Pitch Count


We had a tournament this weekend. Now the kid who is 11 years old only pitched in one game. He threw 92 pitches on Saturday. Is that going way overboard on him? He had pitched 5 innings previous to this start. How many days of rest should he have and when should he just start to play catch again. I don’t wnat ot hurt this kids arm. My ace didn’t pitch this weekend due to a sore shoulder so I didn’t want to risk anything with him. All advice would be great.


When I coached 11 year olds, I try to keep pitch counts to around 60 pitches. I currently coach 13 year olds and try to keep their pitch count in the 70’s but occasionally let a couple of them stretch that into the 80’s.

By the way, there is a metric called “Pitcher Abuse Points” (now called “P^3” or “P Cubed”) that basically says that once a pitcher reaches the point of muscle fatigue, every pitch thrown counts as three pitches. You can find old articles on this at the Baseball Prospectus website (http://www.baseballprospectus.com).

Regarding rest, your pitcher who threw 92 pitches should have 4 days of rest. The first day after pitching he should do some aerobic work and maybe a tiny bit of light throwing.

Roger is right on . I coach 13’s , and will not let anyone exceed 75 … for any reason . The comments about P^3 makes sense to me, I’ve also wondered if the number of pitches thrown in “stressful” situations ( ie., runners on base ) might also fall into this category …


I read a article with Leo (Atlanta Braves old pitching coach) and he said that people worry too much about pitch counts and innings pitched…he said they should be throwing everyday and let them go as long as they can…obviously if a pitcher throw 100 pitches every 5 days he should be good…he just said that if you don’t throw everyday then ur at risk for injury…let them pitch…then let them throw the next 4 days lightly…then back to the mound he goes…like i said…he threw 92 pitches on Saturday…we play on tues but he’s not going to throw at all…he had sun and monday off…tues he will play in the ball game but will not pitch…wed is a off day and I plan on using him on thursday again for about 2-3 innings…is that ok or should he wait to pitch again on saturday in practise for bullpen…


I think waiting until Thursday is adequate rest time.

My comments on Mazzone’s comments…

(1) Note that he has a distinction between “pitching” and “throwing”. Mazzone is big on throwing in between pitching outings. I think lots of people today agree with that thinking (lighter throwing the day before or after a pitching outing, heavier other days). But letting pitchers go as long as they can is risky business - especially with young kids. Technically, it depends on how you define “as long as he can”. But it also takes a knowledgeable coach with a keen eye to detect when a pitcher has reached that point (probably by noticing a deterioration in the pitcher’s mechanics). It’s not worth the risk to kids’ arms.

(2) Mazzone’s comments sound like they are geared to adults. Young kids with their immature skeletal systems are more vulnerable injuries (e.g. growth plate injuries). Plus, many of today’s kids play on multiple teams/leagues, play in travel ball tournaments where it is not uncommon to play 6 games over a 2-day weekend, etc. The pros don’t do anything like this. Make sure you understand the context in which Mazzone’s comments apply.

the kid had lots of velocity on his ball still…he wasn’t tired at all…his mechanics were still good…he has been throwing a ball since feb…cuz that’s when the tryouts started…

I read somewhere that to find a safe pitch count for a kid take his age and times it by 10
so if he’s 11 he should pitch no more than 110 pitches if hes’s 12 no more than 120 and so on

[quote=“GottyJ”]I read somewhere that to find a safe pitch count for a kid take his age and times it by 10
so if he’s 11 he should pitch no more than 110 pitches if hes’s 12 no more than 120 and so on[/quote]

Thats the rule for # of pitches per week… and I think it was already mentioned in this topic.

In this case you need to understand that overuse injuries occur due to repeated use over a period of time. The effects of the repeated use are cumulative. And the wear and tear on young arms (e.g. growth plates) can build and build without any sign of trouble until one day something lets loose. I hate to make this sound like I’m trying to scare you but this is the way overuse injuries often happen. They sneak up on you. And a lot of times it’s the kids with the “strong arms” that have it happen. Why? Because their strong arms put even more stress on their body than do other kids’ weaker arms.