303 pitches

jason schmidt has thrown 307 pitches

Mark Buehrle has thrown 309 24ip

Carlos Zambrano has thrown 325

Roy Halladay has thrown 303

Ben Sheets has thrown 332

Rodrigo Lopez has thrown 323

Jeremy Bonderman has thrown 309

Matt Clement has thrown 307

Jason Marquis has thrown 330

Bartolo Colon has thrown 317

Doug Davis has thrown 315

Esteban Loaiza has thrown 315

Tim Wakefield has thrown 309

Kip Wells has thrown 329

Livan Hernandez has thrown 329

Jamie Moyer has thrwon 312

Roy Oswalt has thrown 325

Jarod Washburn has thrown 300

Freddy Garcia has thrown 326

30 pitchers have thrown as many pitches as aj (294) or more..josh beckett has 299

 

only mark buehrle has thrown as many innings as AJ (24) yet he has 15more pitches than aj. i will update this tomorrow after dontrelle pitches

comments...thoughts??

 

EDIT::

Note: Of all members on the list...

Mark Buehler, Pedro Martinez, and Roy Halladay are the only three with complete games each with 1

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No one knows what the effect will be on Willis, Burnett and Beckett of pitching these complete games early in the seaon, including the author of this article, identified as:

 

David Young (who) "is baseball editor and starting and relief pitching columnist for TalentedMrRoto.com, a fantasy sports site specializing in analysis, stats and advice. Please include your name and location when sending e-mails to [email protected]"

 

Mr. Snappy. One has to wonder what freudian impulse caused him to choose that email moniker.

 

Mr. Snappy, or the Snapster as he's known to his friends, may have the last laugh if and when one or more of the three guys go down, but my guess if any of them are injuried at some point in the season, it will have little to do with what they've accomplished in the these early weeks of the 2005 season. Burnett looked fresh and ready to pitch a couple more innings after today's game, having replaced his blazing fastball as his first pitch of choice with a collection of groundball-inducing breaking stuff that only made his heat look more unhittable. Beckett was in the weight room 20 minutes after his last game lifting weights. There's been no reported ill effects from Dontrelle of his work. His only complaint is that his house was robbed during his last complete game.

 

One would think that Burnett, looking to cash in on a mega-contract in 2006 would be the most outspoken of the three if he thought for a second that Wiley Coyote or Trader Jack were abusing him. Instead he was almost nonchalant about today's workout.

 

I think Mr. Snappy's piece was flawed from the get go. You start with a false premise, throw in a phony baloney assumption or two and you can spin almost any fable. Right now pitchers are way ahead of hitters. Jack is making the most of that while he can. RFerry makes a valid point that one reason you're seeing all these complete games is teams (includng the Marlins) are bereft of solid hitting benches because they are so busy loading up on 12 man staffs. And in the National League that matters.

 

There will be lots of articles like this as would-be "experts" crawl out of the woodwork to offer their version of doom and gloom.

 

Ignore them.

 

As long as Beckett, Burnett and Willis keep their pitch counts down and listen to Wiley and Leiter about what it takes to be world class pitchers, they will be fine. They seem so focused, so ready for every start, so aware of the importance of every pitch, we as fans ought sit back and enjoy the ride.

 

And as for Mr. Snappy, what can you say about a guy who can't see that Josh Beckett is in fact Nolan Ryan reincarnated. Before this is over Jack is going to be manager of the year, he's almost single-handedly changing the way the game is played, and Mr. Snappy is on the outside looking in.

 

Which is where he belongs.

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I know the amount of innings pitched in the sme amount of pitches thrown as either a positive effect on the arm. Is it better for the arm to sit out more inbetween pitches, or does it negatively effect the pitchers arm to have to warm up the arm again... I think thats one factor that hasnt been descussed and should have been mentioned in the article.

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The data is out there. And this guy didn't check it. The writer should be ashamed of itself.

746413[/snapback]

 

As Matteao620 points out above, and you reinforced, the data is out there. The most inspiring thing regarding all these complete games is the efficiency with which they are pitching and finally the recognition that it isn't how hard you throw but how smart you pitch, that wins ballgames.

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