For Cubs fans, the Verducci effect is an old and familiar foe, even if they have never heard of it. First set forth by Sports Illustrated baseball guru Tom Verducci , the theory concerns escalating innings totals for young pitchers. If, before a player's age 26 season, his team sends him out for 30 or more professional innings (Majors and Minors combined) in excess of his previous career high, they have violated the Verducci rule (an implicit corollary), and can expect declining performance and heightened risk of injury in the following season. Both Mark Prior and Kerry Wood were overused, by this line of reckoning, and the results were predictably catastrophic. As they have done several times over the last decade, the hapless Pittsburgh Pirates committed just such a sin in 2007. That yea ...
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Article written by Matt Trueblood