August 7, 2008

DOESN'T HELP TO TRUST THEM TO MANGLERS LIKE DUSTY BAKER & JOE GIRARDI:

The Grisly Truth About 22-Year-Old Aces (TIM MARCHMAN, August 7, 2008, NY Sun)

As Chicago Cubs fans learned earlier this decade, and as Yankees fans are now discovering, the bad thing about having a 22-year-old ace is having a 22-year-old ace. Injuries to hard-throwing young starters may not be metaphysically certain, but they're about as close as anything in baseball. You can mourn Joba Chamberlain's shoulder injury, which landed him on the disabled list yesterday, but you can't be surprised.

Over the last 20 years, a dozen pitchers 22 or younger have started 10 or more games in a season, struck out at least eight per nine innings, and posted an ERA of 3.50 or below. A straight accounting of what happened to them is a tale of carnage and woe. Chamberlain may well lord over baseball as an unmatched ace for the next decade; precedent suggests you'd do well to be skeptical.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 7, 2008 12:17 PM
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