Houk used Fidrych the same in his second season, despite Fidrych missing the start of the season due to knee problems. He completed 7 of his first 8 starts. After that, his arm went dead resulting in a couple of rough outings. Finally, he had to leave his next start in the first inning and he would not return the rest of the season. His career never regained momentum, pitching his last game in 1980. Apparently he had a torn rotator cuff, something that could have gotten him back on the mound within a year today.
Houk had a good reputation as a big league manager, managing the New York Yankees to two World Series titles and another AL Pennant in his first three seasons after replacing the legendary Casey Stengel. He came back in 1966 and managed the Yankees during one of their worst times until he took over the Tigers in 1974. I think his use of Fidrych is an example of what the other extreme is. Another example could be the use of some of the FLorida Marlins pitchers in 2006 under Joe Girardi, such as Josh Johnson and Anibal Sanchez. In my opinion, Houk and the Tigers exploited Fidrych to add to ticket sales which is an absolute disgrace. There was no reason other than that to pitch him as often as they did. The Tigers finished 74-87 that season, fifth place in the AL East, nowhere near the first place Yankees.
Though I think Houk should have used Fidrych less down the stretch of that season, I also disagree with the innings limits pitchers have now. I honestly cannot wait to see the foolish Nationals organization and Mike Rizzo stand at a press conference and explain how they gave up their season to sit their best pitcher WHO WAS HEALTHY!