New set of rules hurting Joba

A FEW QUICK NOTES BEFORE THE DAY GAME
Randy Ruiz is a nice story, but are the Blue Jays kidding, calling him up to DH and playing Joe Inglett in right field when they have Travis Snider in the Minors? Sure, Snider failed to hit coming out of Spring Training, but he’s batting .319/.414/.650 at Las Vegas, is crazy hot right now and remains a top prospect. The decision is a nice break for the Yankees, given they get to play an opponent without a right fielder and a DH without plate judgment — Ruiz has power, but what has kept him in the Minors is that he’s a hacker without a position. It’s a dubious call on the part of the Jays, unless they care more about retarding Snider’s service time than fielding a competitive unit for the rest of the year.

On Derek Jeter’s quest for 3,000 hits: If Jeter plays in the Yankees’ remaining 49 games (we know he’ll be forced into a day off shortly, but this is a thought experiment; adjust accordingly) and continues to average 4.3 at-bats per game, that would give him another 211 at-bats. Say he maintains his current .318 average over those at-bats. He would add another 67 hits to his current 145, giving him 212 for the season and 2,747 for his career. Three-thousand would still wait for 2011, but he’d be much closer than could have been expected at the start of the season.

Finally, a quick note about the Joba Rules II: They might not make sense and could hurt Joba. The danger might not be innings pitched, but stressful pitch counts. That Joba might throw a few more innings than the Yankees want is probably not a big deal, and in any case, you can’t know exactly where the injury inflection point is. The only foolproof way of dealing with that is to wrap him in Mylar and stick him in the basement.

No, the bigger danger is more likely to be created by the extra time off than to be prevented by it, and that is high-pitch innings. The less fine control Joba has, and he seems to have less with the extended layoffs and the knowledge that he’s on a short leash, the more he’ll labor in games, have innings in which he walks two batters, allows a hit, and strikes out another. We don’t know for sure, but it’s entirely possible that 110-pitch outings are not created equal, and that a game where a pitcher throws 50 pitches in one inning and 60 in all others is far more damaging to the arm than one in which the pitches are more evenly spread out. It is entirely possible that the Yankees are creating exactly that situation here. There’s nothing more dangerous than good intentions.

9 Comments

Re: Jeter
Steven, if your calculations are correct, while it would still delay things until 2011, he WOULD still break the all-time Yankees hit record of 2721 held by Lou Gehrig. That would be a very nice (and important, in his eyes, I’m sure) milestone for all Yankee fans to enjoy THIS season.

I don’t buy this at all.

If you go by the numbers, Joba has generally performed BETTER with extra rest. This is all media sensationalism just for the sake of creating some drama. The innings limit should stay.

“There’s nothing more dangerous than good intentions.”

Well, how about actually and explicitly bad intentions (let’s knife Joba, poison him, shoot him and drown him in the Fontanka)? This reminds me of your comment about drunk drivers: “there’s no circle in hell low enough” for them. Where are you going to put Manson and Hitler?

Also:
“The only foolproof way of dealing with that is to wrap him in Mylar and stick him in the basement.”

Won’t work, he’d be eaten by moths. (The midges would tip them off.)

Let’s say Jeter hits 3000 in 2011. Barring injury, he’ll probably have 3600+ hits, if you say he has 150 hits per year the next 4 years.

Innings pitched for Joba is not a bad idea. It should keep him fresh. Jeter continues to hit and without injury will reach the 3000 hit milestone.

2things Steve,
Derek Jeter is one of the greatest SS of all time & a True Yankee. He is a class act and deserves all the accolades he gets. I don’t recall Roger Clemens having any Rocket Rules or a pitch count when he started. I am sick to death of hearing about this stuff. I guess the Yankees feel they have 2 gems in Chamberlain & Hughes and don’t want to endanger their future. BTW, here comes #27.

This notion that Joba’s wildness is caused by extra rest is silly. He didn’t have extra rest between the Boston start and the Toronto start. He’s been wild all year on normal rest. And his best stretch was after he had a very long layoff.

So now the Yankees continue the ruination of Joba. To limit his innings for a year to a number that was picked out of the air is insanity. There is No scientific or medical reason to support this. To paraphrase what Tim McCarver said last Saturday ?show me the doctor that confirms this idea.?
Maybe some of the fans new to baseball think this is a sound idea. Well check the history of baseball and this is a very new idea. But it is an idea with no positive results. Arm injuries have not been eliminated. In fact the number seems to have increased. And pitchers for their careers have not been helped by this? extra care?.
A muscle must be worked harder to get stronger. And the arm is made of muscles. This is not an 11 year old kid we are talking about but a grown man. My father tells of Bob Feller coming to the big leagues at 17 years old and he had a long and great career. And he threw at least as hard as Joba.
Chamberlain has been abused since he came up. Let me see any other pitcher on the Yankees be given all this extra rest as has been reported as the plan for Joba and let me see how effective they will be. No one can pitch every 8 or 9 days and not be less effective. Insanity.

Just for the hell of it, what where the avg. pitch counts of Ford, Reynolds, Raschi, Larson, Guidry et al? This info may not be easily available and a little research may be needed. Old score sheets from games back in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.
And when did the pitch count factor become a big part of MLB?

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