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  • Jurrjens' innings

    Ain't it great when you've got a kid who can go deep into games? It's a really great thing to have, especially when the kid is 22 years old and has a long future in front of him. Only one thing to worry about -- pitchers who have a lot of miles on the arm that young don't tend to survive that long. THe exceptions are notable because they're rare.

    Jurrjens is a fantastic young pitcher and a great candidate for NL Rookie of the Year. For an aging Renteria he was a positive steal. Buttt... he's already got 54 IP this year and he's thrown a lot of pitches per inning in his last few outings, a sign of advancing fatigue. That, plus on the Red Sox he'd be on about a 170 inning limit for the entire season based on last year's combined 143 IP, which can screw the Braves over at the rate he's going right now because he'll have no innings left for the postseason and might not even have too many for September.

    Basically, how should this kid be used? Go for broke with 200 IP at the age of 22, or conserve him for future years?

  • #2
    I don't know really what to do; as long as he is pitching well, I want him to be out there. I guess the best example so far would be Felix form the Mariners who is only 22 as well. His last two years when he was 20 and 21, he pitched 191 and 190 innings respectfully, but then again, not over the 200 inning mark. Cox is smart, he will figure out the best thing to do.
    "I never thought home runs were all that exciting. I still think the triple is the most exciting thing in baseball. To me, a triple is like a guy taking the ball on his 1-yard line and running 99 yards for a touchdown." -Hank Aaron

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    • #3
      The Braves need starters to go further into games. I don't think they will let Jurrjens pitch over 200 innings. Whenever the bullpen is back and active I think he'll be put on a more limited IP schedule.
      My collection of autographs: TTM Autos

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      • #4
        From watching the Braves for a while now they are not ones to treat pitchers with kid gloves if they are in Atlanta. The Braves are very careful about how they handle prospects and they rarely force someone onto the team before they think they can handle a full workload. For me Jurrjens wouldn't be in the Majors right now if the Braves didn't think he could handle 200 IP.

        Just look at the past with the Braves and great young talented pitchers. John Smoltz in his first full season had over 200 IP. Tom Glavine came just 5 innings away from throwing 200 IP in his first full season and the next season didn't get to 200 by 14 because he missed a few starts.

        The Braves as a Team treat their (top tier) young pitchers with kid gloves giving them pretty strict pitch counts in the minors or an inning limit, but the day they reach Atlanta they expect you to go 200 IP not limit you because you are young. Bobby will protect a pitcher and put him in the best possible position to succeed but he won't take someone out of a game if they are pitching well because he is young and wants to protect him.

        For me I think it is stupid to limit a young pitcher's innings to some random number because you are scared they may hurt their arm. For me if you don't think a kid can handle a full workload then keep them in the minors until you think they can.
        Extend Prado!!!

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        • #5
          Jurrjens has been very Chuck James-ish lately, going just five innings twice and six once in his past three starts. His control was wild enough so that he had 100+ pitches in two of those appearances. I think he only had 69 pitches in five innings in one so that he could be saved for the doubleheader, though.

          I don't expect him to go seven every time, but at the same time, I really don't think he has been going "deep into games" with that much regularity now. Unless you think going six is going deep.
          46 wins to match last year's total

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          • #6
            Not exactly a random number, PBF, the number 170 IP would be 30 more innings than he pitched the previous year. Teams that take that sort of thing seriously use that as a baseline.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Imgran View Post
              Not exactly a random number, PBF, the number 170 IP would be 30 more innings than he pitched the previous year. Teams that take that sort of thing seriously use that as a baseline.
              So THAT'S why you said that Jurrjens should have been closing earlier in the year. Honestly, I thought you were nuts when you said that.
              46 wins to match last year's total

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Imgran View Post
                Not exactly a random number, PBF, the number 170 IP would be 30 more innings than he pitched the previous year. Teams that take that sort of thing seriously use that as a baseline.
                I still don't think that makes much sense what is the difference between 170 to 190 IP. To purely limit a guy because you are afraid he might get hurt is just something I disagree with, unless he has a history of injuries, it doesn't make a whole amount of sense to me.

                Innings are just to random of things you can throw 6 pitches in one inning or 30, to me if you are going to limit a young pitcher it should be much more based on a pitch count per game then IP.
                Extend Prado!!!

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                • #9
                  I agree with PBF, as long as he says injury free, which includes little nagging pain, he should be able to go 170-200. I also agree with the pitch count argument. You can go 9 innings in a game and pitch 99 pitches if you have crazy good stuff or you can throw 6 innings and 115 pitches if you are struggling. I think they should only limit him on number of pitches rather than innings. Good point Purebaseballfan. As far as him closing, I see your point but where would the Braves be without JJ starting? He has been an incredible key piece for the team. I hope he can keep it up. Let him start and let him have a pitch count watch rather than innings watch.
                  "I never thought home runs were all that exciting. I still think the triple is the most exciting thing in baseball. To me, a triple is like a guy taking the ball on his 1-yard line and running 99 yards for a touchdown." -Hank Aaron

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                  • #10
                    It's hardly a baseless belief. Pitchers, especially very young pitchers, who expand their IP too much in one year tend to struggle with ineffectiveness over the next couple years even if they don't get hurt. Take a look at Dontrelle Willis. Not yet 28 and he might be done. Take a look at Anibal Sanchez for the quintessential horror story (jumped from 120 to 200 IP, that's only 20 more innings than Jair would be jumping at the same age).

                    It's why a lot of big market teams coddle their prospects so much. There's a ton invested in young players. Why take foolish risks?

                    Sam: I said that because he had good stuff and yes, conventional wisdom says limit their innings. But I also said that because I thought Jurrjens was blocked by 5 talented pitchers, which while it might have been the case at the time, didn't realy form an impediment for him.

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                    • #11
                      It is not always the case as with Willis and Sanchez. Look at C.C. Sabathia for example. He had 210 innings when he was 22 years old and has had around 190-200plus since then in every season except for one in which he has 188 innings. He had 180 his first season (21 years old). While he has not had a good season until a few starts ago, he has maintained a steady status and has quickly become a star, while maintaining health and pitching quality. Brandon Web had 180 in his first season while being 24, which is quite different than 22 but still, is quite impressive, and look at his stuff now. And while the verdict is still out on King Felix, he had 190 innings his 20 and 21 year and had an era of 3.93 his 21 year, which is impressive to me. So far he has not shown any form of fatigue yet, but then again he is still young. Jake Peavy had 194 innings when he was 22-23 and progressively has only gotten better as well. I think this shows that it is not the case for everyone. Some pitchers who have pitched more than 170 their first year can succeed and look how good they are now--Sabathia, Webb, Peavy; just to name a few.
                      "I never thought home runs were all that exciting. I still think the triple is the most exciting thing in baseball. To me, a triple is like a guy taking the ball on his 1-yard line and running 99 yards for a touchdown." -Hank Aaron

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Imgran View Post
                        It's hardly a baseless belief. Pitchers, especially very young pitchers, who expand their IP too much in one year tend to struggle with ineffectiveness over the next couple years even if they don't get hurt. Take a look at Dontrelle Willis. Not yet 28 and he might be done. Take a look at Anibal Sanchez for the quintessential horror story (jumped from 120 to 200 IP, that's only 20 more innings than Jair would be jumping at the same age).

                        It's why a lot of big market teams coddle their prospects so much. There's a ton invested in young players. Why take foolish risks?
                        I don't think it is a baseless belief just one that should be done in the minors. I doubt Dontrelle's trouble is because of his early success, it seems to me that teams started figuring him out more then anything else. Dontrelle's hits continued to rise every single year since he debuted (no matter what amount of IP), his HRs have gone up since 2005 and his walks have gone up every single year since 2005 and his strikeouts have gone down.

                        I don't disagree about Anibal but I am of mind that the Marlins are horrible at rushing players to the majors because they have so much turnover every 5 years. I blame bad decisions by the team to take a guy that was clearly not ready to have a full workload and push him into the rotation right away.

                        I think that is where we lose each other Imgran, I don't think limiting pitchers by Pitch Count or IP is a dumb idea but just one that should be in the minors. I think doing things like that in the majors don't help the team but are more of a roadblock that can hurt the team, and when I see a team doing something like this in the Majors I feel they rushed a player to the majors that shouldn't be there. (Even if they have success)
                        Extend Prado!!!

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                        • #13
                          I think the Braves need to do what they need to do... Let us not forget they had 3 of the best pitchers is the game for years when they were young and they are still pitching well into their 40s. So who are we to question Bobby Cox. I think having a 350+ game winner, 300+game winner, 3,000 strikeout pitcher who would have over 300 wins if he didn't have injury problems in your organization you can say they know what their doing. Also JJ has been lights out. Look at the game tonight he is just sick. I've got to meet him this past spring training and he's a great kid with a great baseball mind. Has been a huge Braves fan his whole life. Look forward to seeing this young kid win a few world series championships for us!
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                          • #14
                            Trying to "take care" of a pitcher by imposing an arbitrary, round numerical limit on pitches in a game, or innings in a season, is a very crude and lazy way of protecting arms. There are no formulas. You need to watch the pitcher, through the course of each game, and over the span of the season.

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                            • #15
                              Nice performance by Jair last night. I have a friend that likes the Mets and was always talking up Pelfrey. I think after last night, I won't be hearing anymore of that. Pelfrey is now 1-3 against Atlanta with a 6.85 ERA.
                              My collection of autographs: TTM Autos

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