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Articles Tagged Dr. Mike Marshall 

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September 12, 2008 11:06 am

UTK Wrap: Big Strides

1

Will Carroll

Whether evaluating throwing motions off the field or adapting rotation usage patterns on it, smart people are doing cool things.

If there's one thing I've learned in the seven years that I've been doing UTK, it's how much we don't know. Each time I learn something new and think that the game has figured something out, there comes new information that poses new questions. My job is to report the story as best I can based on the information I have, and because of that, I regularly make mistakes, but I am learning from them as well. I wish I could go back in time and retract saying that CC Sabathia was overused in 2003, or that Frankie Rodriguez's arm had to fall off at some point. (It still hasn't!) As I learn more, those mistakes become part of the process of learning itself. What we can't do is ignore the facts or the mistakes; to do either would slow the pace of our learning. Back in 2004 when I wrote Saving The Pitcher, I listened to people who I trusted, experts like Tom House, Bill Thurston, Craig Yeager, Marty Kobernus, and others.

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August 2, 2007 12:00 am

Schrodinger's Bat: Interview With a Physicist

0

Dan Fox

Extending his own interest in the physics of baseball, Dan sits down with a lauded physicist and baseball fan to discuss the topic.

"I think physicists are the Peter Pans of the human race. They never grow up and they keep their curiosity." - Nobel Prize winner Isidor Isaac Rabi

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May 11, 2007 12:00 am

Under The Knife: Marshall's Law

0

Will Carroll

Could Mike Marshall--or anybody else--have saved B.J. Ryan's elbow? The results don't back up the pitching doctor's claims to have found the one way to keep hurlers healthy and effective.

From the looks of my inbox, you've all read Jeff Passan's piece on Dr. Mike Marshall. While I respect Dr. Marshall's professional experience, scientific credentials, and some of his findings, he doesn't have the one thing I look for in his work with pitchers, and that's results. There's a lot of good things in his message, but I won't agree that no one other than him knows anything. Pronation? Great. Keeping kids from throwing too many pitches? Great. Jeff Sparks is the most skilled pitcher in the world? Umm, I'm not going to go that far--give me Daisuke Matsuzaka for the win. If Dr. Marshall would let someone get some high-speed analysis to see the stresses placed on the pitcher in his motion as compared to the "standard" delivery, that would be a start.

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Everything you ever wanted to know about the lost art of pinch running, past, present, and future.

With the help of Mat Kovach and Retrosheet, pinch running statistics in the last 50 years have now been compiled, along with leaderboards for seasons, lifetime, and most times removed, along with team and manager statistics. (E-mail me if you want this.) In compiling all this information, a few things jump out from the statistics, and so here are the highlights of pinch running statistics.

Motorin': The Best of the Best

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December 28, 2005 12:00 am

Under The Knife: What's Eating Mike Marshall?

0

Will Carroll

Will addresses the latest claims by the ex-pitcher turned coach.

What set me off this time? This article is just the latest attack. So let's break this down and then take a look at the work Marshall has done.

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Between a careful analysis of what data is available, the creative use of proxy variables in estimating injuries throughout time, and the application of some principles of sports medicine, we are at least in a position to make some educated guesses about the nature of pitcher injuries. Our particular focus in this article will be the progression of pitcher injury rates by age.

Pitching is an unnatural act that invites injury. The stress it places on the bones of the shoulder, arm, and back is immense. The strain it places on the 36 muscles that attach to the humerus, clavicle, and scapula is remarkable. It is widely accepted by sports medicine practitioners that every pitch causes at least some amount of damage to the system.

It seems fair to say that the study of pitcher injuries is an important part of sabermetric analysis. The statistical evidence available to test theories about pitcher injuries, however, is often missing. While there are databases that contain every recorded statistic from the days of Al Spalding and beyond, and others that document every play of every game in the past 30 years, a comprehensive database of player injury history simply doesn't exist.

However, between a careful analysis of what data is available, the creative use of proxy variables in estimating injuries throughout time, and the application of some principles of sports medicine, we are at least in a position to make some educated guesses about the nature of pitcher injuries. Our particular focus in this article will be the progression of pitcher injury rates by age.

Methodology and Statistical Results

To create an actuarial backbone for our study, we applied the same approach that is used to calculate attrition rate in the PECOTA forecasts. Attrition rate describes the percentage of pitchers who experience a decline in their innings pitched of at least 50 percent. Such a dramatic decline will not always indicate that a serious injury has occurred--it can also reflect demotion, retirement, and so on. However, by placing a few restrictions on our dataset, we can serve to limit these cases, and use attrition rate as a reasonable proxy for catastrophic injury.

In order to be included in the study, a pitcher needed to have pitched at least 150 innings in the previous season, with a park-adjusted ERA no more than 10 percent worse than his league average. That is, our study was focused on pitchers who had already pitched at least one effective season in the major leagues, and who were likely to have every opportunity to do so again in the absence of significant injury. All pitchers from 1946-2002 were considered, with innings pitched totals prorated over a 162-game schedule. The chart below tracks attrition rate at different ages throughout a pitcher's career.

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