Fall ball is wrapping up in the next few weeks, curious to see how it has played out for others. For parents of pitchers, especially freshman pitchers - how often are they throwing in intersquads and games. I would assume more mound time is good? For us about 8 guys getting the bulk of the work, I can't imagine it looks good for the rest of the guys who have barely thrown. 

Original Post

It depends why they didn't throw. It's not uncommon for pitchers who maxed out in summer ball to not throw during fall. Same applies to pitchers recovering from injuries. Now, a freshman who is healthy and isn't maxed out from summer (probably not) and who didn't pitch may be getting a signal.

Wow...8 is a small number. Does not really make sense to me unless 9 thru ? are significantly behind the first 8. Not many programs survive an entire season using just 8 pitchers. I understand having a smaller core group of pitchers but most programs will need to use additional pitchers besides the core group to eat up some innings and keep arms fresh. Then there is the issue of injuries. Most programs take a few hits each spring so working to develop pitchers in the fall is critical.  To each their own I guess but my son's program uses far more arms in the fall and last year had 12 pitchers throw at least 10 innings in the spring.

As a Freshman my son pitched 10 innings.  Based on what the coaches saw he pitched a solid amount out of the bullpen.  Sophomore season maybe seven innings.  He pitched in a Summer league so there was a cautious approach.  Most of the innings came after shutting down for two months.  He pitched out of the pen then became a weekend, then Saturday starter.  Junior year he had again pitched in the Summer and he may have pitched in a few inter-squads at the end of Fall.  By this point in his journey there was not a great deal to learn.  Goal was to just make sure he was not overused.  I think from viewing one team's approach the Fall was a chance to see what incoming Freshman could do.  Most pitchers pitched 6-10 innings.  Coaches find out who can consistently throw strikes and not let innings get out of control. 

Fall innings for players that are nursing an injury or who played in the Summer may be very limited.  Some coaches are more cautious than others or believe they know what the pitcher can do without seeing them in the Fall.  Lots of factors may limit what they are doing.  

Ultimately having a good Fall showing is important to players trying to demonstrate they can help the team win.  

 

 

 

Concur on my son's team 11 pitchers pitched 19 or more innings, after that group you have pitchers with 4 innings or less.  The numbers hold pretty close over all the seasons.  Generally when they went past the 11 pitchers they were in blow out situations or weekday games.  Many of the pitchers below the 19 innings didn't return.  This is just a sampling of one team.  Obviously, pitching talent depth changes the equation.  My feelings going into his Freshmen season were that if he pitched 20 or more innings with a 4.00 ERA or below then he was on the right track.  That being said, college ERA's can get blown up very quickly and distort many good outings.

This fall son has pitched 19 innings with 6 hits, 1 walk, 14 Ks, and 1 earned run.  His outing against Xavier was 8 pitches on Sunday.  Lasted 2 minute and 38 seconds.  Groundout, flyout, strikeout.  They have pitched 25 guys so far this fall and most of them have gotten about the same number of innings, or close to it.  Son and a couple of others have more because they gave them 45 pitches last week and son pitched 3 innings in 31 pitches.  They used 15 guys in scrimmage against Clemson and 17 guys in scrimmage against Xavier.  Everybody got 1 inning except Friday guy who got 2 innings.  They have 2 more weeks of practice closing out with their world series so I would think son will have about 23-25 innings after fall.

I would think the number is closer to 12 pitchers per team in the spring.  I looked up UT stats for last year and 11 pitched 19 or more innings.  They pitched 14 guys total with at least 4 innings. 

I think there are some guys who know already they are getting cut or redshirted in the fall.  I think that is every team.  I'm sure there are some who will be blindsided but many of them are just not realistic with themselves.  There are some guys at most schools who have not played in a scrimmage and get very little time in innersquad.  If so, it should not surprise them to get cut or redshirt but some are just not realistic.  I sat beside some parents and their family who are not realistic.  Their son has not played in either scrimmage and is getting minor time in the innersquads as far as I know.  They were surprised when he did not get to play in the scrimmage.  One of them said I thought everybody got to play in scrimmages.  The dad replied he gets plenty of at bats every day and gets in the field.  I'm sure they are just saving him for the spring.  I wanted to say "wake up".  This is not little league.  His at bats are during bp and hit fielding is during practice.  The kid is either not realistic or is ashamed to tell the parents the truth.  They will be the ones who get blown away in a few weeks.  I wonder if son will tell them the truth after he meets with the coaches. 

So 8 are getting the bulk (multiple innings every weekend during inter squads). There are another 4 who get few innings here and there, but significantly less than the first 8. We also return a Saturday and Sunday (who is being converted to a closer) but are just starting to get back into it after heavy workloads from Feb-July. So 14ish total. I would assume the guys who haven't thrown too much aren't showing enough in practice during Live ABs and pens to warrant mound time right now. My guess is the the 8 getting the bulk are the guys they have plans for or are the guys that are being heavily evaluated. Still have to get 42 down to 35. 

We had three games, 14 innings each (and just as a note, it's cold in Iowa in October at 5 p.m.). Most pitchers got one inning, with returning pitchers who had been starters last year leading things off . Later those top four pitchers got two innings each, most others got one. Trying not to put too much weight on the fact that my son (a sophomore) was either second or third pitcher in each game and was one of the few with two innings. Also trying not to put too much weight on the fact that he stunk up the place in his last outing, in which he started.

We were all excited about the start, and then asked him about it. He said he was supposed to start the game before, but game started at 2 and he didn't get out of class until 1:15. Next game, another guy was supposed to start, but son got out of class early enough to get the warm up done.

A reminder that it's possible to overthink these things. We have 39 on roster right now total.

Freshman - Big Stage

Coaches to see what they have

Coaches to see what players did this summer

Players to build arm strength

Teams to set depth charts

Work on secondary pitches

Coaches to see who has matured

I could list a lot of other reasons.  But kind of ridiculous to statement IMO

Obviously limiting innings.

Dominik85 posted:

What is the purpose of fall ball in college for pitchers?

For hitters I can understand getting some extra ABs but isn't fall ball for pitchers just an extra injury risk?

I believe their purpose is the same as that of position players:  part of coaches evaluations to earn a spot

RoadRunner posted:
Dominik85 posted:

What is the purpose of fall ball in college for pitchers?

For hitters I can understand getting some extra ABs but isn't fall ball for pitchers just an extra injury risk?

I believe their purpose is the same as that of position players:  part of coaches evaluations to earn a spot

Fall ball, IMO, is an opportunity for coaches to see whether the instruction they gave individual players has paid off, or what needs to be worked on during spring practice.  

I think for pitchers, it's kept to a minimum, remember that the coach considers the bullpen a really big part of whether the player had a productive fall.  And yes a lot has to do with whether they pitched during the summer.  And as mentioned above, fall workouts, which is a HUGE part of fall practice.

Adding scrimmages to fall ball was a really great  move by the NCAA.  It's not about win or lose, but how players faced their competition, especially for newcomers, freshman and JUCO as well as redshirted players.  

 

I wonder if it also serves as a transition for incoming freshmen — kind of getting the idea of how a game day will flow, a chance to throw on a new (and probably larger) field. The kids can start to adapt to a college atmosphere and the coaches can see how they adapt.

Iowamom23 posted:

I wonder if it also serves as a transition for incoming freshmen — kind of getting the idea of how a game day will flow, a chance to throw on a new (and probably larger) field. The kids can start to adapt to a college atmosphere and the coaches can see how they adapt.

Yes it definetly does.

As a freshman parent watching, it serves as an introduction to college baseball.  I think that plays itself out more the bigger the stage.  For my son, he has played a lot of big time teams with great talent but never on that stage.  When you talk about the difference in how a game day and practice works in college versus high school.  They do a drill where there are 5 fungoes going at almost the same time.  You better know where to look and where to throw.  The scrimmages put you on the big stage in front of bigger crowds to prepare you for the spring but I don't think anything can prepare you to go to some of the rowdy SEC schools full bore in the spring.  Told my son I know you've been booed/heckled in high school, but never by 10000 people at one time. 

For pitchers, I think it helps coaches see if what they were told to work on in the summer was a success.  For returning guys who got plenty of innings it is just staying in shape.  But for many pitchers they are going to be asked to make  a major jump in innings pitched or players pitching against.  Some are going from 6-10 innings a season ago to being asked to throw lots of innings.  Others are coming from HS where they were the guy and having to fill a different role.  I think they use it to get guys used to coming in out of the bullpen which some pitchers have rarely ever done, including my son.  He either started or came from a fielding position in a rare occasion. 

For P5 guys, it is a huge jump from HS or juco ball to the way practices are run to how a game day goes.  Most don't understand that a 2PM start usually means players have to be at the field at 8 that morning for breakfast and preparation, then drills, then bp, then snack, then warmups before game.  It is a huge adjustment. 

Plus then you add in the most important aspect.  Son was spending 6-8 hours a day at the baseball facility every day this fall until this week.  Add that to school, and homework, labs, and you get overload.  But welcome to big time baseball and trying to be a 2 way guy.  That is one of the big things.

Don't forget the big elephant in the room.  In today's culture, they use fall ball as a long tryout because 5-15 guys are getting cut, redshirted, or something.

FWIW,  at son's school each returning player has a tailored individual plan.  We have one player that has played very little this fall, he's also ranked in the top five picks in the 2020 draft.  I he will workout, Batting Practice  and take balls. No need to scrimmage. 

For son, he spent this summer and fall working out with trainers, throwing BP's , working on CU, tweaking mechanics since the NCAA banned his delivery.  He had a very good  year as a freshman.  Doesn't make any sense to scrimmage really.  

For the freshman , they need all the field time they can get.  As another poster mentioned playing in the AC games, or PG Nationals, even if you throw 94,  is no where near playing at Texas A&M and having 8,000 fans yelling at you and facing batters that see 94 every day ..... 

Coaches use the fall to see who might be ready to "compete" as a freshman.    Older  established players are working on personal stuff.  

Saw two of my son's intrasquad games over the weekend (of a best of three competitive games).  Pitchers who look to be the Starters in the Spring each went 4 innings, and likely bullpen guys went 2-3.  The projected new closer got to close out the 9th.  Freshman pitchers who might be contributors got 2-3 innings.  A few Freshman did not appear in any of the games, and I suspect they are going to be redshirts or cut.  A few pitchers with some lingering arm issues are in rehab and were walking around in shorts.

Fall ball is definitely for competition.  For the kids new to the program, they will find out fast that everything they do and how they act are being evaluated by the coaches.  There may be a few top studs who have nothing to worry about, but the strong programs are strong programs because they make sure every player buys in to the competition so they get better as players and teams.

The exhibition games are coming next weekend and the following one, and no doubt the coaches will continue to evaluate players against another level of outside competition.  The exhibition games and intrasquad games are good for the parents to observe, but my son reminds me there are so many things the team does in practice every day that we don't see that definitely impact the roster competition.  It is a daily grind to compete for spots and playing time, and Fall ball has a huge impact on who is on the Spring roster and gets a chance to play.

Dominik85 posted:

What is the purpose of fall ball in college for pitchers?

For hitters I can understand getting some extra ABs but isn't fall ball for pitchers just an extra injury risk?

College coaches are usually highly motivated to keep their jobs or find better ones. They do that by winning. They've all made the calculus that any risks associate with fall ball are far outweighed by the benefits of players getting better and being able to evaluate what they have.
Also, with recent advances in arm care I would think that some freshman pitchers are actually going to reduce their chances of getting injured in the fall because it will be the first time they've ever trained for that.

bacdorslider posted:

FWIW,  at son's school each returning player has a tailored individual plan.  We have one player that has played very little this fall, he's also ranked in the top five picks in the 2020 draft.  I he will workout, Batting Practice  and take balls. No need to scrimmage. 

For son, he spent this summer and fall working out with trainers, throwing BP's , working on CU, tweaking mechanics since the NCAA banned his delivery.  He had a very good  year as a freshman.  Doesn't make any sense to scrimmage really.  

For the freshman , they need all the field time they can get.  As another poster mentioned playing in the AC games, or PG Nationals, even if you throw 94,  is no where near playing at Texas A&M and having 8,000 fans yelling at you and facing batters that see 94 every day ..... 

Coaches use the fall to see who might be ready to "compete" as a freshman.    Older  established players are working on personal stuff.  

Banned his delivery?  What were the changes? 

after he came out his freshman year dealing in the SEC a few coaches  complained to the NCAA and asked a rule interpretation.  the NCAA ( bastard MFer's)  decided ( from pressure from a few coaches that got their ass handed to them that it was illegal pitch.    he double pumps his lift leg, it never touches the ground and he never stops the motion.   He did it to keep his weight back , not to deceive a batter....  anyway one more year of the NCAA and we gone

Son had a good Fall, kept his grades up, got a lot of innings... coaches seem to like him, very hard to read them tho. He tells me it’s different,  everyone is as fast as the fastest kid in HS, everyone hits like the the best hitter in HS. One nice thing he says is the balls in HS that would get to the wall in the gap are now routine fly out s. And you better have movement...they turn on flat 95 all day long.

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