ST. LOUIS – You might be familiar with the Verducci Effect, a theory by preeminent Sports Illustrated scribe Tom Verducci that supposes young pitchers (25 and under) are more susceptible to injury when their workloads increase by 30 innings or more over a previous season.
The theory is imperfect. It’s rudimentary science as it’s built around arbitrary lines. And it’s been disproved to a degree. (Tom, I’m still a huge fan).
We really don’t know much about why pitchers get hurt. But what Verducci gets right is this: too much taxing on young arms can lead to injury. There’s acute injury, where one pitch thrown incorrectly leads to a ligament snapping, and there’s wear-and-tear injuries. I watched Matt Harvey once throw 157 pitches vs. Clemson while he was at North Carolina. When Dylan Bundy‘s ligament snapped I received a text from an Orioles official who noted Bundy once threw 293 pitches during a four-day stretch in high school.