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jdiddy24
01-22-2009, 04:04 AM
Longtime RotoAuthority reader finite24 brought up an interesting topic recently: injury risk the following season for pitchers who threw 3500+ pitches. I decided to dig more deeply into this topic, pulling the benchmark down to 3400 pitches thrown in a season. I included playoff pitches, as well as an estimate of minor league pitches thrown by Brett Myers this year.

First up, your 2008 class (19 pitchers):

Cole Hamels - 3914
C.C. Sabathia - 3912
Brett Myers - 3781
Jon Lester - 3738
Tim Lincecum - 3682
A.J. Burnett - 3650
Matt Cain - 3606
Johan Santana - 3598
Roy Halladay - 3560
Gil Meche - 3555
Joe Blanton - 3547
Chad Billingsley - 3543
James Shields - 3543
Justin Verlander - 3528
Ervin Santana - 3526
Mark Buehrle - 3490
Javier Vazquez - 3462
Ryan Dempster - 3450
Bronson Arroyo - 3436

How great is the injury risk for these guys? I'll go into detail on past years' results in future posts, but I'm seeing anywhere from 15 to 61% of those in this "club" deal with significant injury the following year. Best I can estimate is that anywhere from 3 to 12 of these 19 will be significantly injured in 2009.

My top ten pitchers for the risk averse (did not cross 3400 in '08 or '07 or have a major pitching injury in either year):

Roy Oswalt
Yovani Gallardo
Cliff Lee
Derek Lowe
Kevin Slowey
Ted Lilly
Zack Greinke
Scott Baker
Andy Sonnanstine
Joe Saunders

That list gets really tough at the end. It is a fact of life that you're going to have several injury risks on your staff.

interesting piece... especially the injury projections and then relating that to the fact the Phillies have 3 starters in the list and the Mets ace is included.... unfortunatly we have Vaz on that list but offset it with Lowe on the adverse list with no NL East team with anyone on that list.

thewupk
01-22-2009, 11:11 AM
It would be nice to see what someone like Santana and Vaz has done in the past. Since it seems like both are work horses and would have crossed the 3400 pitch mark a few times in their careers. And both have been pretty injury free to this point. I think the #1 pitcher to expect his arm to fall off is Burnett.

miltdawg01
01-22-2009, 02:30 PM
Interesting. It looks like there's no ends to the limits that staticians will go with numbers. :)