Wandy Rodriguez has been going deep into games for the Astros the past few starts pitching at least 7 innings in his last five starts but the problem with those starts he has also racked up a big pitch count. He has thrown over 100 pitches in each of those starts and has averaged 116 pitches over this span. Wandy is a key part of this Astros team now as well as in the future as he signed a 3 year, 34 million dollar extension this past off-season. So the question is if Brad Mills is leaving Wandy out their too long in his starts and overworking the lefty? Let’s take a look at the stats.
Wandy went through some injury woes in 2007 and 2008 so I decided to only go back as far as 2009, the first year that he was healthy for a full season. Here are how the stats break down for Wandy so far:
Looking at the stats, everything is in line for what Wandy has done over the past two years. The problem is that over the past two years Wandy has been a slow starter and pitches better the second half of the season. Which means his pitch count is much lower to start the season and closes the year with the higher pitch counts. Last year, Wandy did not have his fifth 100+ pitch game until June 24th. These stats place Wandy around the Top 20 in the Majors for starting pitchers.
So the question was: Is Wandy getting overworked? And the answer is: I don’t know. He has had high pitch counts the last two years so he has been able to handle the workload but he is 32 years of age and has dealt with injury issues in the past. He also generally does not have these types of pitch counts early in the season so fatigue could become an issue later in the season for the lefty. Personally, I would like to see Mills err on the side of caution when dealing with Wandy.
What are your thoughts, do you think Brad Mills should shorten Wandy’s starts in hopes of extending his career or are you ok with how he is being handled at this point in his career?