Jump to content

Visit Rotoworld.comRotoworld Forums  
Rotoworld: MLB | NFL | NBA | NHL | NASCAR | CFB
Sports Talk Blogs: PFT | HBT | PBT | CFT | PHT
  Visit NBCSports.com

Photo
- - - - -

The Verducci Effect


  • Please log in to reply
48 replies to this topic

#1 FouLLine

FouLLine

    Hall of Famer

  • Established Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,942 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 30 January 2013 - 04:23 PM

The Verducci Effect got it's name from The Sports Illustarted writer and baseball insider Tom Verducci who has intensely covered baseball since The 80's.

Who has a theory that young pitchers should not see an increase in total innings pitched of much more than 30 from season to season.


I have seen a lot of articles that try to debunk "The Verducci Effect", but there is never valid reasoning behind it. It's just more of a take my word article. Or an article that tries to bash Verducci for not having enough evidence to support his claim. But I've seen it happen many times.

I've seen many pitchers fall claim to it. I called Pineda to be a great prospect years ago. I also called him to fall victim to The Verducci Effect last year.

But in all fairness maybe I only remember the ones who burned me and forget about the ones who didn't? To be fair let's investigate.

How many guys can you list that weren't effected by it? We should set parameters though.

Let's say guys who are under 26, never thrown more than 150 innings in a season of professional baseball, who then saw a 35 or more inning increase in the next season.

Let's try to find how many guys who fit that criteria and see if they were effected or uneffected by it.

So next we need to lay out parameters on what defines "effected" and "uneffected".

I think effected would be a big regression and/or an injury in the following season (possibly should even look at the 2 next seasons). Uneffected means pitched nearly as well or better.

#2 RotoRaysfan

RotoRaysfan

    All-Time Great

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17,835 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rotobronco

Posted 30 January 2013 - 04:42 PM

Actually, the Verducci effect has been debunked many times - but none as scientifically as BP just did (and bonus, free content) - http://www.baseballp...articleid=19497

The study mirrored all of the other findings - when you look at a control group of pitchers under 25, and then look at the Verducci target group, the number of injured pitchers doesn't differ appreciably - and ironically, the amount of DL days actually is GREATER in the control group. The other take-home message - young pitchers nowadays get hurt a LOT...regardless of the methods used (IP limits, avoiding certain pitches, etc.).

And frankly, it makes entire sense - because of the principle of biological plausibility. What is magical about 30 IP? There's a huge difference if you're 18, or 23, or 27 (and I realize age 25 was then chosen, but the point remains). What about fatigue, high-stress IP? Extra sessions? Pitching when fatigued? And none of that accounts for good/bad mechanics (which is a topic unto itself...). If it was that easy, teams would have a surefire formula to avoid injury - and yet, they keep seeing high injury rates. For a while, everyone was with Nolan Ryan's theories - but even then, the injury bug bit them hard. Right now, biomechanics is the big thing - we'll see how that goes. Sadly, it looks like the search for one magic bullet remains elusive. Given that, it's not surprising the Verducci effect has proven over time to be no better than random chance at predicting injury over the long haul.

Is extra workload a factor? Perhaps, it makes sense as one part of a very complicated equation. There's no doubt that overuse is a problem - the issue is that "30 IP+ below age 25" is still too simplistic a measure of overuse. So, to answer the question - is it a good predictor by itself? Time and again, empirical evidence has said no, overwhelmingly so. BP's article is timely - but it's last line is perhaps the best one:

So here's to hoping that I don't have to resurrect this column a year from now. It's time to just admit that the Verducci Effect doesn't hold water and move on.


  • The Ringer, whiskeyriver, yoda and 2 others like this

Football PPR 2014 - Cutler, L. Bell, R. Jennings, Dez, Marshall, V-Jax, Justin Hunter, Quick, Rudolph, HOU DST. D-Thomas fan club member.
Dynasty 2014 - Romo, E. Lacy, Gore, T. Gerhart, C-Michael, J. McKinnon, D-Train, K. Allen, R. White, M. Evans, D. Adams, B. Quick, J. Graham, L. Green, HOU DST.

Been a blast everyone - take care, and remember to abide by the CoC, and to help your fellow community out - it's what's made the Forum community great!

P.S. My passion is primarily FBB - you'd LOL at my football track record!


#3 FouLLine

FouLLine

    Hall of Famer

  • Established Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,942 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 30 January 2013 - 06:15 PM

If that's the best article opposing The Verducci Effect, than there's not much evidence against it.

Many things I find wrong with the article.

First off, it's a clear smear campaign out to prove Verducci wrong. Now I'm not taking a side either way right now and it's glaringly obvious from the personal attacks on Verducci who is a highly respected baseball writer.

Secondly there is only one example listed, Chris Sale. Which isn't the best example because he was pitching out of the pen last year and pitched 136.67 innings between college, minors, and majors in 2010. Had he gotten his 30 pitch increase each year after he'd be at 196.67, which wasn't super far off from where he was.

Also even his graph shows an increase in injuries to "Verducci's".

So yeah despite all the noise either way on it, I'd like for us here at rotoworld try to figure this one out.

#4 RotoRaysfan

RotoRaysfan

    All-Time Great

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17,835 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rotobronco

Posted 30 January 2013 - 06:37 PM

If that's the best article opposing The Verducci Effect, than there's not much evidence against it.

Many things I find wrong with the article.

First off, it's a clear smear campaign out to prove Verducci wrong. Now I'm not taking a side either way right now and it's glaringly obvious from the personal attacks on Verducci who is a highly respected baseball writer.

Secondly there is only one example listed, Chris Sale. Which isn't the best example because he was pitching out of the pen last year and pitched 136.67 innings between college, minors, and majors in 2010. Had he gotten his 30 pitch increase each year after he'd be at 196.67, which wasn't super far off from where he was.

Also even his graph shows an increase in injuries to "Verducci's".

So yeah despite all the noise either way on it, I'd like for us here at rotoworld try to figure this one out.


Read the article in its entirety - he actually cumulated ALL the pitchers who met criteria, over a long period of time (2006 to 2012) - unlike Verducci, who initially cherrypicked guys (and then adjusted players age later, when the original hypothesis was crushed with repeat full analysis). And unlike Verducci, he got a much large sample to analyze by looking from 2006-2012. These are no-doubt, time-honored scientific principles - as larger samples and longer timelines will reduce the chance of an observed phenomenon being due to random chance. And no, it's not the only study - but the latest in literally a long line-up, these are the most well-known (but there are other analyses, these are the most comprehensive):

Witness:

http://baseballanaly...ucci_effect.php
http://www.hardballt...r-after-effect/
http://www.sabernomi...erducci-effect/
http://www.baseballp...articleid=15962

Frankly, those guys spent way more time than Verducci, they included ALL pitchers who qualified, and they did it over different years - and each time, NO ability to discriminate.

There's a reason why the Verducci effect gets panned - it's because it's been well-studied, and proven to be a phenomenon that hasn't been able to be reproduced. When you combine it with the fact it can't come up with a biologically plausible explanation - well, I understand the skepticism. Honestly, the attraction of a 30+ IP is easy to see - but the science is flawed, and it hasn't held up to repeat analysis. Simply put, the Verducci effect is bad science. It tried to make an observation of one year into an explanation of causality - which hasn't held up. Worse, it doesn't even have a biologically plausible angle to explain why 30 IP is so important (the 2nd criterion used when evidence is lacking - here it's not even lacking, but if it were, it would be great to see some basis that is sound, rather than arbitrarily chosen and retroactively fitted). Again, if it were only that easy to use IP increase - teams would have the ability to prevent injury. But sadly, it's proven not to be the case....time & again.

Overuse is surely a component - but just that, part of an equation that is way more complex than a simple number & age.

P.S. As much as I understand why the Verducci effect gets panned - ironically, I enjoy reading Verducci's writeups. It's too bad this is one of his more infamous articles - his body of work in the other areas, I thoroughly enjoy (mainly because he stuck to analysis & scouting, rather than attempt flawed science).
  • The Ringer likes this

Football PPR 2014 - Cutler, L. Bell, R. Jennings, Dez, Marshall, V-Jax, Justin Hunter, Quick, Rudolph, HOU DST. D-Thomas fan club member.
Dynasty 2014 - Romo, E. Lacy, Gore, T. Gerhart, C-Michael, J. McKinnon, D-Train, K. Allen, R. White, M. Evans, D. Adams, B. Quick, J. Graham, L. Green, HOU DST.

Been a blast everyone - take care, and remember to abide by the CoC, and to help your fellow community out - it's what's made the Forum community great!

P.S. My passion is primarily FBB - you'd LOL at my football track record!


#5 jsp2014

jsp2014

    Hall of Famer

  • Established Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,636 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:WILD FIRE

Posted 30 January 2013 - 06:41 PM

no two humans are the same. so why make blanket rules to apply to all humans?
  • CrimsonFever likes this
I will never draft Francisco Liriano ever again.

#6 Matthias

Matthias

    Superstar

  • Established Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,277 posts

Posted 30 January 2013 - 07:54 PM

Not for nothing, but throughout the OP you used "effected" and "uneffected" when you really mean "affected" and "unaffected".

As RRF lays out, the Verducci Effect isn't really true. Pitchers are fragile. Caveat emptor.

#7 yoda

yoda

    Hall of Famer

  • Established Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,985 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Diego

Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:33 PM

Yes, let's just use a single variable as proof to something as complex as the human body and biomechanics.
www. drafttracker.net

#8 FouLLine

FouLLine

    Hall of Famer

  • Established Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,942 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:19 AM

Guys his theory is taken way out of context. It doesn't mean that a pitcher will break down, but it increases the chances of a pitcher breaking down.

Even the graph in the article showed that.


Body Part

Control

Verducci

Shoulder

12.4%

17.3%

Elbow

10.2%

13.3%

Forearm

6.6%

4.0%

Hand

1.5%

5.3%

Fingers

5.1%

12.0%

Thumb

0.7%

2.7%

Upper Arm

1.5%

0.0%

Wrist

1.5%

0.0%

Any Arm Injury

32.8%

45.3%

Any Injury

54.0%

68.0%



Like anything, I like to do my own research. I'll have a list compiled tomorrow. Keeping it to guys 25 and under with 30 or more inning increases.

Also once a pitcher surpasses 200 innings I am going to assume he can break the 30 inning mark, so I won't be doing guys who went from 205 to 238 or anything like that. Maybe it's more of a percentage increase than a gross number increase.

Obviously it's not an exact science. But I truly think there is some what of a link behind building up your arm to stay healthy and vice versa over stressing your arm and you increase your chances of injury.

#9 AnonymousRob

AnonymousRob

    Hall of Famer

  • Established Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,340 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:48 AM

Also once a pitcher surpasses 200 innings I am going to assume he can break the 30 inning mark, so I won't be doing guys who went from 205 to 238 or anything like that. Maybe it's more of a percentage increase than a gross number increase.


This seems a very faulty assumption.
Want help in your A/C threads? Give details!!! Keeper/dynasty/redraft, ppr, league size, who is on your roster, roto/H2H, scoring system, etc.

#10 brockpapersizer

brockpapersizer

    Hall of Famer

  • Established Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,569 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 31 January 2013 - 02:57 AM

no two humans are the same. so why make blanket rules to apply to all humans?


twins
FREE JOSH GORDON......THREAD


-Buy high, sell low, keep em guessing.

#11 Thespis721

Thespis721

    On the Ballot

  • Established Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,336 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:35 AM


no two humans are the same. so why make blanket rules to apply to all humans?


twins


Nope. The different fingerprints cause a problem with how the ball is thrown, released, and delivered
C: McCann
1B: Victor Martinez
2B: Dustin Ackley
3B: Kyle Seager
SS: Alexei Ramirez
CI: Anthony Rendon
MI: Jed Lowrie
OF: Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, Alex Gordon, De Aza
UT: Chase Headley
DL: Fowler, Lind
SP: Scherzer, Kazmir, Alex Wood, Lincecum, Gallardo

#12 yoda

yoda

    Hall of Famer

  • Established Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,985 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Diego

Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:38 AM



no two humans are the same. so why make blanket rules to apply to all humans?


twins


Nope. The different fingerprints cause a problem with how the ball is thrown, released, and delivered


Not only that but even twins have a different make up and biomechanics. Different experiences as well.
www. drafttracker.net

#13 Zumayaaaa

Zumayaaaa

    Hall of Famer

  • Established Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,913 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Burlington, ON

Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:50 AM

Lol Verducci. We go through this every year, its ok though, the more misinformation out there the better it is for me.

#14 RespectMyAuthority

RespectMyAuthority

    Superstar

  • Established Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,156 posts

Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:31 PM

Not saying I agree or disagree with Verducci 100%, but if you aren't at least a little scared by Sale's crazy workload increase, then you are a braver man than I.
  • 96mnc likes this

#15 FouLLine

FouLLine

    Hall of Famer

  • Established Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,942 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:49 PM




no two humans are the same. so why make blanket rules to apply to all humans?


twins


Nope. The different fingerprints cause a problem with how the ball is thrown, released, and delivered


Not only that but even twins have a different make up and biomechanics. Different experiences as well.


Yeah but that's as close as it's going to get with Twins and the differences aren't going to be vast. Twins (identical) also if left in a vacuum will have the same finger prints, same arm strength, same everything. They have the exact same DNA.

So let's stop dismissing something that is apparent because the perfect scientific method isn't behind it. An over worked pitcher is more likely to break down. That is the starting premise.

Now 30 inning increase, is that the best number? I'm not sure. But that's where I'll start.

Yes every human is different we all understand that so you guys need to get off of that. Because that's the same semantically laced argument that just keeps spinning in circles.

Hell one could argue that humans are more similar than different. You guys are basically using logic that says, "All humans are different, therefore each individual human must have their own individual vaccine for every specific disease." No that's not the case. Yes all humans are different but vaccines are virtually universal (please let's not argue virtually for the one in a million that it doesn't work for).

Or even more applicable example take working out for example. You lift weights you get bigger and stronger. Yes some people get results faster (or with less effort) because of metabolism, diet, sleep, etc. But for the most part everyone gets stronger. As well as if you're constantly lifting super heavy weights you're more likely to get injured. Now everyone's threshold is the same, but there is a point that every human being no matter how different they are will break down.

All I'm trying to do is determine if the 30 inning increase is a starting reference point. Haven't had much time to get into this just yet, but don't worry I will have many examples eventually to go over.

Fantasy sports, fantasy baseball especially is about playing the percentages. That's all I'm looking for. Not some end all, know all, golden rule that applies to everything. Because we all know those don't exist.

#16 FouLLine

FouLLine

    Hall of Famer

  • Established Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,942 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:06 PM


Also once a pitcher surpasses 200 innings I am going to assume he can break the 30 inning mark, so I won't be doing guys who went from 205 to 238 or anything like that. Maybe it's more of a percentage increase than a gross number increase.


This seems a very faulty assumption.


What makes you think that?

My initial reasoning is simple... Math. Possibly over stressing an arm has more to do with percentage based increase instead of just a flat number. Now it may work in the opposite direction as well. So a guy only threw 95 innings one year then 126 the next year. Now 126 isn't a whole lot of stress on the arm in general, so the pitcher probably doesn't see the break down.

It is just that, an assumption and I'm not saying that it's right. But at the same time I have a feeling that guys with a 30 inning increase that have eclipsed the 200 inning mark in their career are less likely to be effected than guys with a 30 inning increase who haven't eclipsed the 200 inning cap in their career.

#17 WahooManiac

WahooManiac

    Superstar

  • Established Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,578 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Haslett, MI
  • Interests:Beating everyone

Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:16 PM

great links RRF, thanks. For my money, the only pitching predicitions worth a fart in the breeze have come from Chris Oleary. Pineda was mentioned above by Foulline, and I must say that I also stayed away from him for reasons based on predicition of injury. But my guess was based on Oleary's work on mechanics, and Verducci Effect never entered my mind. Maybe I got lucky, or maybe he did, in interpreting someone else's data. But I will say that, over years, Olearys list is somewhat chilling in its accuracy, whereas Verducci's is not.

Edited by WahooManiac, 31 January 2013 - 01:17 PM.

Good pitching will beat good hitting anytime, and vice versa. -Bob Veale

We're reaching the pt where you can be a truly dedicated, state-of-the-art fan or you can have a life. Take your pick. -Thomas Boswell

#18 FouLLine

FouLLine

    Hall of Famer

  • Established Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,942 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:21 PM

Mechanics are a huge part of it too. Probably even more so than an increase in workload? But I want to try to isolate one thing at a time and inning increases is far more easy to track than a pitchers mechanics season to season, start to start...

Scouts were saying Strasburg would blow out his elbow before he was drafted #1 overall with the inverted W he had. Which I'm sure is only compounded exponentially with throwing 100+.

Edited by FouLLine, 31 January 2013 - 01:22 PM.


#19 WahooManiac

WahooManiac

    Superstar

  • Established Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,578 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Haslett, MI
  • Interests:Beating everyone

Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:36 PM

Tough as it is, mechanics and conditioning are just more important to me. Harder to track, certainly. I would love if it was easier, but IP just isnt a metric that holds much value. Id at least like to see it done with total pitches thrown vs IP, but I'd bet most of the data still ends inconclusively (just a guess). Theres just so much going on with the human body during a pitch, and strictly looking at some version of "amount of times thrown" just isnt telling. Its like looking at BABIP as pure luck, its a reflection of many variables, not just one
Good pitching will beat good hitting anytime, and vice versa. -Bob Veale

We're reaching the pt where you can be a truly dedicated, state-of-the-art fan or you can have a life. Take your pick. -Thomas Boswell

#20 AnonymousRob

AnonymousRob

    Hall of Famer

  • Established Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,340 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 31 January 2013 - 04:57 PM

Not saying I agree or disagree with Verducci 100%, but if you aren't at least a little scared by Sale's crazy workload increase, then you are a braver man than I.

His workload increase doesn't scare me. What scares me is the fact he was having elbow issues last year.
Want help in your A/C threads? Give details!!! Keeper/dynasty/redraft, ppr, league size, who is on your roster, roto/H2H, scoring system, etc.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users