Thiel on pitching prospects
Art Thiel’s column looks at why the M’s haven’t developed much pitching. I’m glad someone’s covering this, and not to be depressing, but when the PI goes away, do you really think the Times is going to suddenly start covering this stuff?
A couple points: Thiel does note that the team’s had a lot of injuries, but on the list of causes one of the things that’s not there is probably the most important cause — that the Mattox/Gillick drafts picked many horrible pitchers.
Also, as to this —
In terms of injury rate, the Mariners may not be much above the norm, although comprehensive stats are hard to come by. Last summer on the InsideThePark.com Web site, executive editor and P-I baseball correspondent Jason Churchill concluded in an extensive story that the Mariners’ casualty rate isn’t much above the major league norm.
He then repeats Jason’s basic contention, which is that power guys with breaking pitches get injured more. There are two problems with this: first, defining what that means turns out to be harder than it would seem, and that statistically if you look at the injuries and attempt to classify them into any defined bucket of what you’re looking you’ll find the data doesn’t support that. Jason’s argument sounds logical, and if you talk to the wizened baseball guys they’ll agree, but I haven’t been able to find the data to support it, and it’s certainly not something that’s as clear as distinction as is being drawn here. I wrote about this in the “Power versus finesse” section of the Attrition War Summary and Conclusions.
BTW, Jason’s got a new blog. Check it out.
I’m happy to see Thiel write about this, especially at such length. I am a little disappointed at how it wound up.