Matt Harvey on 2013 “Verducci Effect” list
For more than a decade, Sports Illustrated writer Tom Verducci has studied the nature of how significant innings jumps affect young pitchers from year to year. In what has been dubbed the “Verducci Effect,” he comes up with a group of pitchers each year at notable risk of an injury, a dip in production, or both.
Matt Harvey is on that list. By throwing 33 2/3 more innings last year at age 23 than he did in his first professional season in 2011, Harvey landed himself there.
Now, it’s important to note that this is far more guesswork than science. Verducci uses a system he gleaned from former Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson, flagging any pitcher age 25 or younger who increased his yearly innings total by 30 or more. While teams throughout baseball all take note of such jumps, their formulas and thresholds for red flags vary.
Harvey is also bigger and stronger than most young pitchers, and was accustomed to amassing gaudy innings totals and pitch counts in college. So this is no death sentence. But it’s something to monitor as Harvey enters what should be his first full season in the big leagues.
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