This article is part of our Collette Calls series.
I will begin this column by saying there is no conclusion at the end. The purpose of this column is to look at the factors in play when considering how to handle pitching in the 2021 season given we are just a couple weeks from the offseason.
This season has presented a number of situations unlike anything we have ever seen in this sport, and its impact will be felt at least through the 2021 season as well. Consider that (entering play Sunday):
- 703 pitchers have been used in 2020, in 1,356 games. That is the fifth-highest total in any FULL season in history, trailing only the previous four seasons. There is an outside chance that 2020 finishes in the top four.
- 470 pitchers have worked at least 80 percent of their games in a relief role; that is the third-highest total in league history. It is unlikely that moves any higher, but to accomplish that in an abbreviated schedule is something.
- Six teams — Boston, Toronto, Detroit, Baltimore, Atlanta and Tampa Bay — have seen relievers throw at least 50 percent of the team's pitches
- Two teams — Cleveland and Cincinnati — have had their starting pitchers soak up at least 60 percent of the team's overall pitches
- There is a 51/49 split in wins between starters and relievers, which has held mostly true once rosters dropped from 30 to 28 players.
- 32 pitchers have succumbed to Tommy John Surgery in 2020
One may assume with all of