Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Excerpt: "Mo' Pitchers, Mo' Problems"

"The data does suggest that velocity is, at worst, an interesting line of inquiry. From 2008 through 2013, these were the starting pitchers who threw at least 100 innings with the highest average fastball velocity (thanks, Fangraphs):

"1. Gerrit Cole, 96.1 mph
2. Stephen Strasburg. 95.8 mph
3. Matt Harvey, 95.5 mph
4. Felipe Paulino, 95.3 mph
5. Nathan Eovaldi, 95 mph
6. Jose Fernandez, 94.9 mph
7. Wily Peralta, 94.9 mph
8. Chris Archer, 94.8 mph
9. Justin Verlander, 94.8 mph
10. Jeff Samardzija, 94.7 mph

"Strasburg, Harvey and Paulino have had Tommy John surgery. Fernandez is on his way to one. I'm not even pretending this as some kind of scientific study, but when four of the six hardest throwers in recent years -- almost by definition, four of the six hardest-throwing starting pitchers ever -- meet the same fate, you have to take a look at this new threshold of velocity as a potential cause of injury."