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I'm curious about pitchers who were starters in HS and become relievers as college freshmen - pitching frequency, etc. (I'm just asking about this for my own education on the topic, as my son has not asked for advice and seems to trust that his college coach will make good decisions about how and when to use him and his teammates.)

My son is a college freshman RHP who was a starter in HS, but this year all of his appearances have been in relief, from a partial inning to 3 innings. He had a pretty bumpy adjustment time in the pre-season and first few weeks of the season, but his coach kept giving him opportunities - yay! Smile Now he seems to be settling in and showing signs that he might make a pretty good contribution as a reliever this year. So I'm just curious about the topic of college relievers in general, and what kind of frequencies you have observed.

P.S. Although this has been a tough adjustment, my son sees one advantage - he gets into games more often than if he was a starter.
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You'll find that more often than not, freshmen pitchers start their collegiate careers as relievers. Some do start, but more often as freshmen, they pitch relief. Practically all pitchers coming in as freshmen pitched as starters in high school. As you have surmised, any opportunity, starting or relief, is a good thing.
As hokieone suggests, the large majority of freshmen (and MANY sophomores, as well) find themselves thrown in the unfamiliar waters of relief pitching. This is new to virtally all of them since, if they hadn't been starters on their high school teams, they probably wouldn't have been considered for inclusion on college pitching staffs in the first place.

Frequency depends overwhelmingly upon their capacity to adjust to their new opportunity and corresponding ability to pitch effectively in whatever relief situation they're placed. However, if a relief pitcher routinely shows that he can come in and shut down the opponent's offense, it's not unusual to see a reliever used a couple of innings in, say, both the Friday and Sunday games of a weekend. In some cases, effective weekend relievers are used as mid-week starters; a combination that many young pitchers like because it gives them a fair amount of diversity...and their pitching experience.

Many college games are won and lost on the backs (and arms) of young relief pitchers; and, for many of them, it ends up being an important step in their development; both physically and mentally. As parents, it's important to recognize the contribution this opportunity in their careers represents.

Best of luck to your son in his important role! It's great that he's getting the chance!

P.S. It goes without saying that having a relief pitcher as a son complicates the logistics of seeing his games if the parents live some distance from the school. Not knowing when he'll go in places a premium on being at as many games as possible; and, as we all know, it's a long season! Those of you who face this have my empathy!
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Wise post Prepster and oh so true. I am learning that most college pitchers are expected to fill all roles, at any given time when needed.
Very few freshman are truly ready to start a game until mid, possibly late season and need to get their "feet" wet during relief. Their true roles are probably not defined until they have been in the program for a few years. The adjustment is difficult, I can tell you that, but well worth it in the end.
By the way, enjoy following your son doing well in his "role".
MN-Mom ...

As most have indicated here, it appears that a majority of freshmen pitchers are thrown into a relief role tho they were starters in high school. We had one pitcher on our son's college team last year who preferred being a closer but was being converted to a starter ... that is a totally different adjustment as well.

Many freshmen and sophomore pitchers can make the adjustment ... and it appears that your son's coach sees something in your son that Joe might not have realized was there.

And despite the fact that many freshmen are asked to change roles when they get to college, some of them aren't asked to change roles because they can be full time week-end starters as freshmen ... and because some of them just can't make the mental or physical adjustment to relieving ... it is a totally different situation in the bullpen for a reliever than a starter and having the ability to physically "come back" later in the week has to be taken into consideration. Some arms just aren't as resillient as others and the pitchers can't make the adjustments ... we happen to have one of those from our house and fortunately he was able to be a full time starter from his first start in college.

It sounds like your son has made all the necessary adjustments, mentally and physically, to be a reliever. I know he will do well.
Me being a freshman pitcher. I know what the adjustment is like. In high school I was mainly a starter but I did see some time as a closer if the games were close and we needed an arm. When I came into college I started my first game as a starter but now once we have started conference weekend series my coach has put me in the bullpen and i will occasionaly start games during the week. It is not unusual as that how it is for the fellow freshman pitcher on our team. Im sure your son will be fine and will see some time on the hill as a starter. It may just take a year to get used to college hitters.
What you are describing is exactly what my son encountered. He's a freshman. After fall workouts he got the impression that he would start the season as a weekend reliever and mid-week starter. That's basically what happened, except the staff suffered some injuries and he was asked to be the closer for a period of time. He had mixed success at that role. Since the regular closer has returned, he's now had two consecutive weekend starts and he's starting to look more like his old self. Of course, it depends on the player, but it's probably a good idea for most freshmen to ease into college pitching.
My son, a freshman, thought he would be sharing time between starting and relieving. He was "converted" to a closer early in the season and is still in that role. As others have pointed out, the mental and physical preparation is new and takes time. The ups and downs are tough. So far he has been doing well and likes the fact that he doesn't have to hold anything back when he comes in to pitch. He's happy he's playing and so am I.

As a closer, scheduling trips to see him is more of a challenge but we do what we can.

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