Question for the voices of Experience

Hello All,

I joined a few days ago and really like this Forum. Learned alot already and I hope I can keep it up. I coach a 9&10 year old rec league team, and we are going into our Tourny Tuesday night. My Delima is this. We have the possiblity of playing 3 games in four days, assuming we keep winning. I have 3 pitchers, and our league says they can only pitch 6 innings a week. I have went based on Pitch count all season, not really paying attention to the inning rule. Never had one approach the six innings a week anyway. In your knowledgable opinions, should I shoot for two innings out of each one of them each game, (games are 6 innings long) or try something else? I am open to suggestions, ideas, or comments.

Welcome to ya!

Assuming your three pitchers are consistant, why not?
Let each one get a start a hold and a save, or any of the combinations., Tourney ball, particularly when its scorching hot will burn them up. If they know the deal is and each gets his innings and rest it should work…talk to them and let them know they have equal value and you need all three to play as team players.

2 innings per pitcher would probably be the best for the kids, then again, if one is dealing that day and feels he can go more, let him

for eg. if the starter for the first game went 4 innings, you can still use him in relief for an inning in each game if the starter for that game is getting beaten up pretty good

I prolly should have mentioned I only have two that I consider Starters. My third pitcher we usually squeeze an inning here and there out of him. two straight innings would be the most he has thrown this season. My usual 3rd starter is gone for the summer :frowning:

Well obviously to keep winning means you are going to have to get that third kid more innings…best to keep him feeling confident to get the performance out of him…middle job and hope is what would seem logical. I’d still talk to them, make the other two feel like they need the third kid so it doesn’t effect their morale to see this other kid come in. The more open the communication the better and the third kid will have more confidence if you keep him in the mix.

I agree with “Offset” here. If one of the pitchers feels he can go more than two innings, let him, and work out something with the other two. You know, it just isn’t fair, having only three pitchers to work three games in four days and the limit is six innings a game—that’s what I don’t like about Little League! :roll:

Thanks so much for the replies all. Pretty much reinforcing what I was already thinking. That was about the best idea I had come up with. ^ innings a week and 3 games with three pitchers is ALOT. Usually out of any of them two innings is about the best I can hope for. We do have a 1.5 hour time limit on each game, so Imma tell them to pitch REALLY SLOW lol

I would encourage you to develop more pitchers for the following reasons:

  1. It gives other players on the team more touches and keeps them interested in the game.

  2. As you pointed out you have lost your 3rd starter for the summer…what if you lose #1, #2 or both?

  3. You may have a diamond in the rough who just needs to be developed through teaching and experience.

  4. If you play the same teams often it gives them a different look and disrupts them from guaging your regular starters.

  5. You have more pitchers!

Pitching development may bring some short term pain but may be worth it in the long run. My youngest son’s team won a championship because his coach developed pitchers…it hurt them early in the season but when they played 6 games on a weekend for the championship. The team we played ran out of pitchers and that was the difference.

As for your dilemma…well, I’d still keep an eye on pitch count. If your strongest pitcher is throwing minimal pitches/inning then you may want to take him to 3 or 4 innings. If he throws 35 pitches/inning for 2 innings then limit him to 2 innings. If your up by a lot of runs then see if you can squeeze some extra innings out of the weakest pitcher. If there is no tomorrow then you just have to go with your best.

Good Luck!

I wish I had the option of “developing” more pitchers. Very few of the kids this season can get the ball from the rubber to home plate. the only kids who haven’t pitched this year are the ones who aren’t ready. I have at least tried out everyone on the team.

Thanks to Everyone for the thoughts

3 games in 4 days - which day is the off day?

I have went based on Pitch count all season, not really paying attention to the inning rule.

Skipper… your the best friend those kids have out there this year. You won’t let them “burn” just for the sake of winning… nor does it appear that winning is all-and=-everything.

OUTSTANDING … and you deserve to be given the tiltle of the most respected coach in our sport … Skipper.

JD gave you some pretty good advice… I would advise talking with the kids and making them just as much a part of your game plan as the lineup card you give the plate ump. Keep them supported 100%… if a kid says he can go one more inning… do what’s right by the kid from prior experience… after all he’s asking you… he’s not telling you. At the age group that your in, you’ve got to trust “what’s right”.

You’ll do fine Skipper… we need more coaches like yourself… BAD.

Coach B.

[quote=“dawgpound”]I wish I had the option of “developing” more pitchers. Very few of the kids this season can get the ball from the rubber to home plate. the only kids who haven’t pitched this year are the ones who aren’t ready. I have at least tried out everyone on the team.

Thanks to Everyone for the thoughts[/quote]

Yeah, that’s a tough position to be in.

The off day is Wednesday. But I just got a call, the team for tomorrow night forfeited, something about half his kids being at the beach. So with three pitchers for two games, I should be fine.

[quote=“Coach Baker”] I have went based on Pitch count all season, not really paying attention to the inning rule.

Skipper… your the best friend those kids have out there this year. You won’t let them “burn” just for the sake of winning… nor does it appear that winning is all-and=-everything.

OUTSTANDING … and you deserve to be given the tiltle of the most respected coach in our sport … Skipper.

JD gave you some pretty good advice… I would advise talking with the kids and making them just as much a part of your game plan as the lineup card you give the plate ump. Keep them supported 100%… if a kid says he can go one more inning… do what’s right by the kid from prior experience… after all he’s asking you… he’s not telling you. At the age group that your in, you’ve got to trust “what’s right”.

You’ll do fine Skipper… we need more coaches like yourself… BAD.

Coach B.[/quote]

Thanks a lot coach. I appreciate those thoughts. While i do “coach to win” every game, it sure won’t be at the expense of someone’s arm or someone else’ develpment. I think a coach who is win at all costs in little league needs some professional help lol. I have enough trophies stacked up at the house collecting dust. It sure ain’t about me.

I agree with Coach B that you sound like you care about what’s best for your players. That’s awesome.

However, I feel that giving 2 innings to each of 3 pitchers for 3 games in 4 days means that although you might meet your pitch count goals, you won’t be able to give your pitchers proper rest. Unfortunately, you really don’t have enough pitchers for the situation you are in.

Pitchers who throw in the 1st game can get 2 days rest and throw again in the 3rd game (though you will still be faced with innings limits per week.) Maybe you can make use of this idea. Also, if you get a good lead in any of the games, you might put one or more position players on the mound to try to squeeze some innings out of them and reduce the load on your main 3 pitchers.

EDIT: dawgpound evidently posted while I was typing this reply. His situation has changed and my comments may no longer apply. Nonetheless, my comments about proper rest shouldn’t be taken lightly. Some people believe proper rest is even more important than pitch counts.

[quote=“Roger”]I agree with Coach B that you sound like you care about what’s best for your players. That’s awesome.

However, I feel that giving 2 innings to each of 3 pitchers for 3 games in 4 days means that although you might meet your pitch count goals, you won’t be able to give your pitchers proper rest. Unfortunately, you really don’t have enough pitchers for the situation you are in.

Pitchers who throw in the 1st game can get 2 days rest and throw again in the 3rd game (though you will still be faced with innings limits per week.) Maybe you can make use of this idea. Also, if you get a good lead in any of the games, you might put one or more position players on the mound to try to squeeze some innings out of them and reduce the load on your main 3 pitchers.[/quote]

Roger, that was my problem. That was about the only way I could think of with the 6 inning rule to space it out and let them get any rest at all. But with Tuesday’s forfiet, it is a moot point. Thanks to everyone who responded. This is a GREAT forum. Wish I had found it years ago

Especially in lower age leagues, going by inning is not a good barometer because the pitcher can throw a lot of pitches in those innings. Its better to go by number of pitches. tough spot for sure! Ian.