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Old 05-19-2019, 12:41 PM   #1
llcmac
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Do knuckleballers have longer careers and less arm issues?

and in general do pitchers who don't throw hard have less arm issues?
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Old 05-19-2019, 03:10 PM   #2
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I don't think so. My knuckleballer was constantly injured.
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Old 05-19-2019, 06:28 PM   #3
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In my day back in he 60's and 70's Phil Niekro and Wilbur Wood could start a double header as Wood once did. I do not recall them have too much arm problems and they could pitch 340 innings in a year. They would tell you that there was less stress on your arm if you threw the knuckle ball. Not certain about the pitchers that throw it today, though.
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:13 PM   #4
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I think that in reality knuckleballers get hurt as well. The best example I can think of is Steve Sparks because my mind is stuck in the 90s and ISTR Tom Candiotti having elbow issues as well. I mean, yes, the motion looks easier on the body and maybe that is a thing, but it might just be the repetitive nature of pitching itself that causes issues and we dont have a terribly large sample size of these guys.

All that being said they do seem to age more gracefully and I wonder if that's handled at all by the Stuff rating of individual pitches (my guess is that pitches like the knuckler or the straight change lose stuff less as a pitcher gets older if you put real life into OOTP terms).

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Old 05-20-2019, 02:02 PM   #5
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I thought I had read somewhere that guys that throw harder tend to have more arm issues vs softer throwing guys
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Old 05-20-2019, 04:37 PM   #6
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I do not think it is reflected in OOTP, but it does seem that pitchers that throw it both last longer and do not seem to me to have as many injuries. Hoyt Wilhalm pitched until he was 49, Joe and Phil Niekro pitched until they were 43 and 48 respectively, Tim wakefield pitched until he was 44, Tom Candiotti pitched until he was 41, RA Dickey pitched until he was 42. Most of all you notice most of these players were very effective into their 40s. RA Dickey won the Cy Young at 37. Phil Niekro had a remarkable stretch of 14 consecutive seasons pitching 200+ innings. Should have probably been 20 seasons if not for the strike. From 1986 to 1993 Candiotti threw 200+ innings every season. Similar to Niekro his streak was interrupted by another strike. Hough started his streak in 1984 when he became a starter. Lasted until 1989 when he was 41. Steven Wright, the only active knuckeballer, has had several injuries in his career, among other problems like suspension, but I do not feel you can count him, becauase those injuries are not arm or shoulder injuries.

It is hard not to look at the knuckleballers in the past and not determine that they both have longer careers and healthier careers in general.
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Old 05-20-2019, 04:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jeffw3000 View Post
I do not think it is reflected in OOTP, but it does seem that pitchers that throw it both last longer and do not seem to me to have as many injuries. Hoyt Wilhalm pitched until he was 49, Joe and Phil Niekro pitched until they were 43 and 48 respectively, Tim wakefield pitched until he was 44, Tom Candiotti pitched until he was 41, RA Dickey pitched until he was 42. Most of all you notice most of these players were very effective into their 40s. RA Dickey won the Cy Young at 37. Phil Niekro had a remarkable stretch of 14 consecutive seasons pitching 200+ innings. Should have probably been 20 seasons if not for the strike. From 1986 to 1993 Candiotti threw 200+ innings every season. Similar to Niekro his streak was interrupted by another strike. Hough started his streak in 1984 when he became a starter. Lasted until 1989 when he was 41. Steven Wright, the only active knuckeballer, has had several injuries in his career, among other problems like suspension, but I do not feel you can count him, becauase those injuries are not arm or shoulder injuries.

It is hard not to look at the knuckleballers in the past and not determine that they both have longer careers and healthier careers in general.
Another pitcher I did not mention had 4 consecutive 300+ innings, and a 5th when he threw 291.1 innings. His career did get ended by an injury, but the injury was a line drive in the knee.
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Old 05-20-2019, 04:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Syd Thrift View Post
I think that in reality knuckleballers get hurt as well. The best example I can think of is Steve Sparks because my mind is stuck in the 90s and ISTR Tom Candiotti having elbow issues as well. I mean, yes, the motion looks easier on the body and maybe that is a thing, but it might just be the repetitive nature of pitching itself that causes issues and we dont have a terribly large sample size of these guys.

All that being said they do seem to age more gracefully and I wonder if that's handled at all by the Stuff rating of individual pitches (my guess is that pitches like the knuckler or the straight change lose stuff less as a pitcher gets older if you put real life into OOTP terms).

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In the case of Steve Sparks, he did have TJ surgery in his career, but he was injured when covering first and making a throw home. Candiotti had TJ early in his minor league career, but he was not an exclusive Knuckleballer then. He actually went on to a very durable career.
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