The Hardest Working Man in Baseball
This labor day, celebrate the hardest working man in the sport: Justin Verlander, full time pitcher and part time lothario. With September having just begun, Verlander has already thrown 3,137 pitches, 171 pitches more than the second place pitcher, Yovani Gallardo. If Verlander can keep up his lead, it will be his second straight year leading the league in pitches thrown and third in the last four years.
While everyone likes to talk about innings limits, perhaps in the future, it will be the total pitch count that will be more strongly considered when it comes to pitcher injuries. Not that those have any bearing on Justin Verlander whose shoulder is actually just a lever-and-pully device with some skin attached to it.
As for the last pitcher to top 4,000 pitches in a season: that would be Livan “Endless Pitches” who accomplished it in 2005. If Verlander keeps at his pace of 116 pitches per start, he would need to start eight more times this year to pass that mark.