Who rules the baseball world?
No, it’s not managers, or fans, or players. It is one decisive stat—pitch counts.
Who decided that every starter in Major League Baseball has the ability to throw around 100 pitches?
No, I don’t suggest going back to the days of Bob Feller in which pitchers completed most of the games they started. I also don’t agree with Japanese league pitch counts of around 130 pitches. I just think that it is ridiculous to treat every pitcher the exact same.
For example, C.C Sabathia—known for his wins, pitch count and penchant for cheeseburgers—threw an average of 109 pitches a start. That is definitively near the top of the league and it stands only nine pitches over the general time in which managers pull their pitchers. Comparatively, Henderson Alvarez—a rookie last year who successfully joined the Jays towards the end of the season—pitched 97 pitches in his abbreviated 2011 debut.
I feel as if the disparity between a pitcher labelled as a workhorse, and a rookie that is being introduced into the league, would be more than 12 pitches per start.
Think about how few 12 pitches is in the grand scheme of a game. Considering a pitcher’s warm up—before the game, and the beginning of each inning—one would think that 12 pitches would be negligible.
Yes, those 12 pitches add up over the course of the year, and no, I am not an athletic trainer, but pitchers should be treated differently and not on a universal scale.
In kindergarten we were always told we were unique, but I guess MLB managers didn’t get the memo.