REDUCING ROOKIE PITCHERS' MILEAGE; Cardinals Learned Lesson from 'Strasburg Shutdown,' Instigated Plan to Keep Young Pitchers Viable for Postseason; BASEBALL

By Goold, Derrick | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), September 10, 2013 | Go to article overview

REDUCING ROOKIE PITCHERS' MILEAGE; Cardinals Learned Lesson from 'Strasburg Shutdown,' Instigated Plan to Keep Young Pitchers Viable for Postseason; BASEBALL


Goold, Derrick, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


The Cardinals don't want to name-drop what other teams choose to do with their young, cherished arms is, after all, their business but one pitcher is on the tip of the tongue when exploring how they preserved rookies Shelby Miller, Michael Wacha and others this season.

That's because when the Cardinals played Washington in the first round of the playoffs last October, they didn't have to face Stephen Strasburg. The Cardinals didn't want to give an opponent the same luxury.

As the first-place Cardinals enter the final sprint toward October they have a lead in the National League Central Division, 19 games remaining (16 against losing teams), and a full complement of available rookie pitchers.

A year after Washington engaged in a National debate by shutting down Strasburg weeks before the postseason started, the Cardinals adopted a different plan. They were going to limit the innings for Wacha, Miller and others, but do so throughout the season so they wouldn't be a spectator in September or, if possible, October.

"I think you try to watch and learn, right?" Cards manager Mike Matheny asked. "Every situation is different. But we don't want to put a kid in that tough situation where they're watching. We explained (to Wacha) where we are and what the thought process is. The league learns new things every year. Some of these young guys all over baseball are coming up and making a splash in September. How do we protect them and at the same time get the best from them?"

Wacha (3-0) pitched seven scoreless innings against division contender Pittsburgh on Sunday and in two starts against the two closest teams to the Cardinals in the standings the rookie has thrown 13 consecutive shutout innings.

Miller (12-9), who starts tonight at Busch Stadium against Milwaukee, is looking for footing after a few stumbles in August. He will be making his 28th start of the season, matching his total from last season. At this point in the season, Wacha and Miller have thrown fewer innings in 2013 than they did in 2012.

The same is true as October approaches for rookies Carlos Martinez, Trevor Rosenthal, Seth Maness, Kevin Siegrist and Tyler Lyons.

If anything, an official said, Wacha and Martinez are short of initial projections.

"Right now, you can't ignore the program that was put in place and how it worked," Matheny said. "It's one of those impossible things to measure, though. You'll never know how it would have been if you just went right along throwing them into the fire. ... We looked at where we would have to draw the line and the longer we delayed that, the more they could compete."

When it came to Wacha, the Cardinals' first-round pick in 2012, the club estimated that he would come to the majors around Aug. 1, general manager John Mozeliak said. The club worked his schedule back from there, inserting ways to get him a break and save innings. The team didn't go into the season with a hard innings or pitch limit, choosing instead to set a range, based in part on studies and other young pitchers.

The goal was to avoid having Wacha, who pitched 113 1/3 innings for Texas A&M in 2012 and 134 1/3 innings total, push too far beyond 150 innings. Miller, who pitched 150 1/3 innings last season, could target 175-180 innings or so. A lot depended on how strong they looked, how many pitches they'd thrown in individual starts, and, of course, their health. The Cardinals track what they call "stress" innings and wanted to react to those, especially with Wacha in Class AAA.

Mozeliak, his front office staff, minor-league officials Gary LaRocque and Brent Strom outlined a schedule for Wacha's April, May, June and July that would keep him available for the majors starting in August.

"The only fly in the ointment was when we brought him up," Mozeliak said.

Mostly because of injuries, the Cardinals needed a starter in late May and promoted Wacha, less than 365 days removed from college ball, to make his debut. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

REDUCING ROOKIE PITCHERS' MILEAGE; Cardinals Learned Lesson from 'Strasburg Shutdown,' Instigated Plan to Keep Young Pitchers Viable for Postseason; BASEBALL
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.