We heard a lot during the 2010 season about Jeremy Hellickson and how many innings the Rays would let him throw. There are concerns among some that a young pitcher can have a poor season if in the previous season, they throw a lot of stressful pitches (pitches late in the game) or have a significant jump in innings pitched.
In the end, Hellickson pitched fewer innings in 2010 (155.2) than he had in 2009 (157.0). In fact, despite the playoffs, four of the Rays projected starting pitchers threw fewer innings in 2010. David Price was the only pitcher that did increase his workload.
Here is a look at the workload of each of the starting pitchers and how that might affect them moving forward…
Price’s numbers raise a red flag. In 2010, Price had 14 starts with at least 110 pitches and saw his innings pitched increase by 36.1% over the year before. That is a lot of stress on Price’s
right left arm.
The good news is that the large workload may not be as stressful on Price as it would be on other pitchers. Of Price’s 3,341 pitches in 2010, nearly 75 percent of them were fastballs. That is a lot of fastballs. And more importantly, that means fewer of the pitches that cause the most stress.
At this point, we are not worried, but this is something to keep in mind. It will be interesting to see if Joe Maddon limits Price’s workload early in spring training and during the first month or two of the regular season.
Or maybe King David’s left arm really is magical and above such worries.