That’s really a great question, but there’s a magic word in there that really has to be investigated. The word is “apparently”, and in order to really evaluate what’s going on properly, “apparently” has to be able to be removed from the sentence with proof one way or the other.
Here’s just some of the many problems with trying to figger out things like this. Let’s begin with what “pinpoint command” means. Let’s get real here and make sure everyone understands that pinpoint command for a pitcher does not mean hitting a spot within an inch or two anything close to 90% of the time, because that just ain’t happenin’! So with the understanding that the goal is to always be that accurate and that it does happen, let’s use realistic terms.
If a pitcher can throw half of his pitches within a foot of where he was trying to throw them, he’s got pretty darn good control. Using that along with the plate and strikezone being guidelines, here’s what you have. Think about a 4 zone picture, with 1 quadrant having one side splitting the plate, the other 4” off the plate inside, the bottom about at the belt, and the top a few inches above the top of the strike zone. A 2nd zone would be its mirror image on the other side of the plate. A 3rd zone would have one side splitting the plate, the other 4” off the plate inside, the top about at the belt, and the bottom, a few inches below the bottom of the strike zone. A 4th zone would be its mirror image on the other side of the plate. That would make each zone about a foot square, and hitting the quadrant aimed at more than half the time would be pinpoint control as far as I’m concerned.
Now for the “command” part. It isn’t enough to just be able to throw the ball where you want it. You have to be able to do that with a “quality” pitch, not just a “BP lay in it in there” pitch. If a pitcher can do both, his manger is a happy camper, and the sooner he can get to that point, the better. What good is it to have a pitcher be able to mow hitters down when he’s given up a crooked number or two? What I’m saying is, a lot depends on the kind of team he’s pitching on. If he’s got an offense like the Tigers, giving up a few runs early isn’t a big deal.
So why not just find pitchers who don’t take 2 or 3 innings to get settled in? Let those guys be the #2 or 3 so they can have longer to get warm.
Sure they do, but there’s still more proof that no matter how well conditioned, the more fatigued the pitcher is, the more likely he’ll suffer injury. But while lessening the workload will definitely reduce the chances of injury, in my mind changing pitchers more often is much more about putting in a pitcher who’s less fatigued and thus more likely to be able to execute his pitches correctly.
That’s a fine opinion, and one shared by many many people in the game. But I can tell you that it isn’t nearly as popular a philosophy as it once was, and its getting less popular all the time. I don’t know if you ever watched football in its early days, but it wasn’t at all unusual to find several 2-way players on teams. Now-a-days though, its so unusual it could be considered rare. Why? The great athletes today are bigger, stronger, more athletic, and in better condition, but its been proven over and over again that fresher players perform better.