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I know that we have had several discussions regarding this but.....
In calculating my son's innings pitched today for the past few months and coming up with a pitch count (not including bull pens, practice, warm ups, etc), I got to thinking about all the past years when we didn't pay attention (or have someone pay attention for us). My estimations were based on 4.5 months of pitching only. After thinking about year round baseball, I have determined that my son has put in hundreds of thousands of pitches over time since he started pitching. Not to count all of the other throwing that was done in other positions.
Since no one actually knows how many pitches it takes for injury to actually occur, I found the whole thing quite scary.
Parents of the younger players. Think about this next time your LL coach pitches your kid in a championship game and his arm is about to fall off. Think about that HS coach asking him to make sacrifices because there isn't enough good pitching for the team. Think about making sure that your son has sound mechanics before he enters HS, think about all those curve balls you think are ok to throw. Don't think it's only a few more pitches, think about how all those extra pitches add up over time.
Any thoughts?
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I think if you are going to be a pitcher that at some point you have to pitch. I think if you clearly have skill then it is important to have someone sensitive to your talent watching over you. Ideally it is a coach. I think that parents need to be careful when dealing with a coach at the high school level if it is a meaningful and well-respected program. I think one big game every now and then warrants more pitches than would normally be the case. In college (and unless you are dealing with a true high-level pro prospect and maybe even then) if you won't pitch when asked, you won't play because there is a line of guys behind you just waiting for an opportunity.

And most of all -- and many, many here will disagree -- a kid with just average ability who happens to be a pitcher ought to pitch as much as he can for as long as he can and throw whatever pitches work because he sure is not saving it for anything later. He is highly unlikely to pitch long enough or often enough to induce injury (again, assuming he has the right kind of coaching and reasonably sound mechanics).
Last edited by jemaz
TPM, So true. When my son used to pitch I tried to understand it all. I do know there are other peolple that look at college and pro pitcher's pitch counts, the recovery time allowed, etc, to determine their risk for injury. They assign points called pitcher abuse points, or PAP numbers to each pitcher and program. Since my son no longer pitches I'm not up on all of that. You might get some info here.

Pitcher Abuse Points
Last edited by Fungo
TPM, good point!

My son, a college soph, threw 120 innings this last Spring without a hint of arm problems. He and his coach said that was enough for this year and shut him down for a good part of the summer. Now it's time to catch up on the weights and running who's importance gets minimized as you spend most of your time recovering for the next outing.
That is what led me to thinking after I calculated everything on Boyd's calculator. We talk in terms of innings, but it is the pitch counts that boggle the mind. Fortunately Dave is in good health, has sound mechanics. I was thinking about all of those younger kids with bright futures, who are really good and taken advantage of.
I was not necessarily talking about abuse, just that over a pitcher's lifetime he throws an incredible amount. Because of DK putting in a lot of innings he will take 3 whole months off, but he could have gone and played summer ball. At some point, especially if the pitcher has a future, there has to be a line drawn and an agreement between player and coaches. I am thinking about all those summers he played ball, when he should have taken some time off.
Jemaz, I agree with you, I was not talking abut that game that one stays in for longer than he ususally does. A really good college coach will not force anyone to pitch if he is experiencing fatigue or pain.
Just food for thought for all the parents of the little guys out there.

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