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Pitcher prospect injuries

Posted: 02/13/2013 8:46 PM

Pitcher prospect injuries 


One thing I've noticed is that since Huntington got here and with all the drafts we really haven't seen any significant injuries to pitchers in the minors.  I found this pretty impressive as obviously the development system seems to be doing a good job of protecting these kids arms.  I searched and searched and the only Pirate minor leaguer I could find that had Tommy John surgery was Tyler Yates in 2009.  He was 31 at the time so I don't even really count him honestly.  I find it hard to believe the Pirates haven't had a single TJ surgery from the minors but I can't find any.  Does anyone remember any prospects that have had it in the last 5 years?
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Posted: 02/14/2013 5:03 AM

Re: Pitcher prospect injuries 


Unless you consider Charlie Morton an established vet, he probably qualifies.

But you make a good point. I hope it isn't just a matter of luck and it doesn't start to catch up to us.

___________

 

  

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Posted: 02/14/2013 5:55 AM

Re: Pitcher prospect injuries 


Now that you mention it, you're right.  There appear to be fewer injuries in general in the Pirates system, top to bottom, over the past couple of seasons.  Conditioning has been a real problem for this organization for many years, and Hurdle has been vocal in his criticism about it.  The front office seems to agree, as they cleaned out the entire strength and conditioning coaching staff a couple of years ago.  Maybe the new crew is getting some results, whining about Navy SEAL - style training aside.
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Posted: 02/14/2013 7:48 AM

Re: Pitcher prospect injuries 


I guess you don't believe in jinxes.
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Posted: 02/14/2013 8:29 AM

Re: Pitcher prospect injuries 



katoy2j wrote: One thing I've noticed is that since Huntington got here and with all the drafts we really haven't seen any significant injuries to pitchers in the minors.  I found this pretty impressive as obviously the development system seems to be doing a good job of protecting these kids arms.  I searched and searched and the only Pirate minor leaguer I could find that had Tommy John surgery was Tyler Yates in 2009.  He was 31 at the time so I don't even really count him honestly.  I find it hard to believe the Pirates haven't had a single TJ surgery from the minors but I can't find any.  Does anyone remember any prospects that have had it in the last 5 years?
Mike Crotta had elbow problems in 2011 and 2012.
Donnie Veal had TJ in 2010.
Hunter Strickland lost 2011 (I think this was a shoulder injury).
Ryan Beckman had TJ last year.
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Posted: 02/14/2013 8:39 AM

RE: Pitcher prospect injuries 


Ok so there are a few guys. There is no way I expected it to be zero. Crotta was a short term thing and Veal was developed in another organization. So if Beckman is the only TJ guy that has come up through our system that is pretty good. Hopefully the good luck continues.
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Posted: 02/14/2013 9:13 AM

RE: Pitcher prospect injuries 



katoy2j wrote: Ok so there are a few guys. There is no way I expected it to be zero. Crotta was a short term thing and Veal was developed in another organization. So if Beckman is the only TJ guy that has come up through our system that is pretty good. Hopefully the good luck continues.
Yep...that's an exceptional record.
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Posted: 02/14/2013 11:24 AM

RE: Pitcher prospect injuries 


And on the other side NH has also only produced 1 pitcher that has made any impact on the ML team, Jared Huges, in the 5 seasons he has been here.

The injuries are a good thing though. I wonder what if anything was changed when NH took over.
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Posted: 02/14/2013 11:36 AM

RE: Pitcher prospect injuries 


Not enough time. The majority of the first wave of pitchers are just reaching the majors now or in AAA. Locke, Owens, McPherson, Morris, Black, Cole, Irwin.

From the major league level you have Watson and Hughes.

These pitchers have all pretty much been completely developed under Huntington in our farm system. None have had dreaded TJ surgery.
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Posted: 02/14/2013 12:02 PM

RE: Pitcher prospect injuries 



vinnybravo wrote: And on the other side NH has also only produced 1 pitcher that has made any impact on the ML team, Jared Huges, in the 5 seasons he has been here.

The injuries are a good thing though. I wonder what if anything was changed when NH took over.
Karstens, Morton, Burnett, Rodriguez, McDonald, Ohlendorf, Hanrahan, Grilli, Resop, Veras, D. McCutchen, Dotel, Meek, DJ Carrasco, Tyler Yates, and Javier Lopez were all brought in by Huntington and all had an impact on the ML team (all had at least 1 decent-or-better year).

Jared Hughes was drafted by the previous management group, so you can't count him (although he looked like an organizational pitcher until 2010 or so) - same for Tony Watson.

If you're talking about drafting and developing - well katoy already answered that. The philosophy has been to draft HS pitchers - projectible ones at that - if you want to discuss the failures in that philosophy, you'll have a good point...but the fact that they haven't impacted at the ML level is not a failure yet.

Still, Wilson, Black, Irwin, and Cole are close. Taillon isn't far behind. Plus the development of Rudy Owens (plus Colton Cain) helped to bring back Rodriguez; the development of Kyle McPherson is a credit to this group; Locke and Morris will have an impact in the majors this year - those were both trade acquisitions by this FO.
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Posted: 02/14/2013 1:24 PM

RE: Pitcher prospect injuries 


So when you draft a pitcher it takes at least 5 but most likely 6 season before they are ready? That seems a little excessive to me. For a HS pitcher I can see that but still 5-6 years seems like a long time. I just want to see one of these pitchers actually start making an impact on the ML team. NH has had 5 years to build his team. If he does not produce a winning team this season then he needs to be replaced.

I am only talking about pitchers that NH has developed in the Minors. I think has done a decent job of trading for pitcher and signing FA pitchers.
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Posted: 02/14/2013 2:03 PM

RE: Pitcher prospect injuries 


Yeah it generally takes around that long especially with the old draft system. In the old system all the players pretty much waited till the last minute to sign. It meant if you were drafted in 2008 then your wern't going to pitch until 2009.

Justin Wilson was the first pitcher drafted and signed by Huntington. He didn't start in the minors till 2009.

2009 - High A
2010 - AA
2011 - AAA
2012 - AAA/majors

This was a college pitcher. For a high school pitcher expect to add a year or two on top of that.

Some guys will spend a year in rookie ball and others will start out at State College A-. Then you're still looking at stops at West Virginia, Bradenton, Altoona and Indianapolis before you make the majors. One year at each level mans it's going to take 5 or 6 full years before they reach the majors. That is when you start playing which is usually a year after you get drafted for high school arms. That timeline will project them to make the majors around ages 24-25. The first round of high school pitchers are still only about 22 years old now. The 2008 draft was mostly hitters.

So yes it does take that long for pitchers to come up through the system. Some guys will take less time like Cole and Taillon but these are the elite of the elite pitchers here. When you're drafting a kid in the 16th round then chances are it's going to take a full 5-6 years.
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Posted: 02/14/2013 7:37 PM

RE: Pitcher prospect injuries 


I just went and looked at about 8 teams ranging from bad to good and I came up with the following. For the most part college pitchers started pitching at the ML level in their 4th year and HS pitcher started pitching in their 5th season. I only looked at starters. There were more instances of pitchers making it to the ML in the first 3 season than in their 6th season.

Based with that the following should be true:

Black, Locke, McPherson, Morris and Welker should have all had ML experience by now and not just a September call up. They are all being slow rolled in the minors. There is no reason that a College player should have 4 years in the minors an still be in AA. And you add that the Pirates have had no pitching at the ML level for many years and it makes you scratch your head. I think the way the Pirates have developed there young pitchers has been terrible.
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Posted: 02/15/2013 5:55 AM

RE: Pitcher prospect injuries 


I just went and looked at about 8 teams ranging from bad to good and I came up with the following. For the most part college pitchers started pitching at the ML level in their 4th year and HS pitcher started pitching in their 5th season. I only looked at starters. There were more instances of pitchers making it to the ML in the first 3 season than in their 6th season.

Based with that the following should be true:

Black, Locke, McPherson, Morris and Welker should have all had ML experience by now and not just a September call up. They are all being slow rolled in the minors. There is no reason that a College player should have 4 years in the minors an still be in AA. And you add that the Pirates have had no pitching at the ML level for many years and it makes you scratch your head. I think the way the Pirates have developed there young pitchers has been terrible.


Amen, brother, amen.

Last edited 02/15/2013 5:58 AM by williamjpellas

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Posted: 02/15/2013 9:10 AM

RE: Pitcher prospect injuries 


Perhaps it has something to do with preventing injury.

Stephen Strasburg was drafted in 2009 - Has already had TJ surgery
Brandon Beachy was signed in 2008 - Has already had TJ surgery
Kyle Drabek has had TJ surgery twice
Drew Hutchinson has had TJ surgery
Cory Luebke has had TJ surgery
Danny Duffy has had TJ surgery

These are just a sampling of players who have reached the majors in your time frames. There are dozens more and there appears to be a direct relation in perhaps these kids are building up their arms way too fast and it's leading to problems down the line.

I'm sorry but top say the Pirates have development of young pitchers has been terrible is a pretty poor comment. We have no idea what their performance will be because they haven't gotten an opportunity. If the Pirates feel it's better to be safer with pitching prospects to protect their arms that is not a terrible strategy at all. The age the pitcher makes the major doesn't matter. All those pitchers I listed above the team that owns them lost out on an entire year of them pitching. So in Pittsburgh they spend an extra year in the minors but we keep them for an extra year in the majors. Those other guys who are rushed spend one less year in the minors and the team gets them for one less year in the majors because they spend a year on the DL and that counts towards service time.

I'm perfectly happy with the way the pitchers are being developed. Pitching is a very demanding position physically and the Pirates are doing pretty well health wise. No matter how good a pitcher you are, you're pretty useless injured.
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Posted: 02/15/2013 10:08 AM

Re: Pitcher prospect injuries 


Based on the TJ surgeries that katoy listed, there seems to be some logic behind the way that the Pirates bring their pitching prospects along.




I spent most of my money on beer and football. The rest I just wasted.
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Posted: 02/15/2013 10:10 AM

RE: Pitcher prospect injuries 


You named 6 guys who had TJ surgery that made the major in my time frame. How many players had TJ surgery in the minors? Im sure it was way more than 6. TYour point is mute. Players like Strasburg was almost a given to have TJ surgury because of the way he threw. When he was at SD State just about every piece I saw on him said he was in for serious arm issues if he continuted to thow the way he does.

I find it funny that you are happy with the way Pirate pitchers are being developed when they have not developed a good pitcher in 15 or more years. The best they could do was a .500 pitcher with a 4.5 plus ERA and you are happy with that?

Lets just hope that the guys that they have coming up can actually produce at the ML level because they have not had one do that in a long long time.

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Posted: 02/15/2013 10:39 AM

RE: Pitcher prospect injuries 


What the Pirates developed the previous 15 years has nothing to do with what Huntington got here.

Other organizations have a much higher TJ surgery in the minors as well. Perhaps there is some kind of issue with how they are handling pitchers and the Pirates have developed a system that better protects young arms.

All we can go by is the data in front of us which is that since Huntington got here the health of young pitchers in the system especially when it comes to TJ surgery has been phenomenal. Most organizations are having 3-4 guys go down a year in the minors. The Pirates have had one guy in five years that developed through our system in the minors get hurt. It could just be plain luck or it could be some kind of breakthrough.

The pitchers I gave you were just a small amount. There are dozens more. I'm of the belief that other organizations just have way too many injuries for the Pirates to be this lucky.

All I know is this is the best the Pirates rotation has looked since the playoff years and that isn't even factoring in Cole, Taillon and all the pitchers in the minors. I really have no clue with why you felt the need to go back 15 years and talk about me being happy with development over that time. Philosophy changes with new GM's but that is all really besides the point because this thread was simply made to acknowledge health. We can argue performance in a few years when we see how Cole and Taillon are doing in the majors.
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Posted: 02/15/2013 11:03 AM

RE: Pitcher prospect injuries 


Certainly pitchers have to stay healthy in order to achieve what they are capable of achieving---and more pitchers than not end up seriously injured at some point in their careers.  Who knows how many guys who otherwise had Cy Young or Hall of Fame talent lost their careers not to lack of ability, but to injury?  So I think katoy's point here is valid as far as it goes.  That said, vinny is right to point out that we still haven't seen a whole lot in terms of homegrown pitchers having much of an impact on the Pirates' major league pitching staff since Huntington took over.  In the final analysis, then, you need both health and production.  So far we have health, and that is important.  But now we need production.
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Posted: 02/15/2013 11:27 AM

Re: Pitcher prospect injuries 


We'll start to see the fruit of Huntington's labors starting this year. As katoy pointed out, most of NH's first draft (2008) was centered around bats. And after that, besides Cole, Black and a few others, the Pirates have been drafting projectable high school arms which usually take longer to develop. I suspect that we'll see Cole and Black in Bucco uniforms at some point this season and possibly Irwin as well.

Let's not forget that the cupboard was pretty much bare when NH took over. You can't blame him for that. It's starting to get to the point where the arms that we've been drafting will come in waves, and frankly, it's pretty exciting.




I spent most of my money on beer and football. The rest I just wasted.

Last edited 02/15/2013 12:44 PM by burghsports3

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