Harvey is having a fantastic second season for the New York Mets. He
has pitched so well, and gone deep into so many games, that he is on
course to throw well over 240 innings this year. As a result, they
started talking about how they're going to make sure the 24-year-old
doesn't get overworked. Although they're not committing to a
'hard shutdown', the Mets would like to find ways to reduce Harvey's
workload between now and the end of September.
"The real story is that pitchers in general tend to get hurt. If about a quarter of young pitchers spend time on the DL, then any list of young pitchers made before a season, even one drawn at random, will have several victims of injury. It's not being under 25 and overworked. It's being a pitcher that's the problem."
“An injured body part is more likely to get hurt again. A pitcher who has thrown a lot of pitches is more likely to have a lot of wear and tear on that arm.”
"I think it's essential to shut down young pitchers with a pitch-limit. Putting a limit on the number of pitches will prevent what we call an 'overuse injury' in the medical world. Overuse injuries develop slowly over time due to repetitive stress on tendons, muscles, bones or joints. Overuse injuries are difficult to diagnose because the pains caused by repetitive microtrauma often go unreported or are overlooked by young pitchers during the initial progression of the injury.
“Many pitchers ignore minor aches and pains because they are subtle and minimally affect function in the initial stages. This can set up the perfect storm for velocity loss and a general decline in the sport.”
“It's time for young pitchers to become more proactive in allowing their arms to recover, instead of waiting to be reactive after an injury has occurred. Following this key concept will not only prevent injuries, but will also increase longevity in the sport."
"We want to err on the side of caution...He threw 175 innings last year. The jump to 200 is not inconceivable. There is research that guys who throw 200 innings early in their careers are more susceptible to injuries. We're aware of that."
"When he came in after the eighth inning, you knew how bad he wanted to finish it...It's like kids growing up. Sometimes it's the time. You extend the curfew, [let them] get on a bike, whatever. And I thought it was the time. If I had taken him out, he would have felt he didn't have a good game...I didn't want that in the record when they talk about Cy Young votes."
“I definitely think its more of a case by case issue. However, a majority of the time developing slowly over a period of time does allow for special attention to properly warming up and evaluating mechanics. In addition, athletes that develop at a slower pace usually become more in-tune with their body.”
“Maybe the real frontier here is in breaking players down into sub-groups based on how they got onto [the Verducci list] to begin with. It's much more complex, doesn't fit nicely onto the page of a magazine, and it's the way that real research is done.”