I read an article today by Joel Sherman, New York Post, titled Yanks turn to Santana for Joba strategy.
It talks about how the Yankees are taking there time with Joba, and how they researched the past how how other pitchers fared with the same treatment. Two pitchers were mentioned in this article, Johan Santana and Chad Billingsley. I would like to talk about a pitcher that was not written about, and he didn’t fare to badly with his career.
Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan.
I looked up his stats at http://www.baseball-reference.com, which is one of my all time favorite sites (The stats have the same set up as baseball cards did when I was a kid). Nolan Ryan pitched until he was 46 years old, 5,714 career strikeouts, threw 7 no-no’s, and 12 more one hitters.
However, a lot of people do not know that he never pitched more than 152 innings until he was 24 years old, his four full major league season.
Now the reason why he was never a full time starter with the Mets, was because of control issues. But hindsight might show that could have been a blessing. By not over using his arm, plus the fact that he had such lower body strength to help in his delivery, he was able to pitch no less than 200+ innings 15 out of the next 20 years, with one of those years being the strike year of 1981.
I, for one, would certainly like to see a guy like Joba pitch as long and productively as Nolan Ryan did.