The Kumar Rocker Mystery

#1

butchna

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#1
After he established his legend with that elimination game no-hitter in 2019, nobody with a n’th predicted anything but Cy Youngs and ace status at the next level. He ends up being selected 10th overall by the Mets. They decline to sign him and receive compensation. He’s now pitching in the Independent League looking at another shot in the Draft. What happened? A snippet from Keith Law in the Athletic and a better explanation than anything I’ve seen posited: That no-hitter from 2019 deserves further mention, though. Rocker punched out 19 batters in that outing and required 131 pitches to do so. In the last five full MLB seasons, only three pitchers have thrown at least 130 pitches in a game; none was younger than 25 when he did it. Rocker was 19 years old at the time of the no-hitter and visibly fatigued – or maybe exhausted – by the time the game was over. He shouldn’t have been out there, even if it seemed like “history” at the time. We know that pitching while fatigued increases the risk of injury. We saw him overused, to an extent that no Major League Baseball team would consider for any pitcher of his age. If Rocker turns out to have some kind of arm injury – which, to be clear, we do not know for certain, only that the Mets saw something they didn’t like – we should at least consider whether that 131-pitch outing had anything to do with it.

Reads to me like a failure of responsibility all on Tim Corbin. Interested in the response of better college baseball minds.
 
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#4

VolPack22

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#4
NY Mets did not sign first-round pick Kumar Rocker. Here's why

I won’t get into Tim Corbin very much because everyone knows he was running those kids in the ground to win a championship. Part of the issue is on Scott Boras and Rocker. He was selected to be in the MRI program for the MLB Draft and he chose not to be a part of it. They could have been more forthcoming but teams that were eyeing him in the draft were shocked whenever they found out about his elbow concerns. I understand why they weren’t wanting to join that program because Rocker would’ve dropped in the draft, but if you try conceal potential injury concerns you are just asking for things to not go smoothly.
 
#5

VOLfrombama

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#5
Shame on Corbin for ruining his arm, even if only temporarily. And shame on the Rockers for allowing it.

I do give Tracy a little credit, he saw the writing on the wall with Pruitt. However he and Corbin should have had a better plan for Kumar.

The MRI thing was actually a smart gamble that almost paid off, had he been able to perform. Wish the kid the best. Hopefully he sees the league soon.
 
#6

ThreatLevelOrange

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#6
This is yet another reason I am done with MLB. The agents and the players association would rather make MRIs purely optional, so that some unsuspecting team might pay then a hefty signing bonus.

Rocker might have a good career. But no sense drafting him in the top 10.
 
#8

VolPack22

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#8
Shame on Corbin for ruining his arm, even if only temporarily. And shame on the Rockers for allowing it.

I do give Tracy a little credit, he saw the writing on the wall with Pruitt. However he and Corbin should have had a better plan for Kumar.

The MRI thing was actually a smart gamble that almost paid off, had he been able to perform. Wish the kid the best. Hopefully he sees the league soon.
The issue with the MRI wasn’t a short term concern. They said nobody was worried about him going out and pitching tomorrow. It’s the longevity concern. Do you want to draft a guy for him to only last 4 or 5 seasons potentially and then he ends up needing elbow surgery or do you pass on him and get rewarded with the 11th overall pick in this years draft? I think the Mets were playing it safe, and I can’t fault them for that. They’ve had plenty of pitcher injuries and the last thing they want is another one.
 
#11

tennesseeduke

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#11
After he established his legend with that elimination game no-hitter in 2019, nobody with a n’th predicted anything but Cy Youngs and ace status at the next level. He ends being selected 10th overall by the Mets. They decline to sign him and receive compensation. He’s now pitching in the Independent League looking at another shot in the Draft. What happened? A snippet from Keith Law in the Athletic and a better explanation than anything I’ve seen posited: That no-hitter from 2019 deserves further mention, though. Rocker punched out 19 batters in that outing and required 131 pitches to do so. In the last five full MLB seasons, only three pitchers have thrown at least 130 pitches in a game; none was younger than 25 when he did it. Rocker was 19 years old at the time of the no-hitter and visibly fatigued – or maybe exhausted – by the time the game was over. He shouldn’t have been out there, even if it seemed like “history” at the time. We know that pitching while fatigued increases the risk of injury. We saw him overused, to an extent that no Major League Baseball team would consider for any pitcher of his age. If Rocker turns out to have some kind of arm injury – which, to be clear, we do not know for certain, only that the Mets saw something they didn’t like – we should at least consider whether that 131-pitch outing had anything to do with it.

Reads to me like a failure of responsibility all on Tim Corbin. Interested in the response of better college baseball minds.
Dad was a traitor
 
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#15

@1RBFjr

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#15
LOL I know that. He played at Auburn and has coached everywhere including us just a couple years ago while KR was at Vandy. Never like him! You are a trader if you are coaching UT but in the stands at Vandy!
He was supporting his son. I don’t see an issue with it.
 
#17

cardvolfan

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#17
There was an article I read a few years ago that detailed how Corbin explained to the Leiter family that he would take care of their son, just to trust him. Looking at pitch counts for Rocker and Leiter, there was enough evidence to suggest Corbin placed higher priority over winning vs. health. I also believe that part of Vitello’s conflict with Van Horn was based on the over usage of the Arkansas relief guy last year. That seemed really egregious to me.
 
#18

VAVol85

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#18
Some high school coaches do it too. My co-workers son had a scholarship to GT but ended up having Tommy John surgery as a HS senior likely due to overwork. His baseball career faded out at a smaller school.

Word gets around and the problem solves itself as prospects choose other schools - little consolation for the guys that get overworked.
 
#19

VolPack22

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#19
Some high school coaches do it too. My co-workers son had a scholarship to GT but ended up having Tommy John surgery as a HS senior likely due to overwork. His baseball career faded out at a smaller school.

Word gets around and the problem solves itself as prospects choose other schools - little consolation for the guys that get overworked.
What I’ve noticed with a lot of the high school kids is that they are usually only specializing in baseball nowadays and with the summer and travel teams, it has come to the point where they are pitching practically year round. Whenever I was growing they encouraged us to play other sports to give our arms a rest. John Smoltz has tried to be a big advocate for this. To allow our kids time away from baseball to give their arms time to rest.
 
#22

tennrich1

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#22
There was an article I read a few years ago that detailed how Corbin explained to the Leiter family that he would take care of their son, just to trust him. Looking at pitch counts for Rocker and Leiter, there was enough evidence to suggest Corbin placed higher priority over winning vs. health. I also believe that part of Vitello’s conflict with Van Horn was based on the over usage of the Arkansas relief guy last year. That seemed really egregious to me.
I don’t overly critique moves made by managers/coaches in baseball because they generally understand their staff etc BUT I agree at Arkansas last year I actually felt sorry for that kid. The coach should NEVER rely on the kids opinion when deciding to pull him during game because of overworking the arm. Most, if not all, kids will want to stay in the game at the expense of possibly a future. And I agree…TV seems to be acutely aware of arm fatigue and protects these boys. So does FA. And I appreciate that attitude personally.
 
#24

BowlBrother85

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#24
After he established his legend with that elimination game no-hitter in 2019, nobody with a n’th predicted anything but Cy Youngs and ace status at the next level. He ends up being selected 10th overall by the Mets. They decline to sign him and receive compensation. He’s now pitching in the Independent League looking at another shot in the Draft. What happened? A snippet from Keith Law in the Athletic and a better explanation than anything I’ve seen posited: That no-hitter from 2019 deserves further mention, though. Rocker punched out 19 batters in that outing and required 131 pitches to do so. In the last five full MLB seasons, only three pitchers have thrown at least 130 pitches in a game; none was younger than 25 when he did it. Rocker was 19 years old at the time of the no-hitter and visibly fatigued – or maybe exhausted – by the time the game was over. He shouldn’t have been out there, even if it seemed like “history” at the time. We know that pitching while fatigued increases the risk of injury. We saw him overused, to an extent that no Major League Baseball team would consider for any pitcher of his age. If Rocker turns out to have some kind of arm injury – which, to be clear, we do not know for certain, only that the Mets saw something they didn’t like – we should at least consider whether that 131-pitch outing had anything to do with it.

Reads to me like a failure of responsibility all on Tim Corbin. Interested in the response of better college baseball minds.
I hear what you're saying, and perhaps Corbin should be criticized for how Rocker was handled., but one thing that I think about whenever this subject comes up - The "Pitch Count Era" didn't really begin until MLB began tracking pitch counts as an official statistic in 1988.

There is one team that makes me think about that in college .... The 1983 Texas Longhorns.

By the standards of today, both Roger Clemens and Calvin Schiraldi carried an insane workload under Cliff Gustafson, who hated going to the bullpen when his starter was pitching well... and Clemens and Schiraldi almost always did.

Schiraldi may have been a slight disappointment in the majors, but he was still a pretty good pitcher for both the Mets and Red Sox - although Sox fans will remember him more for Game 6 of the 1986 World Series than anything else. Clemens, however, was even better than he was projected to be while in college.

That's a long-winded way of saying that there could be more going on with Rocker, than simply being overworked in college.
 
#25

butchna

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#25
I hear what you're saying, and perhaps Corbin should be criticized for how Rocker was handled., but one thing that I think about whenever this subject comes up - The "Pitch Count Era" didn't really begin until MLB began tracking pitch counts as an official statistic in 1988.

There is one team that makes me think about that in college .... The 1983 Texas Longhorns.

By the standards of today, both Roger Clemens and Calvin Schiraldi carried an insane workload under Cliff Gustafson, who hated going to the bullpen when his starter was pitching well... and Clemens and Schiraldi almost always did.

Schiraldi may have been a slight disappointment in the majors, but he was still a pretty good pitcher for both the Mets and Red Sox - although Sox fans will remember him more for Game 6 of the 1986 World Series than anything else. Clemens, however, was even better than he was projected to be while in college.

That's a long-winded way of saying that there could be more going on with Rocker, than simply being overworked in college.
We're talking about two different eras. I grew up in the one you're referencing and miss it sometimes. Not a fan of 4 inning outings and being credited with a quality start. But there's too much modern consensus to buck and ride with your hunches and Corbin has to own it when his impacts a player entrusted to him. Before I read this article I had merely wondered why he declined so markedly after that landmark performance. Seeing the particulars cleared the mystery for me. Today is undefeated against yesterday on this one imo.
 

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