Jeff Wilson has a piece up in the S-T about Nolan Ryan making changes to the way things are done, vis-a-vis the pitchers in the Rangers organization. The word "coddle" isn't used, although Wilson does say Ryan wants to make the pitchers as tough as they are talented.
T.R. Sullivan does say that the organization doesn't want to "coddle" pitchers, though, and Nolan Ryan seems to acknowledge that what he wants to do is going to result in injuries to pitchers who can't handle the workload:
Ryan wants to stop "coddling" the organization's pitchers. He wants to start pushing them at all levels. He is trying to reverse an overall trend in baseball.
According to Ryan, pitching has become so expensive in baseball and so valuable that clubs have become overly concerned about protecting from injury. That's why teams went from four-man to five-man rotations and a mere six innings became the benchmark for success. Keeping pitchers healthy has been the No. 1 goal and the buzz phrase is "erring on the side of caution" when any physical issue comes up.
Ryan has a response for that.
"How many of our pitchers got hurt last year?" Ryan said.
With the exception of Scott Feldman -- the one pitcher they tried to protect from too many innings -- the answer is: all of the above.
"We'll take it step-by-step," Ryan said. "Will there be some fallout as far as injuries? Probably. Will it be drastic? I don't know. We still have to get it done."
Ryan's apparent willingness to accept "drastic" fallout as far as injuries go, as a result of making the pitchers tougher and not coddling them, is, at least to me, a cause for concern.
Jean-Jacques Taylor has a column up about Rafael Palmeiro seeking privacy since his retirement.