Pitch Counts for 8th Graders? And playing a position after pitching

I think a max of 70-75 pitches is plenty for a 14U 8th Grader.  Anyone disagree?

What further complicates things is on a 12 player roster for a tournament team, many kids also play premium defensive positions in addition to pitching.

In that case, a kid who is expected to play 3B/SS/CF etc after pitching should probably be limited to 20-25 pitches.  Interested in viewpoints of that as well.

I've seen kids play SS or 3B in two games on Saturday, along with pitching an inning or 20-25 pitches on Saturday, and then play SS or 3B the next day along with possibly pitching a few more innings if a team runs out of pitchers.  It ends up being a lot of throws overall, even if they are only throwing 20 pitches on Saturday and 30-35 on Sunday.

Thoughts?

Original Post

Well you could go with Pitch Smart Pitching rules:

http://m.mlb.com/pitchsmart/pi...elines-ages-13-to-14

My son is 14 and on the HS JV team so you could go by your state JV pitching rules, here are GA's:

Pitching restrictions:
(a) Maximum Pitches in One Game:  sub-varsity 90.
(b) Required Rest Periods:
Sub-Varsity
 1-24 Pitches 0 Days,  25-44 Pitches 1 Day, 45-64 Pitches 2 Days, 65-90 Pitches 3 Days

Note: A pitcher shall not throw more than 900 pitches in a single game or cumulative over a two-day period. A pitcher shall not pitch more than two consecutive days regardless of the pitch count, at which time a minimum 1-day rest period is required. Doubleheaders are considered two separate games and single-game pitch count limitations are in effect. All other rest periods are based on the total pitches thrown.

My OPINION on the subject is that the SS shouldn't pitch, the throwing motion is just too different.  People tend to call out catching and pitching, but in my observations SS and pitching are more harmful to a young arm. Not that I'm condoning the catcher taking off his gear to take the mound, I actually really dislike that, but I think SS is worse.

I have no issue with a pitcher also being a 3B, 1B, 2B, OF player as long as they were properly allowed to warm up prior to pitching.  Truly dislike it when the coach approaches the mound and crooks his finger and the  kid currently playing RF comes in to take the mound.

New state pitch count restrictions are easily supported with rosters of 15 kids.  Your reduced pitch count is realistic.  From experience I'd keep your core position players on the field and only use them as a possible closer and keeping it to 30 pitches; don't use a primary defensive player to be a SP or early in a tournament.  Develop your other players to pitch.  Perhaps a bit too idealistic at 14 and with a roster of 12... But you'll need an arm that can give you 30 pitches when you get deeper in the tournament, save the top defensive players for that time.   Been there....

If a kids pitching motion is drastically different than how he throws in the field, he needs to work on his throwing motion, they should be athletically similar.   A SS will normally have a 3/4 slot allowing him to be variable (multi- slot) with how he throws the ball because of the different angles his body is in when he fields the ball, and then throws the ball to make the play.    14 year old SS's will have a tendency to lengthen their arm strokes on the mound, they need to continue working on proper throwing motions on flat ground that's portable to their position and so they can assist on the mound.  You want a consistent arm path, keeping the arm "connected" for arm health reasons.

This connection ball was a useful tool used by my sons throwing motion guy: https://www.oatesspecialties.c...ess/connection-ball/

Kind of rambling here, I remember these days and the pitching frustration while trying to keep the kids healthy, it takes work.  Good luck.

(Edited grammar)

I appreciate the replies.  It does take some creative thinking to keep the kids in a situation where their arm health is priority #1 and they get their development opportunities and the team is competitive.

My #1 SS is also my 2nd or 3rd best Pitcher.  I'd prefer to wait on pitching him until as deep into a tournament as possible but you have given me some things to think about.  I do have one 2B/SS who doesn't pitch at all, so that if we get deep into a Sunday I at least have one player I can put at SS who doesn't pitch.

Neither of my Catchers pitch, and both play 3B

I have to say I am looking forward to 15U and 16U when we have a few pitcher only players.  Would make things easier.

cabbagedad posted:
CaCO3Girl posted:

 

..

My OPINION on the subject is that the SS shouldn't pitch, the throwing motion is just too different.  ...

Caco, I'm curious... can you expand on that thought?

Sure.  You have a great pitcher, you don't over use him, you keep his pitch counts low and then you what, put him at SS?  SS the land of wonky moves where you rarely have your feet firmly planted when you have to make a throw?  Sometimes you have to throw in weird ways, and always in HARD ways to get the ball over to 1B?   It's a lot of stress on an arm to be a SS and to be a SS with OPEN growth plates (11u-15u) that also pitches...in my opinion you are just asking for disaster.

CaCO3Girl posted:
cabbagedad posted:
CaCO3Girl posted:

 

..

My OPINION on the subject is that the SS shouldn't pitch, the throwing motion is just too different.  ...

Caco, I'm curious... can you expand on that thought?

Sure.  You have a great pitcher, you don't over use him, you keep his pitch counts low and then you what, put him at SS?  SS the land of wonky moves where you rarely have your feet firmly planted when you have to make a throw?  Sometimes you have to throw in weird ways, and always in HARD ways to get the ball over to 1B?   It's a lot of stress on an arm to be a SS and to be a SS with OPEN growth plates (11u-15u) that also pitches...in my opinion you are just asking for disaster.

No question the majority agree with the overuse connection.  It was the throwing motion being "too different" that was my specific question.   

Yes, a SS finds himself throwing "in weird ways" but the throwing fundamentals are the same.  Ideally, SS utliizes proper throwing mechanics and his natural arm slot.  At times, SS has to throw from down low, but preferably, that is body tilt with same general mechanics.  Yes, sometimes he needs to go down lower.  But, to make the throws from the hole and the routine plays, the standard mechanic is best...  the same mechanic you want most P's to use.    Yes, at times, the circle is smaller, but still... not a concern of being too different, IMO.  

Now catching is quite different.  You consistently want a shorter, quicker more direct take-back and you want the ball to go as straight as possible.  Those can be very different mechanically in some aspects.  Just my opinion as well.  Always fun to discuss.

cabbagedad posted:
CaCO3Girl posted:
cabbagedad posted:
CaCO3Girl posted:

 

..

My OPINION on the subject is that the SS shouldn't pitch, the throwing motion is just too different.  ...

Caco, I'm curious... can you expand on that thought?

Sure.  You have a great pitcher, you don't over use him, you keep his pitch counts low and then you what, put him at SS?  SS the land of wonky moves where you rarely have your feet firmly planted when you have to make a throw?  Sometimes you have to throw in weird ways, and always in HARD ways to get the ball over to 1B?   It's a lot of stress on an arm to be a SS and to be a SS with OPEN growth plates (11u-15u) that also pitches...in my opinion you are just asking for disaster.

No question the majority agree with the overuse connection.  It was the throwing motion being "too different" that was my specific question.   

Yes, a SS finds himself throwing "in weird ways" but the throwing fundamentals are the same.  Ideally, SS utliizes proper throwing mechanics and his natural arm slot.  At times, SS has to throw from down low, but preferably, that is body tilt with same general mechanics.  Yes, sometimes he needs to go down lower.  But, to make the throws from the hole and the routine plays, the standard mechanic is best...  the same mechanic you want most P's to use.    Yes, at times, the circle is smaller, but still... not a concern of being too different, IMO.  

Now catching is quite different.  You consistently want a shorter, quicker more direct take-back and you want the ball to go as straight as possible.  Those can be very different mechanically in some aspects.  Just my opinion as well.  Always fun to discuss.

Yes, always fun to discuss.  I've seen it all ways the catcher/pitcher, catcher/SS, ss/pitcher.  Three times now (11u and 12u) I have seen the SS/pitcher needing "required rest due to growth plate issues".  Haven't seen a medical problem with the other variations, but I will admit my pool was small.

As part of a building of the high school program the new varsity coach had input on the middle school hires. He also had impact on what happened on the field. He told the coaches he wanted to see certain kids pitch an inning or two. He asked to see players at certain positions. He told the coaches pitchers should never pitch more than four inings and once a week. Pitch counts weren't a major issue eleven and twelve years ago. But a four inning limit protected the pitchers. 

Two things happened. 1) No one tweaked their arm over pitching for the middle school. 2) Each year four or five potential pitchers moved up to the high school. 

One middle school coach was more of a baseball fan than a coach and former player. By yearning to learn and listening he became a very good middle school coach. 

RJM posted:

As part of a building of the high school program the new varsity coach had input on the middle school hires. He also had impact on what happened on the field. He told the coaches he wanted to see certain kids pitch an inning or two. He asked to see players at certain positions. He told the coaches pitchers should never pitch more than four inings and once a week. Pitch counts weren't a major issue eleven and twelve years ago. But a four inning limit protected the pitchers. 

Two things happened. 1) No one tweaked their arm over pitching for the middle school. 2) Each year four or five potential pitchers moved up to the high school. 

One middle school coach was more of a baseball fan than a coach and former player. By yearning to learn and listening he became a very good middle school coach. 

Funny, that is EXACTLY my guidelines to my JV guy this year.  At HS JV, i would normally allow for a slightly longer outing but there are too many prospective pitchers in this year's pool so we're trying to make sure five or six get a decent game inning tally.

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