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The Verducci Effect: 2009

On Monday, Peter Bendix of Beyond The Box Score took a look at The Verducci Effect. The gist of Tom Verducci's theory:

"It's like training for a marathon. You need to build stamina incrementally. The unofficial industry standard is that no young pitcher should throw more than 30 more innings than he did the previous season. It's a general rule of thumb, and one I've been tracking for about a decade. When teams violate the incremental safeguard, it's amazing how often they pay for it."

Bendix notes that five of Verducci's seven most risky young starters had injury or performance problems in 2008.  Bendix identifies seven to worry about for 2009: Jon Lester (9th round), Cole Hamels (4th round), Chad Billingsley (8th round), John Danks (13th round), Mike Pelfrey (18th round), Tim Lincecum (3rd round), and Jair Jurrjens (16th round).

I know there is some debate on whether minor league innings should be included in the calculations, but I prefer to.  Let's identify some other young starters who had big increases from 2007 to 2008.

  • Ricky Nolasco: 157.3 IP increase.  He did toss 140 in '06.
  • Dana Eveland: 151.3 IP increase.
  • Rich Harden: 135.3 IP increase.  Pitched 189.6 innings in '04.
  • Todd Wellemeyer: 111.3 IP increase.  Entering contract year.
  • Jonathan Sanchez: 82.3 IP increase.
  • Zack Greinke: 80.3 IP increase.  Should be noted that he pitched 183 innings in '05.
  • Greg Smith: 74.3 IP increase.  He's in Colorado now, anyway.
  • Zach Duke: 61.6 IP increase.  He pitched 215.3 innings in '06.
  • Clayton Kershaw: 47 IP increase.
  • Ervin Santana: 42 IP increase.  Santana may be an exception since he reached 204 innings in '06.
  • Manny Parra: 33 IP increase.

Full Story |  Comments (22) | Categories: Injuries

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