Tom Seaver: pitch counts and innings limits — is a bunch of nonsense!
In an article for NY Daily News, Bill Madden gave some insight to how old school pitchers like Tom Seaver feel about the current state of MLB pitching and the philosophies being used.
"Naturally, I felt terrible for the kid. He’s got such a bright future. But at the same time, all I could think of was how it just goes to show how all this babying of pitchers — pitch counts and innings limits — is a bunch of nonsense. You can’t predict these things, and there’s really not a whole lot you can do to prevent them other than refining your mechanics as (’60s and ’70s Mets pitching coach) Rube (Walker) did with us. But one way I know doesn’t do anything to prevent them is babying these kids like they do."
Madden went on to write: "The problem, said Seaver, is that pitchers today are treated like robots, with too much emphasis on how many pitches they might have in their arms instead of weighing the determination and competitive spirit they have in their minds and hearts."
Seaver's sentiments seem to fit right in line with comments from Nolan Ryan in the past. Ryan at the beginning of the 2009 season said this in the Dallas Morning:
"The dedication and work ethic that it takes to pitch an entire season as a starting pitcher and the discipline to continue to maintain his routine all year. And he wants the ball every fifth day, and he's going to go out there with the intent of pitching late into games and not complaining."
His philosophy was explained in more detail here: Nolan Ryan's Crusade
So while Seaver believes that baseball now has so much money involved and it's too late to turn back, I wonder if more GM's will start to follow the Giants model. Do your best to develop the pitcher and then go out and let them pitch. Regardless of age. You are guaranteed control of a pitcher for a certain amount of years, take advantage of those years and maximize their time there.
Did the Mets do anything wrong with Harvey? Wrong is such a subjective word. Wrong would imply that they did something differently than what has became the norm in baseball. What we do know with Harvey is that scouts and baseball minds alike all praised him for his effortless mechanics AND we are now faced with the possibility of 2014 with out our Dark Knight.