Pitch counts and inning limits have become the standard Major League Baseball teams use when trying to keep their young pitchers from getting injured.
However, it is tough to say with certainty that this approach is working, and the latest example is New York Mets ace Matt Harvey, who is done for the season after sustaining a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament.
Harvey's injury sparked Hall of Fame pitcher and Mets legend Tom Seaver to sound off on his opinion about the way teams handle pitchers nowadays. In short, Seaver believes modern day hurlers are "babied" too much.
“These kids today, they want to be men, they want to be foxhole guys, but they’re not being allowed to do that,” Seaver said. “Imagine if these computer geeks who are running baseball now were allowed to run a war? They’d be telling our soldiers: ‘That’s enough. You’ve fired too many bullets from your rifle this week!’ ”
Seaver probably takes his point a little too far with the solider reference, but he makes his point crystal clear, nonetheless. Pitchers simply aren't allowed to amass the kind of innings that they used to.
“There is no set numerical value you can put on a pitcher,” Seaver said. “They’re all different. What’s important is to get into the pitcher's head, to know what he’s made of."
What Seaver was made of was three Cy Young Awards, 311 career victories, and nearly 5,000 career innings pitched.
“I guarantee most of these pitchers today would like to realize their full potential and pitch more. Unfortunately, this is what the game has come to and sadly there’s no turning back.”
Seaver believes money is partly to blame for this new culture.
“Look, I don’t blame these organizations for what they’re doing with pitchers. There’s just too much damn money in the game now.
“But it’s the wrong approach. I can only speak from experience.”
Via New York Daily News