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Pitch counts: Calculated risks

Pitch counts are a topic of hot debate in the big leagues with the line usually drawn between new age and old school.

Originally Published: May 10, 2004
By Alan Schwarz | Special to ESPN.com

The strict use of pitch counts, the practice of removing an otherwise strong pitcher to ward off possible (some say inevitable) arm trouble, has become one of the most divisive issues in baseball today. Older management who remember the days of 160-pitch complete games in four-man rotations duel with younger executives wanting to minimize asset risk. Meanwhile, fans watch the pitch counts of young pitchers carefully with an increasing sense of dread as they inch higher and higher, like a guillotine.

While ...

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