The gyroball: be afraid. Be very, very afraid. (But not for the reasons you’d think)

November 12th, 2006 → 6:25 pm @ // No Comments

…because Carroll, in this 2004 piece, also discusses Matsuzaka’s elbow troubles in 2002 and 2003 and questions whether attemtps to throw the gyroball could be the cause: “Is this elbow problem the result of throwing the gyroball? Some flaw in double-spin theory? It’s hard to know. While much of the pitching research being done in Japan is on a par with that in America, research on pitch counts and pitcher workload has been ignored. Pitchers routinely throw 150 or more pitches and are asked to throw more in the bullpen after a poor performance. Matsuzaka is reported to have thrown more than 140 pitches ten times in 2002, just before his shoulder problems began. Worse, he had a legendary high-school start in which he pitched a complete game . . . and threw 249 pitches in 17 innings!”

Yeow. All those “I walked eighty miles to school uphill in both directions with no shoes in raging blizzards” types will scoff at this pansy-ass pitch-count talk, but 249 pitches? I did some perfunctory online searches and it seems as if Matsuzaka’s elbow was fine these last few years, and it’s not unusual for a pitcher to have some problems in his early twenties only to grow out of them by the time he’s 26 (Matsuzaka’s age now) or 27. But that’s certainly another good reason to be cautious.

Post Categories: Daisuke Matsuzaka & Murray Chass & Sports Reporters

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: