13 May 2003

Other News...

Yankees SS Derek Jeter is expected to make his return from rehabbing a dislocated non-throwing shoulder, after missing six weeks. Jeter reportedly went 8-for-18 at AA Trenton during the rehab stint, according to the extremely useful Prospect Report.

Erick Almonte will reportedly be sent back to Columbus, having hit an unspectacular .272/.337/.373, which is roughly what Angel Berroa and David Eckstein have done this year. Not horrible, but not really helping. And his defense, by most reports, has been atrocious (Nine errors in 28 games). Can't say he'll be missed much. With more playing time, he'd have probably found the power he displayed in the minors, but probably would also have lost about 40 points in batting average. Now he'll likely do that for some other team. Suckers.


The Florida Marlins finally fired Jeff "Shut Up and Throw" Torborg and a boatload of his henchmen this weekend. Currently the Marlins have three starting pitchers on the DL, though you can hardly blame Torborg or former pitching coach Brad Arnsberg for breaking Mark Redman's thumb, or even for Josh Beckett's elbow sprain, as Beckett has rarely thrown more than 110 pitches in a major league start, and has never thrown 120.

However, I think that enough blame can be heaped on this dynamic duo for A.J. Burnett's injury to more than compensate for Beckett and Redman. The reckless abandon with which Torborg treated the 25-year old Burnett during the last year is perhaps only surpassed in creating bewilderment by the irrelevance of the games in which the atrocities occurred. The Marlins have not been a 'competitive" team in any real sense of the word, since 1997, and yet Torborg felt it necessary to repeatedly leave Burnett in far longer than was really necessary for such a young talent. And now Burnett's missing a year.

Baseball Prospectus has done quite a lot of research and found that excessive pitch counts can be directly connected to both long-term injury probability and short-term inneffectiveness. Rob Neyer has said that there isn't much evidence to support the notion that high pitch counts lead to such problems, but until I see someone de-bunk BP's research, I think I'd rather err on the side of caution, wouldn't you?

Ironically, the Marlins hired Jack McKeown, who has a reputation for riding relief pitchers too hard...

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