Monday, June 06, 2005

Paging Steve Avery

Kyle Davies is off to a nice start - another young guy turning in a solid performance for a team that is otherwise floundering. However, Cox did something Saturday that made me cringe. Davies threw 119 pitches in his saturday gem. His future - which may or may not turn out to be as bright as his start - is not worth one game, nor one season.

Ron Shandler did some considerable research on the subject of pitcher burnout. I'll have to bring the materials into work tomorrow so I can give all the specifics. However he found that pitchers under the age of 25 that met certain criteria rarely ever threw that many innings agin - and never did so at a high performance level.

the main criteria were:

1. Pitcher threw 200 innings
2. Pitcher averaged over 28.5 batters faced per game
3. Pitcher saw an increase in IP of 50+ over consecutive seasons

Davies shouldn't be throwing 119 pitches. Keep him to 90, and try to limit his innings. He's young, and he may grow into dominance. I doubt he'll average 100+ pitches a game; Cox and Mazzone usually keep their pitchers in the 90 to 100 range. And it is just one game. Avery matched all of those criteria at a young age - several seasons worth. He was borderline fantastic in the early 90s, and never came close to duplicating that success. I'd hate to see Davies go down that roat. Cox and Mazzone certainly know far more about pitching than I do. I'd just as soon take extra care with Davies, though. I know the bullpen is on fire, but neither the game nor the season are worth a career.

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