There are cold weather pitchers and then there are warm weather pitchers. Rarely, if ever, can one be both. Now this doesn’t mean that one can’t pitch either way, it’s just a matter of effectiveness.
Cold weather requires a different pitch inventory for most pitchers. Those that have - say, pitches with movement, may be less effective in the cold. On the other hand, there are those pitchers that are completely out of their game during brisk weather regardless what their inventory is.
So, I wouldn’t feel too bad about your boy. In fact, he’s rather lucky that he’s not stretching one outing after another, worried about meeting his grocery money.
I’m going to give you some suggestions that I’ve encountered. These suggestions should be tempered with your son’s age, his physical tolerance(s), his life style, your budget, his playing schedule and where he is prior to game time, etc.
First, a healthy diet for breakfast of 70% carbs and 30% protiens is a start. Balance this with his normal eating habbits and his actual and potential food allergies.
Second, dress for the weather. Just be mindful of body’s movement. In that regard – movement, wearing thermal undergarments that restrict his movement can cause a shift in the body’s ability to progressively time his pitching, instead of smooth rythem for his age group.
Thrid, sometimes liniment rubs*, like Absorbine Jr*. DEEP HEAT*, and the like can warm shoulder and back muscles just enough to get your boy through the day. However, if he’s a reliver and sits on the bench without keeping active in some way, those liniments* will be for nothing.
(*)prior to using any liniment rub, test a small area on the body – usually the forearm, for any skin reactions. There are other considerations when using liniments, but that topic goes well beyond this reply to your question.
Fourth, a bullpen jacket is mandatory. A multilayered quilted jacket is good, but not ski jackets or other heavy winter jackets. A bullpen jacket should allow the pitcher to stay warm, but not to the point of sweating. The baseball bullpen jacket is expressly designed for pitchers – it breathes, keeps the back, shoulders and arms warm without the bulk. This jacket should also have a neck band that goes up to the bottom of the chin and ears and totally covers the back of the neck. A good bullpen jacket does not allow the pitcher to get a chill when taking it off. On the other hand, a pitcher that sits for a long time between innings, must move around and not allow his upper body to “tighen up”.
Fifth, keep the hands wrapped in a multilayered towel – not gloves. The multilayer effect is achieved by covering the hand with progessively wraping the towel around the hands. Gloves tend to have the hands sweat.
Sixth, and this may be out of reach for you and your boy, silk shirts are very warm when worn directly against the body. Placing a threequarter sleeve baseball jersey over that silk shirt provides remarkable warmth without restrictions. Today, modern clothing has made remarkable strides in providing the same thing – just be mindful of any restrictive movement.
Finally, being realistic about weather is just that – being realistic. When the temp drops to being REALLY COLD… well, it’s really cold! When this is the case, nothing that your boy will do will satisfy the equation.
However, his best pitches in order of effectiveness is his best bet. I have found that pitchers that can effectively locate pitches do better than those that depend purely on velocity or the junk stuff.
I hope this helps some. Dealing with cold weather is one of a pitching coach’s biggest headaches. Dependability and certain tendencies that a coach relies on all season long can be flip of the coin with a lot of pitchers during cold weather.