Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Yankees pitching

It's fascinating the way teams manage pitchers and pitch counts these days. Imagine this type of thinking 20 or even 10 years ago, where the Yankees are concerned about moving former starters who have been working out of the bullpen recently, back into the rotation, because their arms can't get "stretched out" enough to throw more than 50-65 pitches. I'm reading Joe Torre's book about his Yankee years and one of the early stories is how David Cone threw like 150 pitches in his last start of 1995 (in the playoffs vs. the Mariners) and suffered from an aneurysm at the start of the next year.

I'm hugely in favor of this type of micro-management of younger pitchers, but agree with Nolan Ryan's theory as well, that pitch counts need to be increased and/or even eliminated as pitchers mature. Of course, the Yankees, because of their vast resources, can afford to be careful, as they can always afford to bring in more decent players to cover for pitchers that need to be pulled because of pitch counts.

I've been cringing when I hear that the Washington Nationals want to bring up their recent top draft pick, Stephen Strasburg, to the majors this year if possible, pretty much to try and drum up some more fan interest in the team. Wasn't this what the Texas Rangers did with David Clyde all those years ago? I was just a kid back then, but I remember one of my buddies being all excited when the Indians traded for Clyde. Unfortunately, he was pretty much washed up by then and out of the majors by the age of 25.

Anyhow, I applaud the Yankees micro-management of their pitchers and hope it leads to long and productive careers for the likes of Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes.


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