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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Pitch count or innings: what do teams use for the season?

Apparently no one on the Mets read this or the Matt Harvey mess might not have occurred:

Pitch Counts and the pitch count estimator for seasons past. Monday, May 11, 2015

Pitch Counts
Kenneth Matinale
June 8, 2008

Joba, Joba, Joba.  The Yankees have finally moved Joba Chamberlain from the bullpen into the starting rotation.  A big part of the decision depended on pitch count.  Any time pitch count is mentioned it is for a particular game.  However, the Yankees should consider Joba's pitch count for the season in deciding how to use him...

Tom Tango developed a pitch count estimator for seasons when pitches were not counted.  See the above link.  While there is no date, I think he did this in 2000.  His example of Brad Radke and Randy Johnson concludes that Johnson threw about four pitches per batter faced and Radke threw about 3.5.  Johnson threw 14% more pitches per batter faced.  That's why the Yankees need to track Joba's cumulative pitch count, not merely track his innings.
How many pitches do starting pitchers throw in a season?  How has that total varied over time?

Photo of Brad Radke
Brad Radke
It's pretty basic common sense stuff and I've been assuming for years that teams consider season, not just game, pitch counts.  And also, high pitch counts in innings in a game.  I'm guessing that 100 pitches thrown is considered more stressful if at least one inning has a high pitch count than if the number is spread pretty evenly among all the innings.

Anybody actually know?  In his new compromise talk Met GM Sandy Alderson is supposedly mentioning 180 innings as a regular season limit for Matt Harvey... then having Harvey also pitch in the tournament.  Isn't that where this started?  And are those 180 innings forgotten by Harvey's arm in the tournament?

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