Baseball like all other things is all relative.
Why did that 88 mph fastball look so fast? Because the pitch before it was a 72 mph curveball.
Why is an ERA of 2.56 good? Because League Average is a 4.05 ERA.
Now on to training and pitch counts.
Pitching and pitch counts all depend on what a young pitcher is used to. High workloads prove very detrimental to pitchers according to The Verducci Effect. The Verducci effect was created by Tom Verducci and its states that young pitchers who experience heavy workload increases from the previous year will struggle or get injured that following year.
The players who were named from the 2011 season as most likely to experience the Verducci effect were:
Derek Holland, Dylan Axelrod, Jaime Garcia, Liam Hendriks, Erik Surkamp, Chris Schwinden (Who?), Yovani Gallardo, Nathan Eovaldi, Daniel Hudson, Jeremy Hellickson, Mike Leake, Matt Harrison, Michael Pineda, and Zack Stewart.
Now we can look at these players FIP's and xFIP's from 2011 and 2012.
Derek Holland: 2011: FIP: 3.94 xFIP: 3.76. 2012: FIP: 4.76 xFIP 4.21. Also was placed on the DL in June for a fatigued left shoulder.
Dylan Axelrod: 2011 FIP: 3.29 xFIP: 3.88. 2012: FIP: 5.03 xFIP: 4.34. (Small sample size in Majors) Also had an injured shoulder in May. Was placed on the DL.
Jaime Garcia: 2011 FIP: 3.23 xFIP: 3.31. 2012: FIP: 2.72 xFIP: 3.45. Also was shelved with a shoulder injury in June. Noticing a trend?
Liam Hendriks: 2011 FIP: 4.10 xFIP: 3.66. 2012 FIP: 5.98 xFIP: 4.78. No injuries reported.
Eric Surkamp: Injured all of 2012.
Chris Schwinden: 2011 FIP: 3.03 xFIP: 4.26. 2012 FIP: 9.91 xFIP: 6.45. No injuries reported.
Yovani Gallardo: 2011 FIP: 3.84 xFIP: 3.55. 2012 FIP: 3.84 xFIP: 3.55. No injuries reported.
These are the first half of players that I looked at. Out of these players 4/7 of them spent sometime on the DL in 2012 and Garcia is the only one who improved in 2012. Improvement year to year is very important for young pitchers.
Part 2 will be out tomorrow.