50 Curveballs


#1

During breaks from school I go back home and work with several of the local kids with their pitching mechanics and other things of that nature. Anyways, today I get a phone call from one of the dads of the kids I work with and he is a Freshman in high school and in his start yesterday he threw 102 pitches and 44 Curveballs. We are talking about a 15 year old. Today the kid’s arm is really sore and bothering him extremely bad in the elbow. Now as a person who has had Surgery on the arm I am livid to say the least. From the description of his injury it seems more like a Bicep tendon injury which is alot better than the worst case scenario but still I cannot believe this crap some of these kids go through. I wish I could say something though obviously its none of my business to say anything. I just told the father to have his son shake of some of the pitches and if needed even talk to the coach. If that fails to work then the dad can always go up and back his son up.

Sorry for this vent session but I am sure some of you on here may understand how upsetting it is to see this. What’s even sadder is this kid has some legitimate talent and I would hate to see him be injured.


#2

It sucks when things like this happen to kids. While it’s understandable how these things can happen at the lower levels where there are lots of volunteer dads doing the coaching, there’s no excuse for it at the high school level, IMHO.

It’s crap like this that motivated me to go through the NPA’s certification program and to get more involved with youth pitching.


#3

In australia we have rules against kids that young even throwing curveballs to protect there arms. Ive seen 16 yo have to pull out of games because of a misthrown curveball. I dont like young players throwing them either, and that coach needs to be told of the situation


#4

Although I understand. Throwing 44+ curveballs is dangerous and silly but at the same time ,when you are younger, you don’t care about tomorow. Most are like " I’m here right now and i want to win" Although most people would admire this thought proccess it leads to such things as throwing as many curveballs it takes to win. For alot of kids the curve is the pitch they rely on to get them out of tough jams.

all im trying to say is when you’re younger you dont care about tomorow as much as the older guys. Not that it changes anything. The kid wont care how many curves he throws i think the coach should’ve said something.


#5

So if a 15 yr old threw 102 fastballs you’d be alright ?


#6

A valid ponit, but you’ve got to let the kids go the distance once and a while. 102 won’t do damage if it’s not a regular thing.

I’ve seen kids that have their pitch count so scrutinized that they can’t go more than a couple innings even without a pitch limit because they’ve never gone deep into a game in their life.


#7

I’m sorry, hate to get on my soapbox again …

But I am one of those coaches that will yank a kid after a couple innings if he hasn’t managed his pitch count effectively. I have a predetermined max every game … if they last 5 or 6 great, but if they get behind constantly and use their allotment in two, so be it . I do agree however that kids need to learn “how” to pitch later in the game … but within accepted limits.


#8

im 16 and i never really even thought about a curve until last year. because i never threw a curve, i thought i would never be a good pitcher. now last summer and this year i have pitched quite a bit. i threw a 1 hit complete game a few weeks ago, and only gave up 3 ER in 7 innings last week. in the 1 hitter i threw about 90 pitches. i only threw about 10 curves. then in my next game, i threw 108 pitches and threw only 7 curves! so the bottom line for all u younger guys is this: if you want to be a good pitcher, all you have to do is locate your fastball. then when the hitters start keying on it and hitting u, then mix in some curves. you dont have to throw a lot of them either, just enough to keep them off balance. I hope you guys all realize this like i did. its a way better feeling to make hitters look silly with a curve here and there then overthrowing it, and them knowing when its comin.


#9

didn’t some pitching coach or someone say your mechanics first then placement then movment then velocity?? lol From what i’ve noticed is that this is very much true with good mechanics comes good velocity where good velocity means that not stressing the arm too much throwing with body not all arm and the placement is i think so important everyone worrys about speed and diffrent pitches and forgets that placement is key.

Ok screwing around one day just messing around with some pitches i held the ball off center i belive the same as you hold a cutter or a variation. When I throw it, it acts like a curve with more side to side then 12-6 but i threw pitch after pitch of this and my arm hasnt got sore and everone thinks its my curveball and it’s really just some stupid thing i made up that i dont even throw but im starting to think again about this pitch lol who knows?? I get it in a 2 seam move my fingers together and to the right with my pointer on the small seams in a 2 seam grip. My thumb stays where it usualy is on a 2 seam but from my thumb all the way to my pointer it touches the ball so its deep in that part of my hand its frekaing weird lol…i just throw it like a fastball and it slips giving it curveball spin…


#10

Yeah: I’d actually be all right with this as opposed to the 40+ CBs. I was taught to throw no more than 10 to 15 percent off-speed pitches in any game through junior/senior year in high school. I firmly believe this is why I threw 90+ mph later in my career — I was developing my FB all that time.

40 CBs is 40 percent – WAAY too high. But throwing lots of pitches isn’t a problem in my book, if it’s done with good mechanics and is predominantly the FB.


#11

“But throwing lots of pitches isn’t a problem in my book, if it’s done with good mechanics and is predominantly the FB”

Here’s a loud amen from the “Peanut Gallery”!


#12

There is no bigger proponet of the breaking ball on this board than me, but almost half is way too many.

I watched a game yesterday with a guy who threw about half curves and lead off every batter with a breaking ball.What happened when he missed with the curve? He had nothing to go to because he did not develope his fastball nor did he throw a changeup. I called just about every ptich before he threw it and was right about 80% of the time.

I ca not watch the little league world series for this reason, Ian.