ESPN.com’s Tim Keown takes the angle that today’s pitchers are overpitched and undertrained.
“The reason everybody goes nutty when the White Sox allow Chris Sale to throw 115 pitches on May 28 and 119 on June 3 isn’t because there’s some magic number that portends weakness or injury or imminent surgery. Instead, it’s because most professional pitchers aren’t allowed to train their arms to throw 110-plus pitches in a game and be in a position to be strong five days later.”
“The two best minor league pitching prospects right now are Dylan Bundy of the Orioles and Trevor Bauer of the Diamondbacks. Both were drafted last year, and both have superhuman training regimens based on — get this — actual throwing. They throw long toss up to 400 feet on the day of their starts and they throw the day after and every day in between.”
But this isn’t the kind of training he’s writing about:
“Six weeks ago a high school pitcher in Louisiana, a kid signed to pitch in college at Tulane, threw 193 pitches and 15 innings in a single game. His opponent, signed to LSU, threw 10 innings and 154.”
The 1988 Mississippi State University graduate presents “a quick listing of questionable starts that have caught my eye.”
“The general threshold for listing is 120 actual pitches or 130 estimated, although short rest will also get a pitcher listed if I catch it. Don’t blame me; I’m just the messenger.”