Interruptable Power Source

It's bullet-point Wednesday! * I saw exactly one at-bat of last night's game. I turned it on in the 4th to see the score, watched Jeromy Burnitz hit his granny, and then turned it off and went to sleep (I was tired!). Therefore, I have a completely skewed concept of what last night's game was all about. I was happy to wake up and see the touchy-feely stories about Jerome Williams and his dad, sad (but not surprised) to see the latest in the shortstop saga, and psyched when I remembered that it was Prior's turn to pitch. I should be able to get home in time for the end of the game (one advantage to living in the Eastern time zone), and that might be the last baseball I see for a little while as I am headed to India on a business trip at the end of the week. * When the Cubs signed Greg Maddux, I was happy because I felt that a talented young picher like Mark Prior would have a lot to learn from him. I didn't think that one of the things he'd learn would be how to give up home runs. Maddux's HR/9 rate skyrocketed upon his return to Chicago -- it was 0.53 for the first 18 years of his career, and is 1.39 over the last two seasons. In his first three seasons, Prior gave up 43 homers in 446 2/3 IP. That's .87 homers per 9 innings. This year, he's given up 21 in 125 1/3 IP, a rate of 1.51 HR/9. Is it something to be worried about? Probably not, but you know me. * Why did the Braves take Jorge Sosa out of the rotation in the first place? Oh, right, because injured starters Mike Hampton and John Thomson were on their way back. Here's what Sosa did during his 12-game stint in the rotation: 12 GS, 5-2, 2.77 ERA, 65 IP, 59 H, 47 K/26 BB Here's how Hampton & Thompson have done since their return: 5 GS, 1-3, 6.64 ERA, 21 2/3 IP, 43 H, 12 K/7 BB And Hampton is, of course, back on the DL, with Sosa starting in his place this afternoon. * I have nothing to do with the "Cardinals are birds of prey" add that has popped up in the Blogads in the right-hand column (though I do appreciate the profane typo). Bring back Rachel Wacholder, I say! * I don't have any problem with backup catchers -- every team has to have one -- but a problem arises when two of your starters prefer to throw to hm. Instead of throwing away that spot in the order once a week (14% of the time, roughly), you're throwing it away 40% of the time. If your backup catcher is as craptastic as Henry Blanco, that's a real problem. The solution? Get a better backup catcher or get your starters comfortable with the front-line guy. Meanwhile, on to today's game: GAME 127 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] ATLANTA BRAVES (71-55) @ CHICAGO CUBS (61-65) WRIGLEY FIELD, 1:20 pm CDT, TV: WGN, FSS, DTV 734
Mark Prior, RHP
9-4, 3.66 ERA
140/41 K/BB, 21 HR in 125 1./3 IP
John Thomson, RHP
8-2, 2.63 ERA
64/45 K/BB, 10 HR in 92 1/3 IP
SS #Rafael Furcal LF *Matt Lawton
2B Marcus Giles 2B *Todd Walker
3B #Larry W. Jones 1B Derrek Lee
CF Andruw Jones 3B Aramis Ramirez
1B Julio Franco RF *Jeromy Burnitz
RF Jeff Francoeur SS Neifi Perez
LF *Ryan Langerhans CF *Corey Patterson
C *Brian McCann C Henry Blanco
P Jorge Sosa P Mark Prior
Return to Homepage

Comments

nice article on P/PA at MLB.com

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/a...

Top 10
1. Bobby Abreu, Phillies, 4.41
2. David Dellucci, Rangers, 4.31
3. Adam Dunn, Reds, 4.30
4. Jim Edmonds, Cardinals, 4.27
5. Casey Blake, Indians, 4.26
6. Pat Burrell, Phillies, 4.21
7. Brad Wilkerson, Nationals, 4.20
8. Jason Giambi, Yankees, 4.18
9. Paul Konerko, White Sox, 4.18
10. Bill Hall, Brewers, 4.17

Bottom 10
1. Robinson Cano, Yankees, 3.01
2. Cristian Guzman, Nationals, 3.14
3. Garret Anderson, Angels, 3.28
4. Vladimir Guerrero, Angels, 3.29
5. Neifi Perez, Cubs, 3.31
6. Carl Crawford, Devil Rays, 3.31
7. Jimmy Rollins, Phillies, 3.32
8. Shea Hillenbrand, Blue Jays, 3.34
9. Jose Guillen, Nationals, 3.35
10. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays, 3.36

Cubs are second to last btw as a team....

"can't turn my back on neifi"

cedeno is in the clubhouse but not on the roster, bc nomar is NOT going on the DL for now.

if nomar does go on soon, it will be a shame, for two reasons

1) bc we'll not get to see if nomar can produce when healthy

2) bc ronny cedeno will be on the major league roster for the next week and still only start one time.

GOD FORBID WE PLAY YOUNG PEOPLE!!! neifi is the MVP of this team, so we have to play him at all costs! next year be damned even though we suck this year!

thanks dusty for not letting ronny build up trade value or at least let us see what he could bring to the 06 cubs.

If Hendry could land, say...Damon and Dunn(I realize that he isn't an unrestricted FA, so it might be through trade) to go with Burnitz in the outfield, kept Walker at Second, and either Holly to be the 4th outfielder for an OCCASSIONAL start and PH, and if an outfielder got hurt, Murton called up from AA or AAA, not Holly getting regular time, (I know I am gonna take heat for this), but I wouldn't mind seeing Neifi as the everyday shortstop. He has an OBP of only like .300 or so, but that isn't unbearable for a #7/#8 hitter(provided that is where he is used). I would use the saved Nomar/Furcal money to get Damon for a few years until Felix Pie is ready to go in '07 or '08, and if Damon is still here, one of them could shift to the corner, probably Pie to "pay his dues." I suppose Cpat would be traded because he wouldn't be needed given this situation, and all the rest of the money given to starting pitching. Hopefully Wood will embrace being the closer, Dempster the eighth inning guy, and the rest is a crapshoot, but that is why they are sixth and seventh inning pitchers...crapshoots are primarily any seventh/eighth inning pitchers are anyhow. There, I said it.

how is corey not on that bottom list?

gotta be bc he doesn't have enough PAs to count.

lawton
walker
lee
ramirez
burnitz
perez
patterson
blanco
prior

vs

furcal
giles
chipper
andruw
franco
francoeur
langerhans (means long john in german btw)
mccann
sosa

With Walker clearing waivers the other day, does that open up the potential of trading him to Boston? They are playing Graffanino there right now, and they have a reasonably tough closing schedule (once they blow through KC and Tampa Bay).

If so, we could see Neifi at 2B and Cedeno at SS for the rest of the year. I like any move that gives Cedeno ABs this September.

Korey is at 3.40 this year, wouldn't have made the list even if he did qualify

Lee of course leads the team with 4.06
Burnitz 3.91
Hairston 3.76
Blanco 3.72
Lawton 3.68
Ramirez 3.62
Dubois 3.61
Walker 3.57
Macias 3.54
Barrett 3.52
Murton 3.52
Nomar 3.45
Korey 3.40
Cedeno 3.39
Hollandsworth 3.37
Neifi 3.28 (less than MLB.com has)

Prior is at 4.02, amusing

Ok with Neifi starting at ss next year as long as good outfied?

Outfield would have to be Vlad,Cabrera, Damon.

Red Sox got rid of Walker cause they didn't like his defense, highly doubt they'd bring him back in...

Getting rid of Graffanino who is hitting .306/.369/.402 on the season and .322/.351/.422 as a Sox? He's Todd Walker offensively as a Sox with better defense. We don't need second base help.

Now, if you were to broach trading Prior... we'd listen =)

wow...i didnt even know j.william's father was healthy enough to travel. good for him.

all crap aside, williams has had a hell of a time with his family the past few years and illnesses/death while playing through it all.

---

and about cedeno in the clubhouse...when did that happen?

as of last night at 9pm he was facing off against bill "remember me?" pulsipher in iowa...

cedeno is at wrigley, score has had guys there trying to find out if nomar would be DLed today. he went and took grounders and they decided to keep him on the roster.

Jacos,
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the SS was a defensive position, and if you got offense with it, it was just a huge bonus. This was my understanding of it, and I could very well be wrong. I looked up Neifi's stats versus the average on Yahoo.com and find that he is average/slightly above in the limited fields they give. I don't know if that counts backup SS's who have played three innings or some other small sample size, but even with Neifi's average numbers, his glove makes up for it, kind of like Burnie's slump was kind of made up for by the runs he saved us on defense. I know Neifi is not as good as other shortstops, but if we can only have a few expensive players and a few cheap stopgaps for next year, I am ok with Neifi! being a cheap stopgap.

> when did that happen?

It's only a one-hour flight from Des Moines to Chicago.

for your consideration from the Sun-Times:

In his strongest words yet about his future, Dusty Baker was clear about his plans and his goals. "That's why I came,'' he said of making the Cubs winners, "and why I ain't leaving unless somebody fires me. I'll be back next year and the year after that. And I ain't being run out of town."

I'm trying to figure out how Blanco is craptastic. No, his offensive skills are not the greatest, but I love watching him gun down runners. I'd take him as next year's backup without hesitation.

thnx

he's on a 2 year contract, so he is next year's backup..

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the SS was a defensive position, and if you got offense with it, it was just a huge bonus. This was my understanding of it, and I could very well be wrong."

Yes, you are indeed wrong. That was the past view of SS's Mark Belanger, Johnnie LeMaster, even Ozzie Smith in his youth. But, along came guys like Cal Ripken, Alex Rodriguez, and all the latest crop of super short stops. Now, if you don't hit, you shouldn't be playing.

Jonatwork-
Did not mean to harp on you. But is he average yes maybe at best average. I would prefer youth at that position with more speed and athleticism and a higher obp. SS and Cf are the only two positions that can provide those.
Maybe I ask for too much for $ 100 million pay roll that could easily be $ 125 million if the Trib didn't play on the cheap.

He's craptastic on offense. Yes, he throws out runners, but in today's game, that's not nearly as important as being able to hit. A total of 25 runners have tried to steal off him, and he's thrown out 13, which is a great percentage (4th best in the NL among catchers with at least 10 SB attempts). Still, we're talking about 13 outs generated with his arm. Does that balance out the 87 outs in 123 PA he's generated with his bat?

but I wouldn't mind seeing Neifi as the everyday shortstop. He has an OBP of only like .300 or so, but that isn't unbearable for a #7/#8 hitter(provided that is where he is used).

Jon,

I would agree with you in the scenerio that you entailed in the post if we did not have a guy like Cedeno ready on the farm. He can give you the same production at a third of the costs.

I am not too worried about Mark's HR rate. It's a byproduct of his control not being there.

Stan,
Ok, I see your point...I would have to look around at what the other shortstops around the league are doing in general, but my thoughts weren't so much "I love Neifi and want him to start" as much as "I can live with Neifi as long as the savings go to a better outfield." But if super shortstops are all the rage, then I guess we better jump on board.

Jacos,
I understand...I would love to see a $125 roster as well. You make a good point, Neifi certainly doesn't represent High OBP or Speed...athleticism is up for interpretation given his defense...so, are you all for starting Ronny even if he slumps, or rather go for Furcal/someone else...by the way, what would the market be for Furcal? What would his deal likely be for his next contract?

* Maybe I'm being dense... What's the profane typo? "Prey" is the correct word there, yes?

* Rachel's still there, at least by my screen. I like that the photo switches up every so often. Sports rule!!!

ChiFan, do you think Ronny is ready?

Why is Ramirez trying to slide into first...? We need his hitting and now it looks like he's hurt...who would replace him at 3rd...?

RAM just got Nomar's disease.

Fontenot or Cedeno Hotline...before I get Maciass disease

ramirez is hurt

dusty trying to hide a smile bc macias gets to play every day

my guess is it's a pulled Groin like Nomah...otherwise he tore his achilles. Either way it's likely to end his season.

sigh

my guess is it's a pulled Groin like Nomah...otherwise he tore his achilles. Either way it's likely to end his season.

sigh

scott, he wasn't trying to slide into first. quad/groin went out on him 60 feet down the line

in the real world with a real manager, neifi would play third and cedeno would play short from here on out

(and fontenot would get PT at third in september)

of course, in the real world, we would be getting ABs for murton against major league pitching.

left front/upper quad.

didnt look nomar-esque in the slightest.

before anyone gets too carried away, dont be fooled by mcclain down in AAA...he's not the answer.

fontenot might be worth a look, but comparing him to macias right now isnt really a huge difference probally.

left quad and he didn't slide, he grabbed his leg and crumbled to the ground while running to first.

I think we can accept his offense to go along with his defense. He's only batted 113 times. And defense isn't just tossing out runners, but blocking WPs and calling a game. And check out his post-All-Star Game OPS. He's on fire!

Love this commentary...Dusty's not a "real" manager. Classic stuff.

now the tv guys are saying he's been nursing a quad injury on the other leg. The leg injured is a new event.

Just because Blanco hasn't thrown out a ton of guys doesn't mean that he hasn't stopped a lot of other guys from stealing. Just by throwing out guys at a high percentage means less will try to steal, which could mean that because Blanco is behind the plate we may have turned more double plays or gotten the lead runner at least more often. Just a thought on some of Blanco's intangible's...

Fontenot or Cedeno Hotline...before I get Maciass disease

Do you really think Dusty will play Fontenot or Cedeno ahead of Maciass?

Lets not be silly now. After all, ARam's injury is an oppertunity to see Jose's Little League caliber glove and his incredible bat that can get a hit 3 out of 10 times, without ever taking a walk or seeing one of those hits go for extra bases. Wa-Hoo! Proven Veterans Rock!!!

the other injury was to the right quad according to this article as well

http://www.suntimes.com/output/cubs/cst-spt-k...

2 bad quad's and a bad groin....I vote for the DL

next games lineup of suck:

Lawton LF
Neifi SS
Lee 1B
Burnitz RF
Barrett C
Walker 2B
Macias 3B
Patterson CF

and for those days that Blanco starts, look at this gem

Lawton LF
Neifi SS
Burnitz RF
Lee 1B
Walker 2b
Macias 3B
Patterson CF
Blanco C

we'll probably go on a tear.....

crunch, i'm not saying that fontenot gives you better production than macias right now

but the point is, you're the one that wants to see him get time at 3B so he can be the cubs utility guy next year...what better time than now?

some ABs against major league pitching and playing some 3B up here could only help him. in the case of macias, he probably/hopefully won't be back here next year, and we certainly KNOW that he has no potential to improve in his career.

RobG-
That's quitter talk!
Next you will be saying get Wood under the knife, so he can be ready for spring training.

our only hope is they'll let ARam bat while sitting on a tall bar stool while letting Maciass be the designated pinch runner.

Where does the designated pinch runner stand while ARam bats?

Oy Vey.

"crunch, i'm not saying that fontenot gives you better production than macias right now

but the point is, you're the one that wants to see him get time at 3B so he can be the cubs utility guy next year...what better time than now?"

well...it dont matter what i think first of all.

second of all, there's a reason he projects as a backup next year and not a starter or trade bait for someone looking a starter.

fontenot's playing 3rd is a new thing...he was solely a 2nd baseman til the organization this spring decided to start grooming him for 3rd.

even still, with lewis's injury/suck period, he's seen a lot more time at 2nd.

all im saying is, fontenot is not jesus on stilts or even someone worth going nuts over.

he's macias with a few more walks and less contact.

if he plays great, if he dont, meh...we're not missing out on much here.

oh, but we gain so much more by not having to watch macias play everday

fontenot has 55 walks in AAA this year and 2 in 4 PA in the majors

Macias has 4 walks in 131 PA this year; 5 last year in 204 PA

I think that's more than a few....

Fontenot is no stud and hasn't played a whole lot of third this year, if he gets called up he won't play no matter how far back the Cubs are. He should play cause we have nothing to lose and watching Macias everyday is just painful.

The Cardinals ad typo:

Also comes on standard Gray T-shit

You knew it would be a Cub. Francouer's first unintentional walk comes off Mark Prior.

Francoeur got his first non Intentional Walk. Congrats kid....figured you'd be able to get that against the Cubs.

____ Minds think a like.

good one big L. i'll take a ray king XXL.

Speaking of Francoeur, the Braves had to send back the new jerseys they ordered because the vowels were mixed up FRANCOUER.

Personally I prefer the mixed up version which can be pronounced FRAN SEWER.

Macias projects as "the definition of replacement level" from here to forever.

When will he join the Guthrie/Goodwin/Veres/O'Leary axis of players everyone else is sensible enough not to employ?

Anyone noticing that Corey Patterson is poaching pop flies from the left fielder? Correct me if I'm wrong but it looked like an animated conversation between our LF and CF in the fifth today.

Re Blanco:

"Just because Blanco hasn't thrown out a ton of guys doesn't mean that he hasn't stopped a lot of other guys from stealing."

If that were the case, you'd expect a lower rate of attempted steals in his games.

Blanco has played 301.1 innings, and had 25 runners attempt to steal. That's 0.75 attempts/9.

Barrett has played 817 innings, and had 74 runners attempt to steal. That's .82 attempts/9.

In a full season of Blanco vs. a full season of Barrett, that's a total of 11 more SB attempts. It ain't much.

Putting Blanco's bat in the lineup as much as the Cubs do is a net negative for the offense. his defense doesn't make up for that net negative, so the only question is, does what he does for the pitching staff make up for it? I don't know of a way to measure it, but I'm inclined to think no.

>Also comes on standard Gray T-shit

Aha! I missed that completely. Thanks!

Blanco must be hitting .350 when we complain about him in the ten minutes prior to his PA.

Thanks for the stats, Christian, guess I was wrong on that assumption...

Blanco must be hitting .350 when we complain about him in the ten minutes prior to his PA.

Is there ever a time when we don't complain about him?

Yes... after he gets a double, beyond our wildest rational expectations for the at-bat, we don't complain about him for the rest of the game, or at least not as much. In these situations, he hits .100, so it all balances out.

OK, next thing to worry about...Prior has a one-hitter through 6 innings, but he's already thrown 105 (!) pitches. How many pitches will he throw today? 130? 140? 150?

i'll take a ray king XXL.

I have a picture on my wall of Rick Reuschel in a SF uniform winding up with belly hanging out over his belt. I love that picture.

I don't think Ray King or Rick Reuschel fit standard sizes... try adding a few more X's

"You knew it would be a Cub. Francouer's first unintentional walk comes off Mark Prior."

As predicted on Monday.

(I have to trumpet my correct predictions in the hopes that people will forget my incorrect ones.)

can someone tell me where to get the list of free agents available for next year? (i gotta get a early start on my dream roster for next year cubbies)

121... we'll get there yet. Anybody warming?

I use the list in the comments here, although there's probably something more recent.

Whoops, that's *last* year's list.

Try this one:

http://kmbumb.people.wm.edu/roster/06agency.html

127 pitches? For the love of God Dusty TAKE HIM OUT.

Wait, I'm sorry, 128. Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.

ref comment #56 - To fully analyze this you'd need to understand which teams Blanco and Barrett have played against (and maybe even the the guys who are on base against them). Some teams rarely steal, others run at nearly every opportunity. Raw SB attempts per 9 inning played may not tell you the whole story on Blanco vs. Barrett with regards to this issue.

Can't *wait* for the pitch-count comments. This'll be a treat.

133... 134... 135... 136...

Prior pitch counts the last 6 games
132 (today
118
123
117
101
119

Way to go Dusty. Why do you just take the sledgehammer to his right elbow yourself?

Is there any change Hendry will call Baker and ask him why he left Prior in to throw nearly 130 pitches?

Well this was a must-win game...

Newman, you are right...but you have to go even further and look at the pitchers. Different pitchers are better at keeping runners from stealing.

You're right Bob, it's not like there's any evidence showing that higher pitch counts leads to a greater likelihood of injury in the future (not to mention ineffectiveness in the next few starts)

You're blind allegiances to whatever Dusty does are frightening.

This team angers me with remarkable frequency.

Ignore my 133-136 above, I didn't know Gameday updated the box score now.

That makes it all okay, of course.

"Raw SB attempts per 9 inning played may not tell you the whole story on Blanco vs. Barrett with regards to this issue."

They may not, true, but the fact is the running game is such a small part of baseball today that any increased value Blanco may bring with his right arm are going to be outweighed by how bad he is with the bat.

What an abomination. I'm very pissed ... Sure, let's crack open Prior elbow with a ball-peen hammer while your at it. And for WHAT!!!

Hard to blame Dusty for keeping Prior in there when he strikes out the two guys before (and had 2 strikes in Furcal). Keeping him in for Giles was stupid though. The real problem with the inning was Prior's errant throw off the bunt by Langerhans.

Ha, blind allegiances. That's a good one. It's wrong, but far be it for you to understand that. All I've said all along is that he's not as bad as he's made out to be here by the Dusty Bashers. I realize this isn't the crowd for it, yet I feel the need to express my opinion. That's the frightening part.

Having said that, I certainly don't advocate a high pitch count, and I certainly would've pulled Prior sooner. I was just being sarcastic about reading all of the upcoming brouhaha over this issue.

So basically you agree but wanted to be a dick anyway?

Is there any evidence that if you throw 110 pitches one game and 125 the next that there's extra damage being done to your arm? Just wondering...

Certainly the pitch-count police have an answer.

80s-early 90s and pre-dating baseball would drive you guys nuts if anyone thinks 120-130 pitches is even remotely a big deal.

Oh, I see, I'm a dick because I was dreading (in a sarcastic way) the impending uproar? Got it. The great thing about being insulted by someone you don't know is that it makes it that much easier not to care. Insult away, BillT, if it makes you feel better about yourself.

I'm not watching the game, I'm only following it online. I have no idea how Prior looked. He did strike out the two previous hitters. And I would've pulled him at the very least after Furcal.

I probably would've pulled him after the sixth, but if that had happened, half of Cubdom would be bawling that he pulled Prior too soon.

80s-early 90s and pre-dating baseball would drive you guys nuts if anyone thinks 120-130 pitches is even remotely a big deal.

Crunch...the difference is that those pitchers were conditioned to throw that many pitches. When a pitcher is not used to throwing that many pitches, that is when it becomes a problem.

Of course, when you have a pitcher that has several different arm problems over the last two years, you would think that one be a little cautious with the guy. But not Dusty!

KKKP strikes out and out and out.

Wrigley Field fans stand and boo him as he strides smirking from the plate.

deja effing vu all over again.

There's evidence that the damage to the arm increases with each pitch above #110 or so. So 111 is worse than 110, and 112 is worse than 111, and so on. Go ask Will Carroll or look on Baseball Prospectus.

I think that even the pitch count police would say that isolated games where a pitcher throws 115-120 pitches probably isn't that bad so long as in the other starts, the pitcher is held to a reasonable limit. But consistently throwing 115+ pitches every game is sheer stupidity.

i was watching...

prior was tired but strong...he looked a lot like he has all day...hitting and missing, but mostly in the game.

prior and macias's glove work killed the inning more than any pitching he was doing.

there would be an arguement to pull him that's just as valid as leaving him in, honestly.

it could go either way given the bounced pitches showing he was missing his arm slot occasionally.

but..even with the missing he'd come back and smack the leather hard on target.

go figure.

So let me get this straight in order to hold on to whatever slim chance we have of making the play-offs this season we will 1) have our number one starter (who has a history of elbow problems) make 132 pitches in a start; 2) have our third starter (who has a history of elbow and shoulder problems) pitch out of the bull pen while postponing a shoulder surgery he will need in the offseason; 3) we sent down what might be our starting left field next year (while hitting over 300 btw) so that we can play another player who will not be on the team next year (and who was performing worse that the player sent down) and 4) we sent down a promising SS so that we can play a player with a career OBP of .301.

tem...there's also evidence all that is b/s...but since someone who frequents here wrote a book on the subject it might be a sore subject to discuss.

im gonna just leave it to the fact its player dependant and if you enforce a pitch count across the board just cuz some magic # says so youre being ignorant as a manager and not paying attention to the product on the field.

A lot of people sick of Dusty go haywire over little things. This pattern is not one of them. Needle and jab during Murton ending games on the bench, not another high-stress outing for the franchise arm. This is serious, this is batshit insane, this is a product of upper and field management thinking the Cubs are still in the race. If you're going to poke fun now, then keep your mouth shut when Prior misses time yet again next year.

The basic question remains the same as it has through this entire span: why risk it? How much evidence does there have to be before we learn to balance the gains of getting out of this inning (absolutely nothing, except a lower draft pick) with the potential losses? Why go into innings where the starter has a high pitch count without anybody warming up in the bullpen? (If somebody was warming up when the inning started, please correct me, as it'd certainly be a break from the norm.)

>I probably would've pulled him after the sixth, but >if that had happened, half of Cubdom would be >bawling that he pulled Prior too soon.

And it's that half of Cubdom that nobody should give a damn about. Anyone who thinks 132 pitches is a risk worth taking on a below .500 team plays with fire while covered in lighter fluid. Prior's high pitch counts are mostly his fault, of course, but pulling the plug on him is one man's responsibility.

Please show me the correlation between Prior throwing 132 pitches today and him being hurt next year. If even he did get hurt, can you prove today had anything to do with it? THEN, and only then, will I shut up, Ron Galt.

I already said I would've pulled him sooner. If I'm wrong about this having an adverse affect on Prior, I'll gladly say so. However, I doubt I'll be able to prove that one, either.

prior's never had a history of injury related to pitch counts and he didnt exactly work a string of 90-100 pitch count outtings in highschool/college.

i highly suggest people check out some legacy pitchers to learn that you cant give a generic accross the board magic # for pitcher health.

this is a pretty new realm of thought that's thought to be safe for younger pitchers, esp. ones that work a lotta offspeed stuff or pitchers with history of injury.

if anything, mark prior's mechanics and health should give him a bye on this particular issue.

i'd love to see someone tell dave henderson or nolan ryan they're cut off after 110-115 pitches.

dave stewart..not dave henderson...hahaha

if dave henderson threw 1 pitch, that'd be an issue..heheh

"prior's never had a history of injury related to pitch counts"

Prior had extermly high pitch counts at the end of 2003 and not surprisingly had elbow and heel problems that forced him to miss much of 2004.

Can we say for certain that the 2003 work load was the cause of the 2004 injury, no, but as has been said before why tempt fate when you have nothing to gain.

The bottom line is our hitters blow.
Lawton sucks.
Walker sucks.
Lee sucks.
Macias sucks.
Burnitz sucks.
Neifi Sucks.
Patterson Sucks.
Blanco sucks.

How were we supposed to have a chance to win today?

So Bob, you only believe in direct cause and effect, and all correlations be damned. I see. So smoking didn't lead to higher rates of lung cancer, despite thousands of studies indicating a significant correlation, but once direct genomic lesions were found after exposure to cigarette residue, evidence that has only come about in the last decade or so, then it's time to keep the kids away from the ciggies. To bad for all those kids in the previous forty years who only had silly correlations expoused by silly epidemiologists. I bet they've never even been to a baseball game...err, I mean, never touched a microscope in their lives!

Please show me the correlation between Prior throwing 132 pitches today and him being hurt next year.

Funny, in 2003 this board was filled with comments just like that about Prior and Wood.

Stupid Coincidences

#92 of 98: By tem (August 24, 2005 01:39 PM)
There's evidence that the damage to the arm increases with each pitch above #110 or so. So 111 is worse than 110, and 112 is worse than 111, and so on.
--

If there is evidence that pitch #111 is worse than pitch #112, how does this get affected with what inning the game is in? For instance, if pitch #111 came in the seventh, it would technically be seven(I think they throw seven warm-up pitches, right?) pitches less than if pitch #111 came in the eighth inning. I know this does not relate to today's game situation, I am addressing the comment above, not today's scenario. Tem, do you know? I know the warm-ups are not figured into pitch counts, but surely they would factor into your statement, right? Just curious, not trying to attack.

Nice analogy. As if I give a damn. If you want to show me studies that say for certain that high pitch counts lead to lung cancer, I'm all ears. (That was a joke, just in case anyone was wondering.)

"you cant give a generic accross the board magic # for pitcher health."

You're right, you can't, and no one is suggesting you can.

I feel like every time this comes up, I use the term "straw man" more than I do anywhere else in my entire life.

2003 was probably also filled with comments about Dusty, despite winning the division. I wasn't on this site on 2003, so again, don't care. Show me the proof. Wood had three injury-free seasons before 2004. Did his high pitch counts in 2002 hurt him in 2003? Did his high pitch counts in 2001 hurt him in 2002? Show me the proof. Oh, I see, it's easier to condemn me for having a different opinion.

Ok, Everybody, listen up.

If you're even thinking about criticising Dusty Baker, please stop. Even if your concerns are totally valid, Bob doesn't give a damn.

(yes that also was a joke)

I can't show you a correlation between Prior and one 132-pitch outing. That's not what anybody purports to be able to do. If you want to know about the research into connections between pitching injuries and streaks of being overtaxed in general, then go read Keith Woolner's series on BP.

Of course, if you want to offer a rebuttal to the cost-benefit questions posed above, that'll work too. When there's no benefit involved, it's a little silly to question whether the probability of an injury resulting in part from pitching too much in one session is 50% or 5% or .5%. Unless, Bob, the correlation between a streak of 115+ outings and pitcher performance/injury is zero, as you seem to imply.

Crunch, I understand the argument on both sides. But the way I see it is that you err on the side of caution, especially when the pitcher is as valuable to the future of the franchise as mark Prior is. That point should be reinforce when another top pitcher on your team has had repeated problems.

I don't have a problem with the occassional high pitch count, especially if the pitcher is not struggling (Prior didn't seem to be, but I did not see the first 5 innings). But to repeatedly abuse the arm of the future of your franchise is negligent at best and downright reckless at worst

I did not imply anything of the sort. If you inferred it, that's on you. I'm saying that no one can guarantee anything regarding pitch counts. And that's the last thing I have to say about it, as there's clearly a disagreement here that's not going to be solved.

I dont think 20 pitches in one game will make a difference (110 instead of 130.

Farny vs Patterson. We were all waiting for this.

I wish we had a guy like Farnsworth.

farns would have come in handy...hope ATL has fun paying him 3+m next year, though.

novoa/moore wasnt a bad package at least.

Jon, not comletely sure. I know innings pitched are looked at as another indicator of stress placed on the arm though. The fine people at Baseball Prospectus are much better at answering questions like this :)

Can the cubs officially say this season is over? Wonder what they can get for Burnitz and/or Lawton

BillT, were you saying the same thing last August?

#74 of 113: By tem (August 24, 2005 01:25 PM)
Prior pitch counts the last 6 games
132 (today
118
123
117
101
119

prior threw 120-140 pitches many times at USC.

it was well debated whether it was too much there...it wasnt.

this number...this stupid number...

this across the board assumption...

this treating people like a video game number...

120...

leave it be.

its a guide, but like any guide, you use it as a base then decide what your HUMAN PLAYER can handle.

its not an absolute.

btw...to be "fair" or whatever...pitchers generally get 6-8 days off in college.

still...anytime someone pitches over 120 pitches that's no reason to get upset.

some of you would literally puke looking at what pitchers did in the 50s-early90s (just to keep it modern).

and not every one of them fell apart...

I'm sorry for the mischaracterization. It's implicit in the position "the risk of a pitch-count injury was not substantial enough to keep him out of the game" implies a risk of zero, if we accept a benefit to leaving him in of zero. But, like you said, that's not what you were saying.

In effect, there are two different questions. There's "is there a connection between pitch counts/pitch count patterns and injury/reduced performance?" I think there's plenty of evidence for "possibly," but I'm not going to fight this out here, because people have written about that elsewhere.

The second question is "Was Dusty Baker well-prepared for and did he make the correct strategical decisions this inning?" I don't see how the answer, at least to the first part, can be anything but no, and since no one's contradicted me on the bullpen being empty at the start of the inning, I'll assume that's what happened. Sure, errors helped the inning along, but how many times have we seen this year that more bad things result from pitches 120-130 than pitches 60-70?

The constant entry of starters into late innings with high pitch counts, with the pen completely unprepared for the possibility of a long inning is yet another managerial trait that takes an awful lot of personal motivation to counter (i.e., it's completely stupid.)

macias and prior gave the braves 5 outs that inning...some people wouldnt assume the macias catch, but honestly...it was do'able.

there were issues for keeping prior in the inning and pulling him, both...i commented on it above.

as far as him falling apart at the seams..he wasnt..he was still hitting his velocity, BUT his did miss his arm slot on a couple pitches.

the fact he followed it up by coming on strong probally kept him in the inning.

#118 No. I didn't like the trade though, if that counts.

scott mcclain will play 3b the rest of the way...this is officially the white flag: nomar and rami dl...we should see the kids.

NOTE TO JIM HENDRY:

Please protect Mark Prior from Dusty Baker. How many times this year are our starters going to go into the late innings with 100+ pitch counts and NOBODY IN THE PEN.

I had to turn the game off after the sixth and then turned it back on in the ninth, saw the score and assumed Williamson had given it up because, in my mind, no way did Prior pitch the seventh or eighth. But lo and behold, Dustbag left him in a MEANINGLESS effort.

Does Dusty want to get fired this year or has he now moved on to sabotaging the Cubs for years to come?

Where did you get that from carmenfanzone?

Can some explain what happened with the ball that hit off of Lee's glove?

scott mcclain?

i hope that's just speculation...unless its a fastball mcclain cant hit, period.

"Please protect Mark Prior from Dusty Baker. How many times this year are our starters going to go into the late innings with 100+ pitch counts and NOBODY IN THE PEN."

ohman was up to begin the inning.

novoa joined him before he hit 120.

pitchers were up and prior went 0-2 on furcal. He was a victim of his own crappy defense and a bad decision by Blanco to tell him to throw to second. Leaving him in to face Giles was pretty darn stupid though.

McLain isn't even on the 40 man roster, pretty stupid to put him on. He's like 33 years old. AAAA'er all the way

Fontentot would be interesting and at this point in the season, maybe he'll impress enough to make Macias that much more useless next year. Macias or Perez will be starting Friday as it sounds like Nomar should be fine by Friday.

Did a commenter above really say that Derek Lee sucks?

Just wondering...

Regarding the Barrett & Blanco comparison.
This debate went on a month ago or so here and I think Rob posted the pitching staff's ERA's and other numbers while throwing to each catcher.
The pitcher's numbers while throwing to Blanco were much better. Barrett's bat is great, but he's a weak defender who obviously doesn't handle pitchers as well as Blanco. Blanco also prevents the SB much better and doesn't look clueless when running a guy down between 3rd and home.

And he also said Todd Walker sucks?

Interesting...

It was John and I'm not so sure it was obvious, way too many factors to draw a firm conclusion, but it certainly leaned toward Blanco as a superior game caller.

http://www.all-baseball.com/cubreporter/archi...

Sorry, John... no it wasn't "definitive", but anyone who watches the Cubs on a daily basis should be able to see that Blanco handles pitchers better and is a far superior defender.

about pitch counts...

How about when a pitcher has a history of trips to the DL (whether leg and/or elbow) that a manager consider he maybe more injury prone in the future and that maybe long outings and huge pitch counts may precede a long, nagging injury?

Maybe when you're 7 games out of the wild card and have remained there for a month and you have 6 teams to overcome...almost all of which are closer to 7 games ahead of you than 1 game... you admit the fact your chances are nill and you protect your players from injury.

mark prior's pitch counts made him run into giles and also injure his ankle effecting his delivery...i forgot about that. thanks for reminding us.

Blanco handles pitchers better and is a far superior defender.

I agree with this...though I think it is important to mention that Barrett's defense has signifcantly improved. He has been much better this year than last year.

The question is not really whether or not Blanco is a better defensive catcher. The question is whether or not Barrett's very good bat (in relation to the rest of the catchers in the league) is worth his mediocre/poor defense. The Mets have put up with Piaza's poor defense for a while, because his bat is worth it.

I would argue that Barrett's bat is worth the drop in defense.

I would also argue that "handling pitchers" is overrated. These pitchers should be able to figure out what pitches should be throw when. I have never understood criticizing a catcher for poor game calling but you rarely hear the same criticism of a pitcher.

but is it enough to let Blanco's bat of suck into the lineup more than once a week.

The team is 10th in ERA this year (4.33)
3rd last year (3.81)
3rd in 2003 (3.83)

last year we got better as a team when we went from Miller to Barrett on a full-time basis, but this year there's a huge drop. I personally think it has a lot less to do with Barrett and a lot more to do with Maddux continuing to show his age, never having a solid 5th starter, and Wood missing more games this year than last. And of course our bullpen of suck.

I have never understood criticizing a catcher for poor game calling but you rarely hear the same criticism of a pitcher.

Good point. The catcher doesn't really call the game. He gives the signal to see what the pitcher is going to throw so there are no surprises on his end. The pitcher ultimately decides what he is pitching on each pitch. If the catcher throws a sign the pitcher doesn't want--he shakes him off until the gives the signal for the pitch the pitcher wants to pitch.

The pitcher calls the game...the catcher is pretty much guessing what the pitcher is thinking as far as pitch selection.

shouldnt cubs fans be more worried about an injured aram over a healthy prior anyway?

or for those that dont care about the rest of the season...the SS situation next season...

or if hendry's gonna learn a lesson about having proper backups on the bench in case of injuries such as the day-to-day/month-to-month ones we've seen for 2 years now.

or a 24 loss bullpen and where that's gonna go...

don't forget a screaming line drive off his elbow too, if he threw less pitches Hawpe would have hit the ball somewhere else or just missed it I'm sure.

Bill James in the Neyer/James guide to pitching made a rather convincing argument that high pitch counts led to long-term effectiveness for pitchers(or something like that) and that the BP stuff was a bunch of phooey.

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/mai...

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/boo...

"Based on work in the Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers, itís likely that high strikeout pitchers are mucking up attempts to distill the effect of high pitch counts. Power pitchers tend to run up higher pitch counts (more strikeouts means more pitches thrown), but it has been demonstrated that they have longer careers than ìfinesseî types who start out with comparable overall pitching ability.

Man Looks like I didn't miss anything from Today's game. Maybe Ram's injury will convince them there out of it. On pitch counts the magic number is 120 UNLESS a guy is working on a no-no (which it is unlikely that his PC would get that high), your trying to end a 3 or more game losing streak while your still in contention, or if your in the race in Semptember and in the playoffs. Since this game did not fall into any of those catagories I have to say idiot abused him especally since tommrrow is an offday and he could have thrown Dempster or Wood an xtra inning.

sorry if the above post by me is distracting..im not trying to tell anyone what to talk about..ive just seen the "pitch count" argument yearly and it just never gets anywhere.

some people believe all pitchers are gonna fall apart after 120...some have seen that's not the case...

i dunno if i'd give mark prior's workload to angel guzman but i dunno if i'd give livan hernandez's workload to mark prior...its just too player dependant.

"On pitch counts the magic number is 120 UNLESS a guy is working on a no-no"

no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no.

no.

that is so far from wrong its not even funny.

please check your baseball history if you need a refresher.

"Prior pitch counts the last 6 games
132 (today
118
123
117
101
119

Way to go Dusty. Why do you just take the sledgehammer to his right elbow yourself?"

OK, today we are completely out of the race...but before today the team at least pretended they had a shot. I really don't think you can blame Dusty for this when one of your best assests is throwing 100 pitches in 5 innings...if Prior was pulled after pitching only 5 innings...he'd be pretty worthless and strain an already terrible and weak bullpen. Prior has to be more efficient with his pitches.

Today's a different story though...considering that there is no even remote shot at the playoffs, we should be thinking about next year and it's reasonable to think Baker should have protected Prior at all cost and been conservative with them.

I don't see what the big problem is RE: Prior. Yeah, 132 pitches is no walk in the park, but the key thing to remember is that pitches thrown means next to nothing. What matters is how many pitches are thrown when a pitcher is tired. Prior didn't look like he was laboring too much in the seventh to me. Two strikeouts and three of the four baserunners didn't get the ball out of the infield. One 130 pitch outing has little to no effect on a pitcher.

ya know...about #s...theyre a great guide, but when you start pooling historical #s together and applying them to an individual, that is dangerous and short sighted.

baseball is littered with people who threw 130+ outtings so many times a year its not funny...hell, you can barely ask a player these days to pitch a complete game.

im not talking 1940 vs. 2005 here..im talking things that went on just 10-15 years ago.

our genetic makeup on this planet hasnt changed that much this quickly that we're playing the game with so much more fragility.

until you know what a player can do, its a good idea to keep the pitch count low...while they're still young and growing, good idea...but when you know what they can do and they've shown it...you roll.

the pitch count average is a guide, not an absolute...there's some guys that can barely throw 100 pitches a week that will destroy their arm and there's some guys that can throw 200-250 pitches a week and ready to do it all over again.

please check your baseball history if you need a refresher.

that's nearly as silly as his 120 pitch mantra. The game has changed and evolved, the pitchers have changed as well. I could go on but Ruz said it better than me awhile back.

http://www.all-baseball.com/cubreporter/archi...

The game hasn't changed that much in the last ten years. At least, not as much as pitcher usage has.

the game hasnt changed that much...

i will adamently stand by the notion that pitch counts are player specific.

jamie moyer and kerry wood cannot be judged by the same pitch count...

there's a use for pitch count limitations, but once you know what a guy can do its a waste not to use him.

you dont need to push it to the limit every time out but when the weather is good and the pitcher is feeling good and his stuff is still there...well... *shrug*

jinx.

hehe...

okay I wrote #150 before I read #149 which at the very least has some substance compared to the "history of baseball" which is one of the silliest things ever to base an argument on. So my apologies...

no need to appologize...this is all subjective to our views.

i honestly believe there is no issue with throwing prior like he's being thrown.

i'd be a lot more upset if angel guzman was doing it.

i dunno if we'd even be having this conversation if the pitcher in question was livan hernandez.

to me, its all player dependant.

#72 of 154: By bob (August 24, 2005 01:25 PM)
Can't *wait* for the pitch-count comments. This'll be a treat.

#108 of 154: By bob (August 24, 2005 01:58 PM)
Oh, I see, it's easier to condemn me for having a different opinion.

Who was condemning whom, exactly?

I agree we need to worry about Arams health.

something tells me he will have as many health issues as Ken Griffy Jr. in his career.

Except Griffey's injuries were mostly caused by him playing too hard.

ARam plays the season at half speed trying to avoid injuries and still manages to get hurt.

"i honestly believe there is no issue with throwing prior like he's being thrown."

Considering Prior's trouble staying healthy over long stretch's...I would think pinch count is more worrisome for him than it is for others.

Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of arguing over 132 pitches here or there...because there are tons of other aspects as well, throw in all the inning by inning warm up tosses, throws to first, etc...the difference between even 110 and 130 in any single game might not be that much.

But it does bother me that our pitchers are becoming less and less efficient with pitch counts which forces whomever the manager is to make a choice between 2 evils...put the game in the hands of the beleagured bullpen too early, or risk overworking your starters.

"http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/p...

"The results of the MRI indicated a moderate to severe strain of his left quadricep muscle. Ramirez will be re-evaluated on Friday."

His season might be over.

ow.

strain can mean tear, medically, btw..

the fact he's IN chicago and theyre waiting til friday probally means he's got some intense swelling going on.

either way, that's no good.

Where else would he be besides Chicago?

its not the fact that he's in chicago that's the alarm...its the fact he's already where the docs are and he's waiting another day.

that points to some above average swelling in the area.

bleh...

I suppose but considering they did the MRI sometime in the early evening Chicago time and I'm guessing they'll do another evaluation before the game Friday, it was probably just to give a guy the day off so he didn't have to go anywhere tomorrow.

Other then my fantasy team it's rather pointless anyway....

could be, its just speculation on my part...

"baseball is littered with people who threw 130+ outtings so many times a year its not funny...hell, you can barely ask a player these days to pitch a complete game."

The funny thing is that people like to rattle off the names of pitchers or say they used to throw this many pitches all the time in the days of yonder, blah, blah, blah. However, what this argument fails to recognize is that the gutters of baseball history are littered with pitchers who were injured, maybe because of these high pitch counts, maybe not, who nobody has ever heard of because they were hurt.

The argument on pitch counts goes both ways, but the cubs have too much invested in Prior (and Z) to just flagrantly avoid the evidence that points towards high pitch counts being dangerous.

tem..

and baseball is littered with people who didnt fall apart.

its individual specific.

it does indeed go both ways...read all the posts above to counter/support your side. everything supporting what you said and debunking what you said has been covered throughout this post.

"The funny thing is that people like to rattle off the names of pitchers or say they used to throw this many pitches all the time in the days of yonder, blah, blah, blah. However, what this argument fails to recognize is that the gutters of baseball history are littered with pitchers who were injured, maybe because of these high pitch counts, maybe not, who nobody has ever heard of because they were hurt.

The argument on pitch counts goes both ways, but the cubs have too much invested in Prior (and Z) to just flagrantly avoid the evidence that points towards high pitch counts being dangerous."

What evidence? I've never seen evidence that points to a substantial decrease in pitcher injuries in the last few years to support the claim that many people make.

And if high pitch counts are all that are causing these injuries, why are so many closers getting arm injuries. Sure, a lot of them throw real hard, but there pitch counts are not even close to a problem.

I'm not really against counting pitches. It's a good guidepost for a manager to use. However, I think it's stupid the way that managers use a one size fits all pitch limit for all pitchers and will never let them test their limits.

I don't see any value to an arbitray pitch count. Maybe as an individual guide, but that's about all.
If a pitcher is fatigued he should be taken out whatever his pitch count because his mechanics will alter and his arm will be stressed.
If he still feels strong and his mechanics remain sound and unlabored, what is the point of pulling him just because he has reached 100 pitches?

In my opinion Barrett is a terrible defender and it goes beyond throwing out runners. He can't seem to make plays at the plate, has trouble blocking balls in the dirt so runners advance . Why do you think pitchers prefer to throw to Blanco?

Yes, Dodgers and Mets put up with Piazza's D because of his bat but Barrett's bat doesn't even come close to Piazza's. Barrett should be a backup C and PH off the bench.

Baseball history may be littered with 130 pitch count people (though not really), but there are stats showing it isn't true this year:

The 244 pitchers who have started a game this year have combined for 53 games of 122-132 pitches. They have combined for only 5 games of 133 or more pitches (3 pitched by Livan Hernandez).

The highest average of pitches per game is 114 by Livan Hernandez the second is Barry Zito at 109. We all know Livan is rubber man, but in Zito's 27 starts he has only thrown over 120 pitches once, and that was 124.

So, no, today's baseball isn't littered with pitchers throwing over 130 pitches.

i dont think anyone has ever advocated making a pitcher throw 130+ pitches just cuz they can...it'd be foolish and it just isnt done anymore cuz the modern bullpen makes it unnecessary.

the modern 12-13 pitcher corps is a pretty recent phenomenon compared to the history of baseball...the fact so many teams carry 13 pitchers now and use 5 starter rather than 4 isnt too old itself compared to the age of the game.

to get bent out of shape cuz a guy pitches 110 followed by 120 followed by 110 followed by 130 or etc etc is...well, whatever...

that said, this magic # of "120" historically works out compared to a POOL of players but i dont think its very relistic to compare livan hernandez to rick helling and treat them as the same pitcher.

if youre working with a kid you have no idea what their arm can take that's one thing, but once you know what you got...you got what you got...but to say a guy cant do it or if he'll do it it'll ruin him...that's a player specific thing.

there's a lotta guys in the past that could go 130+ many times out and there has to be guys that can do it now.

we dont see it as much cuz they dont have to anymore...

it may have been done in the past thanks to ignorance or because the player/manager knew what they were capable of with their arm in relation to their stuff...but this situation, too, is player specific.

the era of the constant 120+ pitch starter is essentially dead, but i'd give that "thanks" more to the modern bullpen than the lack of ability of the modern starter.

"I was probably pretty tired, but I got what I was looking foróa ground ball," Prior said. "Unfortunately, it took a bad hop."

X
  • Sign in with Twitter