I’m starting to work on our pitching assignments and have an interesting scenario. Our best pitcher is not comfortable starting (we obviously need to get him comfortable).
Is there injury risk to having him close 2 games in a doubleheader?
His pitch counts would be lower overall, but he’d obviously being warming up and cooling down twice.
Any thoughts would be great- both on getting him comfortable starting and throwing in 2 games.
I honestly think this is a bad idea especially for a 9 year old. It’s not always the pitch count. IMO once a pitcher warms up, throws, and cools down, he’s done for the day.
As far as starting, ease him into it by taking one inning at a time. Have him approach the game like each inning he goes out to pitch is a save situation. It might start to ease his mind about starting. Also keep in mind that as he gets use to starting he may have a few rough first innings. Alllow him to work through it.
Sounds familiar. I was always more nervous to start than to relieve. Most times someone’s in trouble and it’s easier to be the life preserver. Starting always seemed like more pressure to get off to a good start.
Certainly would NOT pitch a kid in two games the same day. That’s just temping fate.
No matter what you decide, I think its great that you ask the question because many coaches wouldn’t even ask, and it shows your concern for the kids. Kudos.
Having given you the pat on the back, now I get to “editorialize”.
Nothing against you personally because this happens so often and at literally every level, but sometimes I think folks forget what amateur baseball is all about, especially the lower levels. It all about giving as many players as many opportunity to develop as possible. FI, if this kid isn’t comfortable, stick him out there anyway, but make sure he understands if there’s any failure, its not his problem. All you want to do is get him experience without getting hurt.
If that means he starts the next game and only lasts 4 batters, so what? Maybe if he can make it 4 batters this time, he’ll make it 5 or 6 next time. Its all a journey of steps. Some of the kids take longer steps than others, but that doesn’t mean the ones who don’t go as fast should be kept from having the experience of at least trying.
For my son, he didn’t have a problem with being the starting pitcher, it was knowing that he was the starting pitcher that seems to make him tense up. Maybe I would put pressure on him when I knew he was pitching and be talking about strategy, etc.
Anyway, I asked the coach not to tell him beforehand when he would be pitching, and it seemed to work. Eventually, he got to where he was starting every game (one game a week fall ball), and then he expected to start and it was no big deal.
Great feedback- thanks so much. We’re going to move him (and all of all pitchers) around to get them developed at different phases of the game.
Makes more sense for everyone.