Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Joba Rules in 1971?

I'm finishing Roger Angell's classic book, 'The Summer Game'. In it he mentions the young pitching sensation for the Oakland A's, Vida Blue. It was mentioned he threw 312 innings in 1971. If a pitcher threw that many innings now, his arm would fall off, and a manager and his pitching coach would be fired!
The most interesting part of the article was that Angell mentions that teams were implimenting pitch counts and some organizations wouldn't allow young pitchers to throw specialty pitches such as the slider until they reached AA.
I just found it interesting that for the time teams were looking into babying pitchers. Back then you finished what you started. Thats how it was back in the day. A pitcher would throw and throw and throw. Nowadays a pitcher doesn't have a bullpen session until a couple days after a start.
Its been said the Yankees ruined Joba Chamberlin by protecting him too much. Then you have a team like the Dodgers who would have pitchers blow their arms out. The Dodgers ruined many a young pitchers career by having them throw too much. I knew a guy who played in their farm system, and he said he was a Jobe Boy. Thats in reference to Dr. Frank Jobe, who perfomed and perfected the art of Tommy John surgery.
I thought limiting innings and pitch counts was a current idea. Looks like it was born forty years ago.

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