Sowers Shut Down?

I read a story on that said Indians rookie pitcher Jeremy Sowers could be "shut down" after a couple more starts. I couldn’t believe my eyes, a general manager taking his young pitcher off the mound possibly for the season even though there’s no sign of injury.
Sowers has thrown a career-high 168 innings this year. He threw 159 1/3 in the Indians minor league system last year.  Between the minors and the majors, he’s 15-4 this season.  In his last seven starts for the Tribe, Sowers is 5-0 with a 1.69 ERA. Friday night, he bested Detroit’s Jeremy Bonderman improving to 6-3 this season with a 3.44 ERA.
"I would like to continue pitching, but I understand completely what they are doing," said Sowers, who will start Wednesday against Toronto, to Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Burt Graeff.
The story states that the Indians have not determined if Sowers will be shut down after two or three starts, or become part of a six-man rotation.
What I don’t get is that Sowers isn’t a power pitcher, he’s struck out 29 and walked 14 in 70 2/3 innings for the Indians. Yes, he’s thrown a personal best in innings this season but I think you might have to let a younger finesse pitcher go a little longer than your flamethrowers. I might be totally wrong in that assumption. If so, please advise.
Sowers’ pitch counts have decreased since his 100-plus outings in July when he posted back-to-back complete game shutouts. In three of his last starts, he hasn’t thrown more than 87 pitches.
Friday, he threw 85 pitches in six innings.  I think the Indians should put him on a strict pitch count for the rest of the season 80 to 85 and don’t let him go more than six innings. 
There’s a growing concern about the overuse of young talent resulting in injuries down the road-see Mark Prior or Kerry Wood. Francisco Liriano’s situation might force GM and team officials to rethink limiting rookie pitchers pitch counts and innings. But Prior, Wood and Liriano are power pitchers.
I expect some teams to limit future rookie starting pitchers to 5-6 innings and 80 to 85 pitches if possible for a lot longer time frame. The problem becomes though a team has to go to their bullpen a little earlier than usual. How does a team evaluate a rookie pitcher’s performance and pitch count without hurting his future and/or the team’s bullpen at the same time?
I know the Indians are 61-69 and their playoffs chances right now are quite remote; however, I don’t think shutting down Sowers entirely sends the right message. No one wants an injury but this might be a situation about preventing an injury that hasn’t happened yet.  If Sowers has any flare-ups, he’ll be shut down, no doubt, but let him pitch a little while longer, especially while he’s pitching this well.  This sends a message that the Indians are concerned about Sowers but yet still can field the most competitive team possible.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s