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Why The Tigers Should Try A Radical Approach With Their Pitching Staff In 2020

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33 minutes ago, 4hzglory said:

Looking at his 2017 season, at 19 he pitched in 19 games and pitched 86.2 innings. (4.5 IP/game)  From what I remember, Houston was splitting games between 2 starters so he never went more than 5 innings.  I just think if you are trying to develop someone who has stud potential, you would stretch them out a bit at 19 to 6-7 innings or if they have a low pitch count, let them go a bit farther.  Otherwise I think it's extremely difficult to stretch them out at 22 when their body is used to going 4-5 innings.

Yes, I see your point. Back end of the rotation guys can be limited, they would be easily replaceable. I would love to have my top 3 starters giving me 7 innings or 120 pitches.

This is something that really puzzles me. Back in the day, pitchers would give a team 300 IP. I know the money comes into play, no manager wants to shorten a great pitcher's career by overusing him. But athletes in every sport have gotten bigger and stronger. Starting pitchers are the opposite, they've actually regressed. Maybe it's the maximum effort they exert now, the hitters are better. And running backs in the NFL come out for a rest in the middle of drives. Players in all sports have gotten bigger and faster. But don't start limiting your front end starting pitchers to under 100 pitches. That's something I'll probably never agree with.

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JV is the most arm resilient pitcher today, and even he largely lost his effectiveness after 100/5 pitches once he was over 30. The game and the players have changed. Since they are stronger and better trained they put more strain on their ligaments and joints - which is where pitchers mostly fail. Skeletal stress goes up roughly as the square of pitch speed. Throwing at 97 is >10% more stress than throwing at 92 and everyone throws hard now..

I think there are things you could do that could reduce the burden on pitchers

  1.  raise the strike zone, which might shift the balance away from so many breaking balls
  2. disallow maple bats to cut down on bat speed and exit velo
  3. deaden the ball to cut down on HRs so it's less risky to allow balls in play; raise the mound again - maybe compromise with the 60's and make in 12.5"

The thing is, just because you make the game safer for pitchers doesn't mean you've made a better game for fans.

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