'Throw Until You Die'

Tom Verducci profiles Masahiro Tanaka for SI. On pitching in Japan, Verducci writes:

By the time Tanaka put himself up for auction in Beverly Hills, he'd thrown 1,315 total innings through age 24, a workload unheard of in the majors for any young pitcher over the past 40 years. The last player to be worked that hard that young was Frank Tanana, who debuted in 1973 at age 19 and whose shoulder was shot by the time he was 25. [...] The Japanese pitching culture was forged by men such as Keishi Suzuki, a 5-foot-11-inch lefthander who in 1966, at age 18, debuted in NPB with 189 innings. Just two years later, Suzuki threw 359 innings in a 130-game season, the equivalent of throwing 447 innings in a 162-game MLB season. He lasted 20 seasons, pitching until he was 37, accumulating 317 wins and 4,600 1/3 innings. Afterward, he became manager of the only team he ever pitched for, Kintetsu, where he unwittingly became one of the greatest agents of change in the cross-pollination of baseball cultures. I've long felt managers and pitching coaches nowadays baby pitchers' arms. While I understand the notion to want to guard against injury, my opinion is that there'd be less of a chance for arm trouble if young pitchers were conditioned for stamina while still in the minors. It annoys me to no end that a manager will yank a pitcher in the 6th or 7th inning of a game where a pitcher is doing well just because he's reached his pitch count or whatever. Moreover, it's saddening to me that we'll likely never again see a guy who makes 40 starts and throws 300+ innings a year anymore. (via Daring Fireball)