In a bit of irony after this article came out this morning, Trevor May pitched only 5 innings of a 7-inning, abbreviated double-header game for the Red Wings this afternoon. In a game where he pitched decently, but not dominantly, there had to be some eyebrows raised over his removal after only throwing 83 pitches, 53 of which were strikes. He struck out 3, walked 2, and gave up 3 runs on 5 hits, including a first inning, 3-run homer.
Kyle Gibson, he of the 114 pitch gem in Rochester in May of 2013, and a 110 pitch effort against Detroit one week ago, summed up how he viewed the Twins philosophy and pitch count with their top pitching prospects:
"It's tough for the front office, I would assume," Gibson said. "Guys like Alex Meyer and Trevor May and Logan Darnell and everybody, as they get closer you've got to let them find out how that feels to pitch deep into the game. But at the same time, the more tired you get, the more risk for injury you're at when you change your mechanics."
Gibson shook his head.
"If those guys get worn out before they get to the big leagues, maybe it costs them a chance to get up here," he said. "That's kind of where they're at on that issue, I'm sure. It's a double-edged sword: I want to develop, but I also want to stay healthy and get there."
It appears that the Twins have a plan for extended pitch count performances, it's all in the efficiency of effort in hitting those high counts. CBS Sports reported: "Twins pitching prospect Trevor May threw 120 pitches in a start for Triple-A Rochester Monday, and assistant general manager Rob Anthony did not seem to think it was a cause for concern, however, as he told the St. Paul Pioneer Press Saturday:"
I don't have any problem with the way (May) was handled," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "I think he probably did wear down a little, but it's probably good for him." That might seem a contradictory statement for an organization that has gone to six-man starting rotations at Class A and below in order to protect young arms, one that has allowed just two big-league pitchers -- Nick Blackburn and Francisco Liriano (twice) -- to throw 120-plus pitches since the start of 2010.
However, May's eye-raising pitch total actually falls in line with the Twins' overall philosophy.
It's not the raw number of pitches that typically precipitates a pitching change. It's more about how much effort goes into those pitches along the way.
Another factor that came into play was the first AAA appearance for Mark Hamburger, who closed the game out with 2 innings of shutout ball. But clearly, the Twins were extra cautious today in not asking May to extend himself in back-to-back games. Here's Trevor's post-game interview from his previous game:
Edited by jokin, 22 June 2014 - 09:06 PM.