As many of you already know, I am a bit believer in the Verducci Effect which is named after Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci who did a study on pitchers and concluded that those starters who go 30 innings above their previous total from the campaign before stand a very high chance of getting injured or having a poor season due to a tired arm. There are many instances of this occurring such as Francisco Liriano needing TJ surgery after such a jump a few years ago and Cole Hamels suffering through a dead arm season in 2009 after a 260 innings pitched 2008. And now it appears we have another victim in the St. Louis Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright who is likely to undergo Tommy John surgery as a result of a big innings jump at a young age.
Now I am sure you are wondering what I am talking about since Wainwright threw over 200 innings the last two seasons but go back to where this trend started. In 2008 Wainwright pitched 132 innings total. The next season he shot up to 233 innings. That was a giant jump of 101 innings from one season to the next. And that was the SECOND time Wainwright went way above his previous innings high as back in 2006 as a reliever he tossed only 75 innings and the next season he shot up to 202. That’s an even more ridiculous 127 inning leap. So really its no surprise his elbow gave out. With that in mind here are some other guys who went through a bigger than 30 innings jump from one season to the next. You have been warned.
Jamie Garcia: 125 inning jump-He got incredibly luck y in 2010 so a major regression is on its way in ERA and WHIP so this confirms why you should stay clear here.
Phil Hughes: 71 inning jump-Pitches in the AL East Beast and had a checkered injury history. No thanks.
Jon Niese: 61 inning jump-Not fantasy baseball relevant unless in a deep league for now.
Mat Latos: 61 inning jump-The biggest on on this list that can ruin your team as Kershaw’s jump wasn’t major enough to worry about. Latos has a very good chance of getting hurt since he is so young and those were stressful innings in a pennant race last season. I would stay away if you can.
Madison Bumgarner: 52 inning jump-The price will be cheap enough not to have to avoid.
David Price: 46 inning jump-Another guy who pitches in the Beast and he will see a regression as well. Not on my list.
Jhoulys Chacin: 45 inning jump-Cheap so don’t let this sleeper go by.
Mike Minor: 42 inning jump-Checkered injury history as well so this is a bad sign. Still he too will be real cheap.
Brett Cecil: 41 inning jump-A Beast pitcher and he really is not that good anyway.
Gio Gonzalez: 41 inning jump-Throws hard so we could see problems here.
Travis Wood: 35 inning jump-May not even break camp with the team. Don’t worry.
Clayton Kershaw: 33 inning jump-He went just over the limit so its not a concern.