I was talking with a 17u coach the other day and he was adamant that ALL of his catchers are pitchers.  He was very clear that he lets them rest, pitch, rest then later on in the tournament he uses them as catchers.  He said it makes the most sense because pitchers and catchers both need incredible strength, and while the throwing mechanics are different for each the strength required to make the throw is the same, and not similar to OF or the rest of the IF.  Also, it makes a better catcher if he understands fully how to pitch.

 

Now I have read on here multiple times that it is NOT good to have a player be both catcher and pitcher, it over uses the arm and will shorten the shelf life of both a catcher and a pitcher.

 

Anyone have strong feelings on this one way or the other? 

 

 

Original Post

We occasionally used our catcher(s) on our travel team (been together 12U-15U) to pitch.  But it was mostly mop up innings in a tourney.  We also made sure they were fairly well rested before and after pitching.

 

Personally I don't think its a great idea to have your primary catcher(s) also be one of your main pitchers.  

Directly from ASMI's position statement on recommendations for youth pitchers.  See #8:

 

Thus, the recommendations for preventing injuries in youth baseball pitchers are:

  1. Watch and respond to signs of fatigue (such as decreased ball velocity, decreased accuracy, upright trunk during pitching, dropped elbow during pitching, or increased time between pitches). If a youth pitcher complains of fatigue or looks fatigued, let him rest from pitching and other throwing.
  2. No overhead throwing of any kind for at least 2-3 months per year (4 months is preferred). No competitive baseball pitching for at least 4 months per year.
  3. Do not pitch more than 100 innings in games in any calendar year.
  4. Follow limits for pitch counts and days rest.
  5. Avoid pitching on multiple teams with overlapping seasons.
  6. Learn good throwing mechanics as soon as possible. The first steps should be to learn, in order: 1) basic throwing, 2) fastball pitching, 3) change-up pitching.
  7. Avoid using radar guns.
  8. A pitcher should not also be a catcher for his team. The pitcher-catcher combination results in many throws and may increase the risk of injury.
  9. If a pitcher complains of pain in his elbow or shoulder, discontinue pitching until evaluated by a sports medicine physician. Inspire youth pitchers to have fun playing baseball and other sports. Participation and enjoyment of various physical activities will increase the youth's athleticism and interest in sports.
Originally Posted by CaCO3Girl:

He was very clear that he lets them rest, pitch, rest then later on in the tournament he uses them as catchers.  He said it makes the most sense because pitchers and catchers both need incredible strength, and while the throwing mechanics are different for each the strength required to make the throw is the same...

 

Makes sense for who?  The coach trying to put together a winning program, or the player? How much rest can you possibly get in a 2-3 day tournament? The way I look at it, one of the biggest factors in breaking down the kinetic chain is fatigue. The biggest issue with catching isn't the throw-backs or the throw-downs, it's the workload on your legs. A pitcher should never take the mound with a fatigued lower half. JMO

 

Every kid is different. Some can catch a game on a 90 degree day and look like they didn't even break a sweat. But most can't.

A great catcher at son's HS committed early with an ACC school years ago, he was asked to pitch also in HS and ended up with Tommy John. Unfortunately, this young man, a nice kid,  has had several injuries since then.

 

CatcherSon throws faster than his HS P's, however he stopped pitching several years ago in fear of the above.  

 

MidAtlanticDad & bballman make great points.

Just looked up on PG.

 

Top 50 ranked 2014's, total of 5 catchers:

#4, Alex Jackson = C, OF, 3B

#24, Jackson Reetz = C, RHP, OF

#29, Cobi Johnson = RHP, C, IF

#43, Devon Fisher = C, 3B, RHP, 1B

#45, Chase Vallot = C

 

3/5 of the best catchers last year were also pitchers.....thoughts?

Originally Posted by MidAtlanticDad:
Originally Posted by CaCO3Girl:

He was very clear that he lets them rest, pitch, rest then later on in the tournament he uses them as catchers.  He said it makes the most sense because pitchers and catchers both need incredible strength, and while the throwing mechanics are different for each the strength required to make the throw is the same...

 

Makes sense for who?  The coach trying to put together a winning program, or the player? How much rest can you possibly get in a 2-3 day tournament? The way I look at it, one of the biggest factors in breaking down the kinetic chain is fatigue. The biggest issue with catching isn't the throw-backs or the throw-downs, it's the workload on your legs. A pitcher should never take the mound with a fatigued lower half. JMO

I agree MidAtlanticDad...but this coach did say they rest, pitch, rest then catch...they don't pitch after they catch.  Any objection to a player catching after the fatigue of pitching?

Originally Posted by joes87:

We occasionally used our catcher(s) on our travel team (been together 12U-16U) to pitch.  But it was mostly mop up innings in a tourney.  We also made sure they were fairly well rested before and after pitching.

 

Personally I don't think its a great idea to have your primary catcher(s) also be one of your main pitchers.  

BTW, I should add that the catchers no longer pitch now that we are playing at the HS level.

There are guys that do it.  Part of the problem is the fatigue factor.  Part of the problem is mechanics.  General recommendations are don't do it, too many risk factors.

 

If you know this already, why take the chance?  Some people don't know the risks, some ignore the risks.  Why be part of the 2nd group.  

Originally Posted by CaCO3Girl:
Originally Posted by MidAtlanticDad:
Originally Posted by CaCO3Girl:

He was very clear that he lets them rest, pitch, rest then later on in the tournament he uses them as catchers.  He said it makes the most sense because pitchers and catchers both need incredible strength, and while the throwing mechanics are different for each the strength required to make the throw is the same...

 

Makes sense for who?  The coach trying to put together a winning program, or the player? How much rest can you possibly get in a 2-3 day tournament? The way I look at it, one of the biggest factors in breaking down the kinetic chain is fatigue. The biggest issue with catching isn't the throw-backs or the throw-downs, it's the workload on your legs. A pitcher should never take the mound with a fatigued lower half. JMO

I agree MidAtlanticDad...but this coach did say they rest, pitch, rest then catch...they don't pitch after they catch.  Any objection to a player catching after the fatigue of pitching?

Define rest.  They should be resting as much as the pitchers after catching if they are going to pitch.  If they catch an entire 7 inning game they are going to need rest equal to a pitcher who pitched approximately 4 to 5 innings (based on some info I read a while back).  Which would equate to about 70 to 80 pitches.  The recommend rest for this pitching load is about 4 days I believe.  

Bryce Harper was another and he makes a nice segue to a point I want to make. If a kid is looking at the next level, I see no real problem with pitching and catching if his future is as a position player (catcher or otherwise). However, if he hopes to move the next level as a pitcher, get him out from behind the plate. Usually, by the high school level, you won't see stud pitchers catching at all and when you see a catcher also pitch, it's in a support role - not a heavy workload. At lower youth levels, it's sometimes overdone. My worry isn't with the arm, though. It's the risk of lower body fatigue.

One way to look at it is that every throw back from catcher to pitcher is the same as 1/2 a pitch.  If a catcher was on defense for 7 innings at 15 pitches per inning, he now is at the equivalent of about 55.  If you have him pitch 1/2 of the next game after 3 or 4 innings of rest, he might have 17 pitch innings due to fatigue or another 50 total.  Is he catching the next day again?  Wow!  Did your starting pitcher in the first game deliver all 105 pitches in that game?  No?  That's what your asking of the stud catcher/pitcher during the course of the day.  Only to do it all again the next day?  Ouch!!

Originally Posted by CaCO3Girl:

Just looked up on PG.

 

Top 50 ranked 2014's, total of 5 catchers:

#4, Alex Jackson = C, OF, 3B

#24, Jackson Reetz = C, RHP, OF

#29, Cobi Johnson = RHP, C, IF

#43, Devon Fisher = C, 3B, RHP, 1B

#45, Chase Vallot = C

 

3/5 of the best catchers last year were also pitchers.....thoughts?

#43 Devon Fisher Pitched 0 inning senior year on State Championship team. Drafted by Boston as catcher.

Originally Posted by CatsPop:

One way to look at it is that every throw back from catcher to pitcher is the same as 1/2 a pitch.  If a catcher was on defense for 7 innings at 15 pitches per inning, he now is at the equivalent of about 55.  If you have him pitch 1/2 of the next game after 3 or 4 innings of rest, he might have 17 pitch innings due to fatigue or another 50 total.  Is he catching the next day again?  Wow!  Did your starting pitcher in the first game deliver all 105 pitches in that game?  No?  That's what your asking of the stud catcher/pitcher during the course of the day.  Only to do it all again the next day?  Ouch!!


First, I'm going to question how you come up with the throw back to the pitcher being the equivalent of 1/2 pitch. If that's to be taken as true then we're going to need to start counting up all of the pre-game tosses made while playing catch. So if my rf'er, while warming up throws the ball 80 times to another player, he starts off with the equivalent of 40 pitches when I later put him on the mound? Pluss all the infield throws between innings?

Originally Posted by roothog66:
Originally Posted by CatsPop:

One way to look at it is that every throw back from catcher to pitcher is the same as 1/2 a pitch.  If a catcher was on defense for 7 innings at 15 pitches per inning, he now is at the equivalent of about 55.  If you have him pitch 1/2 of the next game after 3 or 4 innings of rest, he might have 17 pitch innings due to fatigue or another 50 total.  Is he catching the next day again?  Wow!  Did your starting pitcher in the first game deliver all 105 pitches in that game?  No?  That's what your asking of the stud catcher/pitcher during the course of the day.  Only to do it all again the next day?  Ouch!!


First, I'm going to question how you come up with the throw back to the pitcher being the equivalent of 1/2 pitch. If that's to be taken as true then we're going to need to start counting up all of the pre-game tosses made while playing catch. So if my rf'er, while warming up throws the ball 80 times to another player, he starts off with the equivalent of 40 pitches when I later put him on the mound? Pluss all the infield throws between innings?

roothog, I've seen that stat as well.  I think it came from Dr. Andrews work but I am not sure.   

Originally Posted by roothog66:
 we're going to need to start counting up all of the pre-game tosses made while playing catch. 

Pre-game warm-ups are accounted for in the recommended pitch counts by ASMI.  Warming up is factored into the numbers that they came up with, so you never include them in the pitch count equation.  In fact, warm-up pitches between innings are also taken into account in the recommendations.  The ASMI recommendations only refer to in game pitches to batters.

Originally Posted by bballman:
Originally Posted by roothog66:
 we're going to need to start counting up all of the pre-game tosses made while playing catch. 

Pre-game warm-ups are accounted for in the recommended pitch counts by ASMI.  Warming up is factored into the numbers that they came up with, so you never include them in the pitch count equation.  In fact, warm-up pitches between innings are also taken into account in the recommendations.  The ASMI recommendations only refer to in game pitches to batters.

How many pitches has ASMI assigned as "warm up" pitches?  10, 30, 50, 100???

 

Why hasen't ASMI (American Sports Medicine Institute)  come out with recommended throw counts for catchers?  Obviously they have strong opinions about pitch counts to protect an arm and things not to do, we see these rules mimicked in tourney rules...but if every catcher throw back is equal to 1/2 a pitch where are the rules to protect the catchers arms in those tournaments?

Originally Posted by CaCO3Girl:
Originally Posted by bballman:
Originally Posted by roothog66:
 we're going to need to start counting up all of the pre-game tosses made while playing catch. 

Pre-game warm-ups are accounted for in the recommended pitch counts by ASMI.  Warming up is factored into the numbers that they came up with, so you never include them in the pitch count equation.  In fact, warm-up pitches between innings are also taken into account in the recommendations.  The ASMI recommendations only refer to in game pitches to batters.

How many pitches has ASMI assigned as "warm up" pitches?  10, 30, 50, 100???

 

Why hasen't ASMI (American Sports Medicine Institute)  come out with recommended throw counts for catchers?  Obviously they have strong opinions about pitch counts to protect an arm and things not to do, we see these rules mimicked in tourney rules...but if every catcher throw back is equal to 1/2 a pitch where are the rules to protect the catchers arms in those tournaments?

It isn't an exact science, nor a "hard" pitch count.  Heck, even LL allows a kid to finish a batter after they reach their "limit."  If the recommendation is 100 pitches, then 105 or 110 isn't that much of a difference.  The idea is to prevent 120-150+. 

 

As for catchers and other position players, there is a difference between pitching and throwing.  Pitchers are throwing max velocity on every pitch.  Catcher's do not.  Trying to equate it to some percentage of a pitch is difficult at best.  So while pitching too much can clearly cause problems, the question is, is there evidence that throwing too much is problematic?  We have all heard the saying, kids don't throw enough. 

 

IMO, the biggest thing with catching and pitching is fatigue which is really what leads to problems. 

This is something else, besides pitch count, that I have to talk to my son's HS coach about.  My son is the best catcher on the team as well as one of the top 2 pitchers on the team. 

The coach is known to take a pitcher and move him to another position in the same game.  Usually my son plays 1B so it hasn't been an issue. 

As I stated before there needs to be clear enforcable rules to help prevent injuries to pitchers so that parents don't have to worry about it.

 

Originally Posted by CaCO3Girl:
Originally Posted by bballman:
Originally Posted by roothog66:
 we're going to need to start counting up all of the pre-game tosses made while playing catch. 

Pre-game warm-ups are accounted for in the recommended pitch counts by ASMI.  Warming up is factored into the numbers that they came up with, so you never include them in the pitch count equation.  In fact, warm-up pitches between innings are also taken into account in the recommendations.  The ASMI recommendations only refer to in game pitches to batters.

How many pitches has ASMI assigned as "warm up" pitches?  10, 30, 50, 100???

 

Why hasen't ASMI (American Sports Medicine Institute)  come out with recommended throw counts for catchers?  Obviously they have strong opinions about pitch counts to protect an arm and things not to do, we see these rules mimicked in tourney rules...but if every catcher throw back is equal to 1/2 a pitch where are the rules to protect the catchers arms in those tournaments?

Common sense comes into play here CaCO3Girl.  Who is going to throw 100 warm up pitches???  Warm up pitches are usually not full-effort pitches either.  Some may be, but not all and not enough to count toward in-game pitches.  Also, the pitch count rules are basically guidelines.  ASMI understands that it is not a hard number.  Some pitchers may have to come out before the recommended number because they tired earlier, some pitchers may be able to go beyond the limit.  But, you have to start somewhere.  

 

I'm sure that ASMI included the recommendation about pitching and catching because they saw an increase in the injury rate for kids that both pitched and caught over kids that just did one or the other, or pitched/caught and played another position in the field.

 

They have stated on numerous occasions that the BIGGEST factor is pitching while fatigued.  Because catchers are playing a demanding position, it is recommended that they not do both.

The two positions, catcher and pitcher, are very risky.  There have been many that have done it, though.  Matt Wieters actually did it in both high school and in college.

 

Most catcher injuries are something other than arm injuries.  Most pitching injuries are arm injuries.  So catching and also pitching carries a lot of risk for injury. And when the body is worn out, the chance of arm injury increases.

 

I have a hard time believing the throw from the catcher back to the pitcher is the same as 1/2 a pitch.  Most of these throws are a simple snap of the wrist and with less effort than a Batting practice pitch.  There are BP pitchers that can and do throw hundreds of pitches every day without suffering injuries.  Obviously the throws down to 2B are different than the toss back to the pitcher.

The very nature of the beast, weekend tournament travel ball, where your playing consecutive games on consecutive days puts the player who pitches and/or catches at risk. Roster sizes further increase the risk level.

I personally do not rely on coaches to manage my risk tolerance for son's arm care. I know ASMI and MLB Smart Pitch guidelines. I have a plan with coach before season begins on how we manage pitches/innings and adjust if needed as we go.

My sons do not catch anymore but both still pitch. When older son did both, my plan with coach was to not pitch and catch same day. That level of risk was acceptable to me.

You only have one throwing arm. Manage your risk accordingly.

 

 

Originally Posted by CaCO3Girl:

I was talking with a 17u coach the other day and he was adamant that ALL of his catchers are pitchers.  He was very clear that he lets them rest, pitch, rest then later on in the tournament he uses them as catchers.  He said it makes the most sense because pitchers and catchers both need incredible strength, and while the throwing mechanics are different for each the strength required to make the throw is the same, and not similar to OF or the rest of the IF.  Also, it makes a better catcher if he understands fully how to pitch.

 

Now I have read on here multiple times that it is NOT good to have a player be both catcher and pitcher, it over uses the arm and will shorten the shelf life of both a catcher and a pitcher.

 

Anyone have strong feelings on this one way or the other? 

 

 

I have never heard of a coach being ADAMANT that all his catchers be pitchers and his reason that "both need incredible strength" is certainly not very compelling when compared to all the documented reasons against.  I would quickly dismiss this POV.  This may fall under the heading of - if you want to find someone to rationalize your actions, search long enough and you'll find it.

 

You can search on this site and find many more posts on the subject.  The point about the value of catcher throw-backs to the pitcher can certainly be argued but I would not put that high on the argument list anyway.  C's and SS's have the most high-effort throws besides P's and catchers are definitely in the most taxing position overall.

 

Primary reasons against...

 

Mechanical differences

Number of high stress throws

Proper rest

Lower half fatigue

Piling on to pitch count

Exposing your pitchers' bodies to a beating

 

It's great in theory that he says he gives proper rest but think about how impossible that is in practice. A catcher throws hard during infield drills and catcher drills throughout the week as well as catching bullpens.  A pitcher throws bullpens during the week and then, if he's any good, usually throws up to his limit in games.  Where, exactly, do you fit in that appropriate rest from this double-duty?  It's not just about game management. It's not just about long weekend tourneys.  HS players are throwing in drills every day.  Unless they are on shut-down, these are high-effort throws.  When they are on shut-down, it limits the effectiveness of the overall team practice. 

 

Many HS coaches don't allow both.  Some do but are very strategic and cautious.  Some do it blindly with only the team's immediate success in mind. You usually see the kids with the strongest arms at P, SS and C.  These are the positions that require the most arm strength.  C and SS require good athleticism.  Some teams are limited in athletic kids with good arms and, thus, some coaches feel pressure to use them in the P/C and P/SS combo. That is partially why you see a few show up on the All-American list.

 

We (our HS program) have done it in spots but try to avoid.  When we do, we try to limit  it to short-stint back-up duties for each and limit practice reps and bullpens far more than normal for that player.  You certainly can't run a team if you try to do that with every pitcher and catcher.

 

If I may ask... what is the relevance of the 17u coach to your 12y.o. son?     

 

 

Originally Posted by Golfman25:

It isn't an exact science, nor a "hard" pitch count.  Heck, even LL allows a kid to finish a batter after they reach their "limit."  If the recommendation is 100 pitches, then 105 or 110 isn't that much of a difference.  The idea is to prevent 120-150+. 

 

As for catchers and other position players, there is a difference between pitching and throwing.  Pitchers are throwing max velocity on every pitchCatcher's do not.  Trying to equate it to some percentage of a pitch is difficult at best.  So while pitching too much can clearly cause problems, the question is, is there evidence that throwing too much is problematic?  We have all heard the saying, kids don't throw enough. 

 

IMO, the biggest thing with catching and pitching is fatigue which is really what leads to problems. 

A catcher making throws down to 2nd base certainly is throwing max velocity.

Originally Posted by CaCO3Girl:
I agree MidAtlanticDad...but this coach did say they rest, pitch, rest then catch...they don't pitch after they catch.  Any objection to a player catching after the fatigue of pitching?

Sorry, I didn't pay attention to that distinction, and it is different. In that sequence I'm more concerned about his arm fatigue (though if he's working properly on the mound, his legs will be tired, too). With my son, I would treat it pretty much like normal pitching days rest. The elbow and shoulder are fatigued and in recovery mode, and I don't want him throwing hard to any base during that time.

 

Factoring in all these rest days, off day training, mental preparation, and I assume hitting... it just doesn't make much sense to me unless your talking about pitching a few innings here and there.

Originally Posted by lionbaseball:
Originally Posted by Golfman25:

It isn't an exact science, nor a "hard" pitch count.  Heck, even LL allows a kid to finish a batter after they reach their "limit."  If the recommendation is 100 pitches, then 105 or 110 isn't that much of a difference.  The idea is to prevent 120-150+. 

 

As for catchers and other position players, there is a difference between pitching and throwing.  Pitchers are throwing max velocity on every pitchCatcher's do not.  Trying to equate it to some percentage of a pitch is difficult at best.  So while pitching too much can clearly cause problems, the question is, is there evidence that throwing too much is problematic?  We have all heard the saying, kids don't throw enough. 

 

IMO, the biggest thing with catching and pitching is fatigue which is really what leads to problems. 

A catcher making throws down to 2nd base certainly is throwing max velocity.

Yes, but a good catcher only has to throw a couple of times before the opposition gets the point. 

Originally Posted by cabbagedad:

If I may ask... what is the relevance of the 17u coach to your 12y.o. son?     

Darn it cabbagedad, you caught me! 

 

The 17u coach in question is also my son's 12u coach.  That is the conversation we had, and his 17u kid is the primary catcher and also a RHP, so he is drinking his own kool-aid, and it's what he has been doing and plans for my son to do, so I wanted input regarding what others thought.

 

I have found that I get more informative answers if I leave out the 12u in my post, and in this case I was thinking about ramification further down the line and was this "normal" farther down the time line, so it seemed okay to leave out the 12u. 

 

I will now be expecting the posts that center solely on 12u arms and have very little to do with late HS or college, which have been blessedly absent so far.

Smart Pitch & USA Baseball posting:

Excessive Throwing When Not Pitching

 

A pitcher should not also be a catcher for his team as it is the next most throwing-intensive position and results in far more throws than players at other positions. ASMI found that amateurs who played catcher while not pitching were 2.7 times more likely to suffer a major arm injury.

Originally Posted by CaCO3Girl:
...

I have found that I get more informative answers if I leave out the 12u in my post, and in this case I was thinking about ramification further down the line and was this "normal" farther down the time line, so it seemed okay to leave out the 12u. 

...

I know and I'm sorry I called that out.  I think it is great that you are making it a point to become so well-informed ahead of the curve. (although, in this case, if he is also the 12u coach and plans to do that with your son, it becomes an immediate concern as well.)  Admittedly, part of me is still trying to keep you from getting too far ahead of yourself so that you get full enjoyment of each age your son goes through but part of me was really curious as to what this coach's influence was on your son.  I was hoping maybe it was just a passing casual conversation and, perhaps, things were lost in translation a bit.  If this thread goes sideways, my apologies.  As I mentioned, there are several other good threads on the topic you can search.

It is less and less "normal" further down the line. 

Originally Posted by Golfman25:
Originally Posted by lionbaseball:

A catcher making throws down to 2nd base certainly is throwing max velocity.

Yes, but a good catcher only has to throw a couple of times before the opposition gets the point. 

Unless the pitcher has a slow delivery or the 2nd or SS have issues catching the ball. 

Originally Posted by cabbagedad:
Originally Posted by CaCO3Girl:
...

I have found that I get more informative answers if I leave out the 12u in my post, and in this case I was thinking about ramification further down the line and was this "normal" farther down the time line, so it seemed okay to leave out the 12u. 

...

I know and I'm sorry I called that out.  I think it is great that you are making it a point to become so well-informed ahead of the curve. (although, in this case, if he is also the 12u coach and plans to do that with your son, it becomes an immediate concern as well.)  Admittedly, part of me is still trying to keep you from getting too far ahead of yourself so that you get full enjoyment of each age your son goes through but part of me was really curious as to what this coach's influence was on your son.  I was hoping maybe it was just a passing casual conversation and, perhaps, things were lost in translation a bit.  If this thread goes sideways, my apologies.  As I mentioned, there are several other good threads on the topic you can search.

It is less and less "normal" further down the line. 

CaCo3Girl- I would take this advise from Cabbagedad. 

Originally Posted by cabbagedad:
Originally Posted by CaCO3Girl:
...

I have found that I get more informative answers if I leave out the 12u in my post, and in this case I was thinking about ramification further down the line and was this "normal" farther down the time line, so it seemed okay to leave out the 12u. 

...

I know and I'm sorry I called that out.  I think it is great that you are making it a point to become so well-informed ahead of the curve. (although, in this case, if he is also the 12u coach and plans to do that with your son, it becomes an immediate concern as well.)  Admittedly, part of me is still trying to keep you from getting too far ahead of yourself so that you get full enjoyment of each age your son goes through but part of me was really curious as to what this coach's influence was on your son.  I was hoping maybe it was just a passing casual conversation and, perhaps, things were lost in translation a bit.  If this thread goes sideways, my apologies.  As I mentioned, there are several other good threads on the topic you can search.

It is less and less "normal" further down the line. 

I think that was a great advice and it wasn't hard to catch on that the coach was also her sons coach.

I guess people think we can be fooled easily.

Its not unusual for catchers to pitch when needed, but if a pitcher shows the ability to be an above average pitcher, then he should not catch.

 

I agree with what roothog stated. In HS games some of the guys did catch and pitch, never did son as it was obvious he would be a pitcher.  On the 17/18U travel team ( for recruiting exposure) he played in HS, pitchers were pitchers and catchers were catchers. Period.

 

When my son was 13 their catcher went down, so the agreement was that he should be the catcher until the other was ready to come back and NO PITCHING. FWIW, his coach was a former pro player and his father was a ML catcher. I guess he saw an ability and wanted to be safe and we appreciated it very much.

 

 

Matt Weiters would pitch late innings in college in a game after he caught, he played same conference as son, same years. He wasn't a pitcher, he just threw the ball hard (FB) to try to get it past the hitters This year he was unable to help his team in the playoffs, he had shoulder issues.

 

Bryce Harper also wasnt up to snuff this year either.  It all takes its toll eventually, so once again, most likely everything you do (including those youth years) will catch u.

 

I am not sure why people argue these points, too much is not too good for anyone, and I wish that the info that is supplied now would have been available when son was younger. Good that you ask these questions now and not later. You will get more honesty here than anywhere else.

 

Its all about common sense, I just don't get why folks don't get that.

 

JMO

 

Originally Posted by bballman:

There are guys that do it.  Part of the problem is the fatigue factor.  Part of the problem is mechanics.  General recommendations are don't do it, too many risk factors.

 

If you know this already, why take the chance?  Some people don't know the risks, some ignore the risks.  Why be part of the 2nd group.  

+1

Originally Posted by CaCO3Girl:
Originally Posted by MidAtlanticDad:
Originally Posted by CaCO3Girl:

He was very clear that he lets them rest, pitch, rest then later on in the tournament he uses them as catchers.  He said it makes the most sense because pitchers and catchers both need incredible strength, and while the throwing mechanics are different for each the strength required to make the throw is the same...

 

Makes sense for who?  The coach trying to put together a winning program, or the player? How much rest can you possibly get in a 2-3 day tournament? The way I look at it, one of the biggest factors in breaking down the kinetic chain is fatigue. The biggest issue with catching isn't the throw-backs or the throw-downs, it's the workload on your legs. A pitcher should never take the mound with a fatigued lower half. JMO

I agree MidAtlanticDad...but this coach did say they rest, pitch, rest then catch...they don't pitch after they catch.  Any objection to a player catching after the fatigue of pitching?

Absolutely! I don't want a player at any position where he has to make a hard throw after fatigue from pitching. Especially if his arm cools down.

This goes back to LL all stars. But the point is the same at any level. Twice my son caught six innings and pitched the seventh when the game went into extra innings. Both times a kid with great control was all over the place. One time he struck out three and walked three. The other time he went high in the count to all three hitters. His legs were tired. When legs get tired pitching mechanics can be altered. Altered mechanics can lead to arm problems. These two games were the only time in his baseball journey he did this. I told the head coach it wasn't happening twice in the same tournament. He did it once each at districts and sections.

When my son was 9 we met a MLB old-time scout for the Dodgers. He asked my son what positions he played. Son replied, pitcher, 1st and catcher. The Scout replied they always need catchers in the Majors. Hearing that statement I always encouraged catching. The last time my son caught a game was 14U LL All Stars. He's now a 2015 17 year old RHP signed to a D1 program.  And he is still learning the art of pitching. After going through the recruiting process, one thing I found out was the term " the money is up the middle" as far as scholarships. LHP, C, RHP, SS, CF. There will always be catchers that can throw hard, but their pop time and power at the plate will be better than their control as a pitcher. And a pitcher that can catch but will never have a 1.8 pop time . My  $.02

 

Originally Posted by shane52:

When my son was 9 we met a MLB old-time scout for the Dodgers. He asked my son what positions he played. Son replied, pitcher, 1st and catcher. The Scout replied they always need catchers in the Majors. Hearing that statement I always encouraged catching. The last time my son caught a game was 14U LL All Stars. He's now a 2015 17 year old RHP signed to a D1 program.  And he is still learning the art of pitching. After going through the recruiting process, one thing I found out was the term " the money is up the middle" as far as scholarships. LHP, C, RHP, SS, CF. There will always be catchers that can throw hard, but their pop time and power at the plate will be better than their control as a pitcher. And a pitcher that can catch but will never have a 1.8 pop time . My  $.02

 

my son is heading into a similar situation:  He is a 2017 who has always been a catcher Who occationaly pitched.  He has also been the number 4 hitter.  But at the moment, his pop time is around 1.9 and he sits at 86 as a RHP.   It will be interesting to see where he plays this HS season (and beyond).

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