This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.
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"Add it all up. Games are still nine innings long, the season still 162 games. Less is being asked of starters, though, so relievers have to pick up the burden. Less is being asked of relievers, too, so you need more of them. On a daily basis, relievers are being handled more carefully, never pitching on four straight days and rarely on three, so on some days managers have big Xs through two or three of their better guys.
"What if we’re just running out of pitchers? What if -- with pitchers making up 55% of Major League Baseball on most days, except when they make up more -- we have finally run out of arms?"