• Why You Hoard Arms

    Posted by on April 8th, 2010 · Comments (1)

    Earlier this week President Obama and Russian President Medvedev signed a new missile control arms treaty agreeing to reduce the number of nuclear weapons both countries have.

    Having been forced to watch The Day After in school, I think this is a great strategy for international relations,  but it makes for terrible baseball strategy.

    I say this as Mike Ashmore reports that Chris(tian) Garcia, the Yankees oft-tempting and tantalizing power pitching prospect, left the game with what the pitcher described as  “pretty serious” elbow soreness.

    Since being drafted in the third round of the 2004 draft, Garcia has put up huge numbers (9.8 K/9, 2.37 K/BB and less than a hit per inning), but has also thrown just 290.2 innings – missed all of 2007, big chunks of 2008 and 2009.

    Now this could be residual from the elbow injury that ended Garcia’s season last year after just 25 1/3 innings, but it could be the end of his 2010 season after 5 2/3 innings.

    In evaluating how a GM and a scouting director bring talent into an organization, its important to judge the quality of major league pitchers developed and signed. However, its equally important for GMs of teams (particularly ones worth billions of dollars) to take risks – to bring in talented guys, even if they have checkered injury pasts or other health-related red flags in order to stockpile arms.

    Sometimes that prospect with control and injury issues turns into Curt Schilling or AJ Burnett. Sometimes they turn into Domingo Jean or Sam Militello.

    The moral of the story is this: its a wise strategy to hoard arms of all sorts – injured, risky, polished, raw, talented, potential-laden and expensive proven ones – because every pitcher is just one horribly unnatural throwing motion away from the end.

    Comments on Why You Hoard Arms

    1. MJ Recanati
      April 9th, 2010 | 6:46 am

      Sean McNally wrote:

      its a wise strategy to hoard arms of all sorts – injured, risky, polished, raw, talented, potential-laden and expensive proven ones – because every pitcher is just one horribly unnatural throwing motion away from the end.

      I agree in principle but I don’t agree that you let this strategy dictate all of your choices in general. There has to be some level of risk analysis too, otherwise you can end up with a five-man staff of Harden, Sheets, Burnett, Pavano and Wright where all five could be shut down at any time.

      I think you know what I mean and I’m not suggesting that you said otherwise, just pointing out the obvious I guess.

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