I was asked recently a question about clutch pitching and keeping a record of sorts for pitchers in that regard. This question was for pitchers in a 18U league.
Clutch Pitching, or Pitching Clutch as it’s sometimes called, is primarily referring to relievers and closers as a way of determining their effectiveness under pressure situations.
Personally, I never really found the measurement, either in numbers or in a broad-brush swipe of opinions, to be very useful. Again, this is my personal take on the subject.
I consider the record of a pitcher overall, to be a result of a lot of homework and review, “prior” to his placement on a roster. Therefore, a starter is just that – a starter, as would be with other pitchers like relievers, setups, specialty, and closers. Each pitcher has a job to do and it would be no secret to anybody exactly what is expected of them, “all” the time.
On the other hand, with respect to our subject – clutch pitching, under certain conditions and even with certain clubs, a lot of analysis can be nothing more than kindling for a good campfire. In fact, I got to the point where I knew that everyone penciled in for a particular game was going to get their head handed to them – period.
Because of the scales of economy of our organization, who had what abilities going into every season and why.
Now let us fast-forward to the amateur ranks
Keeping records, stats, even running analysis can be useful to a point. The shear nature of the beast – amateur baseball, has so many intangibles to it that the role of any pitcher can be if-ee going into a season, and if that was not enough, can even change as the season progresses.
So, without beating this subject to death, I would suggest keeping things as simple as possible with amateurs. Those that seem to be the mainstays are so because of a reason(s). All the numbers and stats are really telling a coach something that he already knows. Besides, in the amateur ranks there is little in the way the dynamics of personnel usage, planning, and projection(s). You go with whom you brought to the dance, in most cases.
Under no circumstance am I suggesting to forego any kind of accumulation of stats and analysis, planning and projecting. My suggestion is to match said analysis, planning and projecting with the resources at one’s disposal.