Matthew Cerrone, Lead WriterMets RHP Matt Harvey is among 11 pitchers at risk of injury this season based on the Year-After-Effect, according to Tom Verducci’s report for SI.com.
Last season, Harvey threw 110 innings in Triple-A, but was shut down during September after making just 10 starts for the big-league club.
Earlier this week, I wondered if Harvey will have a similar limit in 2013, since he’s on Verducci’s list, which is based on protocols established by Rick Peterson when he was pitching coach for the A’s under Sandy Alderson and Paul DePodesta. The Year-After-Effect has been mostly debunked, but since Alderson and DePodesta were in Oakland at the time this was more relevant, I had questions about it’s current place in developing young pitchers…
DePodesta was kind enough to respond to my question and told me:
“We are acutely aware of each and every pitcher’s workload throughout the season and, in fact, maintain multi-year plans to get younger players ready for a Major League workload in a reasonable and gradual fashion. While there are some general rules of thumb, we look at each pitcher on an individualized basis. As far as Matt Harvey is concerned, his workload did increase by 34 innings in 2012 over 2011. However, some of that increase was due to an increased efficiency of his work. In fact, he made just four more starts in 2012 than he did in 2011, so on average he was working deeper into games in 2012, though he maintained similar pitch counts. Fortunately, we had this happen in a number of instances in 2012. Furthermore, as the year stretched on, and Matt approached and surpassed his 2011 totals, both in starts and innings, we adjusted his recovery time to provide him extra rest. There’s always a careful balance between stressing players so that they grow (like weight lifting) and protecting them from doing too much. We simply try to be responsible and methodical in the way we go about it.”
Basically, it sounds like Alderson and DePodesta have moved on from Peterson’s research, as have most. In regards to Harvey, the way I understand it, he isn’t on a strict innings limit, though the team will weigh his overall workload throughout the season in the context of his career. So, I suppose Harvey could be shut down again if he’s exerting himself or pitching in lots of stressful innings, and that projects in a bad way, but that’s not likely to happen given his track record, size and athleticism.