Comments on: Not so perfect: Braden, Halladay, and Galarraga since their perfect games This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: dukeofflatbush Fri, 23 Jul 2010 20:38:21 +0000 "How have they misused Vazquez?"
Its just my opinion, but he seems to have a very small window for error. AJ Burnett has pitched like Carrol Burnett and was and is much more deserving of some bullpen duty. I even think he is better suited as a set-up/closer. But Vazquez, who is the better pitcher (my opinion), seems to be treated far worse. Imagine if Vazquez had cut his hand punching walls and had to be pulled from a game... whooaaa boy! AJ has the stuff, but Javy can pitch.
Vazquez has a chance at 200 career victories and 3000 Ks. At age 34, I don't think he should be sitting in the bullpen. He's be a #2 starter on about 2/3rds of MLB teams.

By: Johnny Twisto Fri, 23 Jul 2010 20:20:08 +0000 I didn't intend to be condescending. My point was that it truly is a 5-man rotation these days, not a 5-day rotation as it often was in the past. Most teams do not regularly skip the 5th starter anymore. No one has made more than 35 starts since 2003, more than 36 since 1991.

How have they misused Vazquez? He's pitched far, far better since they skipped his start and then he made a relief appearance.

By: dukeofflatbush Fri, 23 Jul 2010 17:27:51 +0000 Johnny,
Give me a bit of credit. I have heard of this 5 man rotation you speak of...
And, I do understand the off day. I am taking one today. Most teams however, even high end teams, have three quality starters, one decent guy and one fill in/journeyman.
Some teams, on off days will skip the 5th man altogether. I understand this is not always applied to keep the 1-3 guys in a 4 day rest pattern, but for teams to put out their three best arms, the most.
The Yankees are the one of the odd exceptions. Their 4-5 guys are a former top prospect coming into his own and a guy who finished 4th in the NL Cy Young last year. So they have ample pitching. The kind of problems teams wish for.
But they are the Yankees and are starting to misuse Vasquez for his second tour, again, and he's been skipped as well, stuck in the bullpen, and ripped in the media. He's a great pitcher, he just doesn't thrive when being treated as if he is lucky to be playing.
That being beside the point; teams can find a way to see that an off day doesn't mess up a rotation too much.
In 2002, The D-backs used the Schilling-Johnson tandem every 4th day, July on-ward, off day or not. Guys got skipped, but you know what? Johnson/Schilling finish 1-2 in Cy Young that year.
I think rest, mental prepping, scouting and throwing drills are all best done consistently. Ask any runner how important routine is.
4 days of rest works best. Your body and mind get into a rhythm.
I'm not saying all Hughes problems are from extra rest, I merely believe they are contributing. Its hard to find things to do to keep sharp when you know you are not playing.
Sports psychologists have proven that a pattern or routine followed 20 times, becomes harder to stop then continue. So just say every morning you wake up and run 13 miles. While it may hurt your body at first, your mind becomes prepared. And after 20 mornings, you'll find it harder to stay in bed, mentally and physically, then it is to run your 13.

By: Johnny Twisto Fri, 23 Jul 2010 04:18:25 +0000 Duke, teams basically use 5-man rotations all the time these days. So any time there is an off-day, the pitchers go on 5 days rest instead of 4. Check any active regular SP. They all have many starts on 5 days rest as well as 4. The skipped start did not occur until he had the 9 days rest. If having 5 days rest is going to mess Hughes up, it doesn't matter what the Yankees do or don't do, he's never going to make it.

By: dukeofflatbush Fri, 23 Jul 2010 04:13:46 +0000 One more point:
Pitch count is just one of at least 4 factors that should all be measured to preserve pitcher's stamina.
One should be, amount of pitches per inning. If a pitcher throws 45 pitches in 3 innings, so what? But if one of those innings was 30 pitches and the other two 7 and 8, I think that makes a huge difference. Mike Pelfrey threw 40 some-odd pitches in the first inning the other day. Even if he settled down and threw 40 pitches over the next 4 innings, I think they should weigh that first inning.
Also, the amount of time between innings is never counted. After an hour rain delay, you seldom see the starter back out there. So why, if your team rallies for a eight run third, and the opposition makes two pitching changes and you're on the bench for an hour, do they expect you to go out there.
Also pitch type and type of pitcher are important to consider. Jamie Moyer is either throwing well or he's not. He's got that lazy-lefty thing where pitch count shouldn't matter. But someone like Joba, a power pitcher, I think you really need to check his velocity over the course of the game and pitch selection.

By: dukeofflatbush Fri, 23 Jul 2010 03:51:03 +0000 Johnny,

My split is not arbitrary or there solely to support numbers. It starts with a 5 days of rest game. In his 7 previous starts (from where I make the split) he had 4 days rest in 6 of them. Pretty consistent. Then over his next 7 starts he has 5, then 4, then 5, then 9, then 4, then 4, then 10 days of rest. Pretty inconsistent.
I started the split where I saw the most inconsistency.
His best start over that stretch (7/9), is the second of back to back starts of 4 days rest. Consistency. His two worst starts; 9 and 10 days rest respectively.
I think a pitcher is best suited to pitch 100-120 pitches every 4 days.
I understand the concern with young arms. This question I presented was aimed more towards Stausburg's future, using Hughes as a yardstick.
I know the theory of 'stretching out' a young arm, but I don't think skipping starts is a good idea. Maybe lowering his pitch count or making him a 5 inning pitcher is a better solution.
With Joba, I think switching roles (setup/starter) and the prep that goes into each role, is a greater demand on a young arm. Prepping to pitch 4 days a week as opposed to pitching with four days rest are completely different animals, with completely different mindsets. When you know you only have 1 inning, you throw everything into each pitch, its a sprint. Prepping for a start, is like a Marathon. Not too many guys can switch off the mindset that goes with each role in mid season - multiple times. Also, when Joba started, he knew his pitch count and the scrutiny that followed, so I think he tried too hard to manage his pitches instead of just pitching. If you have to worry about the hitter AND how many pitches you can throw, I believe you will 'overthrow'.
And MIKEd,
I think where I heard 'Joba Rules' first, was on the YES network. And if I'm wrong, then I heard that phrase on YES a ton. And everyone in New York knows that every word on YES is spun by the Yankee brass. If the Yankees didn't like 'Joba Rules' as a phrase, we wouldn't of heard them on YES. Michael Kay is a marionette with Steinbrenner strings. Girardi has his own TV show on YES. Not a press conference, a show. Not a debate, a show.
Its like the Republicans and FOX.
A show.

By: Johnny Twisto Fri, 23 Jul 2010 02:01:42 +0000 Michael, fair point. I noticed that too. Still, BABIP is not totally random or defense-dependent. I could have also included he allowed 1 HR in first 6 starts, and 6 in the next 7. Also note that Duke's second split begins three starts before the skipped start.

By: Michael E Sullivan Fri, 23 Jul 2010 00:58:14 +0000 Johnny T:

If you look at the defense independent numbers, your two breakdowns don't look all that different. The difference is in how many hits. BB and K / IP look similar. It's hard to be sure that the ERA difference is about what he's doing vs. what his fielders or the opposing batters are doing. probably he wasn't really as good as he seemed in the first 6 games, nor was he as poor as he seemed for the next 6. OTOH, he really does stop striking guys out as much in the next split that duke offers, so his pitching definitely suffered some.

That said, it's a pretty big stretch to attribute that to one or two missed starts.

By: MikeD Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:45:41 +0000 The "Joba Rules' of a year ago, were nauseating. Why they even felt the need to name the strategy and put in the papers, is beyond me.

Duke, it wasn't the Yankees who named it the "Joba Rules." It was the NY tabloid media. The Yankees were trying to manage his innings. Every team gets to do this except the Yankees. Joba has not been the same pitcher since August 2008 when he was removed from the mound in Texas because of an injury. Tendinitis in the shoulder. Nothing to be concerned about at the time, they said. Well, he returned in September and after one appearence with reduced velocity the Yankees basically shut him down. When he showed up in Spring Training 2009 the velocity was still down about three mph. It's never returned, nor has the command he had over his fastball. So it wasn't the Joba Rules that's caused him problems. Despite the Yankees attempt to protect him, he's simply the latest in a long line of young MLB pitchers to suffer an injury, even a minor one, that caused him to lose velocity.

By: Johnny Twisto Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:31:41 +0000 Not that I'm dismissing your questions Duke. I think they are good ones to ask, since there doesn't seem to be much evidence that modern pitcher usage is reducing injuries. I just don't believe a skipped start has anything to do with the shape of Hughes's season.