Question: Pitch counts and days rest


#1

If a high school pitcher throws 100 pitches on Monday, would you bring him back to start or relieve on Friday?

They do in the Majors, and in College ball, but HS is different. What do you think?


#2

Probably only to relieve and then only for an inning or two. I went into the 5th inning last Thursday and I was in the pen warming up (just in case) to go in on Saturday. So that is about the same thing. My pitch count on Thursday was Mid-70s.


#3

In my high school season, a pitcher can not pitch for four full days if they throw 89+ pitches, so this wouldn’t even be an option.
If that rule was eliminated, I think it would really just depend on the situation.
-Has this player ever had arm problems?
-How important is the game?
-Have they been playing a position with high stress on the arm since pitching? (SS, CF)

In my opinion another great indicator is how they felt the day before in practice. Where they throwing long toss? Did their ball have the usual zip? You can’t ask a pitcher if they can throw… you already know THEIR answer. So you just have to go by little things like I mentioned IMO.


#4

[quote=“ish1608”]In my high school season, a pitcher can not pitch for four full days if they throw 89+ pitches, so this wouldn’t even be an option.
If that rule was eliminated, I think it would really just depend on the situation.
-Has this player ever had arm problems?
-How important is the game?
-Have they been playing a position with high stress on the arm since pitching? (SS, CF)

In my opinion another great indicator is how they felt the day before in practice. Where they throwing long toss? Did their ball have the usual zip? You can’t ask a pitcher if they can throw… you already know THEIR answer. So you just have to go by little things like I mentioned IMO.[/quote]

Great rule, in complete agreement and we follow the same guidelines.


#5

[quote=“Steven Ellis”]If a high school pitcher throws 100 pitches on Monday, would you bring him back to start or relieve on Friday?

They do in the Majors, and in College ball, but HS is different. What do you think?[/quote]

I don’t understand why people incessantly try to equate a 14-18YO kid in HS with a full grown man playing the game for $$$$, and making hundreds of thousands of dollars.

What sense does it make to have a HS kid throw 100 pitches anyway? The only reason I can see is, the coach hasn’t done his job and developed other pitchers to share the load.

Yes, its done in college ball, and there’s one heck of a lot of pitching injuries in college ball believed to be directly related to such an uninformed philosophy.

Heck, if you really don’t think there’s any difference in the age of the player, why not do away with all pitching limitations, and allow 9YO kids to throw 100+ pitches which used to be common?

If a coach can’t or won’t develop pitchers so the load can be shared, he should lose his job! There’s way too much evidence proving how dangerous it is to allow it to happen.


#6

My thoughts are if a pitcher has a pitch count of say 120 pitches and uses them then the next day he wont pitch at all, but if he takes a day off to rest then he can have 1/2 of the pitches back per day of rest, so on the 3rd day he will have 60, on the 4th day he will have 90, on the 5th day 105 and the 6th day he would have them all back.


#7

In addition to whats been said, you also have to take the pitchers style into consideration. If he’s a soft tosser, there is less stress on the body and ligaments. We have a 75 mph side armer that needs to throw every day.

If hes a guy who can throw with good velocity you need to be more careful, ecspecially at the high school level.


#8

I’m glad my son doesn’t play for you. This goes against everything ASMI recommends.


#9

I don’t know of anything that ASMI has said about pitchers that are 16 and older, the only advice that I have read from them is for pitchers that are up to 14 years and younger. My thoughts were based on pitchers who are that age and up and I thought that since the discussion was not in the “youth” section then I was assuming we were discussing high school + age pitchers.

I do agree with ASMI’s standpoint on youth pitchers and definately feel the limits should be considered on a daily, weekly and yearly basis. My youngest kid is still 14 and is on a 120 pitch per week max, and so far in 4 tournaments he has only thrown 86.

Sorry to get you in a bunch!


#10

This is getting sort of off topic, but I find it interesting that the sheer # of injuries has increased dramatically during the exact same time period that pitches started really being counted. Makes me wonder if anybody (little league, asmi, mlb) really knows what the heck is going on or how to fix it. Pitch counting, I believe, is a relatively recent development in baseball. We didnt count pitches like people do today even 15-20 years ago when i was in my youth and high school years. I guess its sorta like the cellphone… came out of nowhere in the past 10 years and here to stay :slight_smile:


#11

Rather than the stress only be put on pitch counts, young players need to be educated in proper arm care. I see so many players, pitchers and position players alike, actually warm up for about 5-10 min. Since I was 13 I have had the same pitching pregame warmup (static and dynamic stretching, catch, long slow jog, and more dynamic stretching), and postgame cool down (5 Slow poles, static stretching, and 5 more slow poles.) It seems to me no one ices their arm either. PLAYERS!!! ICE YOUR ARE BEFORE IT HURTS, NOT ONCE IT HURTS!
When done correctly, kids shouldn’t have arm problems. Period.


#12

[quote=“buwhite”]I don’t know of anything that ASMI has said about pitchers that are 16 and older, the only advice that I have read from them is for pitchers that are up to 14 years and younger. My thoughts were based on pitchers who are that age and up and I thought that since the discussion was not in the “youth” section then I was assuming we were discussing high school + age pitchers.
[/quote]
buwhite,

No worries. I was probably a little harsh.

Here’s the link to ASMI’s 2009 Position Statement on pitch counts that was recently updated in March 2011. While the title references youth pitchers the recommendations are listed up through 18yo, at least on the Little League side.

http://www.asmi.org/asmiweb/position_statement.htm

For 17-18 yo their recommendation, in conjuction with LLI, is 105/day. 15-16 is 95/day. Rest days for all age groups 7-18 is 4 days after throwing 66 pitches or more.

Tom House and the NPA’s recommendations differ slightly. For pitchers 15-18 they recommend no more than 105 pitches per game and 130 in any 7 day period. For 18-21 yo their max is 120 per game and 150 in any 7 day period. The average recovery time- using active techniques- is 3 full days. From other NPA references they don’t recommend going on an every 5th day professional schedule until age 22.

I understand every pitcher is different and recovers differently. Kids mature at different rates, etc. Still these numbers are put together by some very qualified people and I’m not in any position to argue with them. That doesn’t mean I view them as “gospel” either but in my experience the numbers coincide very closely to the high end of the performance capabilities of the majority of kids I see. Most are not in proper physical condition to reach the “limits”, or if they can reach the limit they don’t recover fast enough to be ready to go again so soon.

So back to Steven’s question- it would seem to be within reason for an otherwise injury free, physically fit HS kid to throw 100 on Monday and pitch in a limited role on Friday. By NPA count he’s got 30 pitches or so- one bad inning, two average or three good. If you use LLI recommendations and go by calendar days for rest then he’s on the bench but has 95-105 on Saturday- essentially more rest between outings but a higher weekly, or 7 day, pitch count.

Again just guidelines but pretty good ones IMO although I’m not sure how long a typical youth or HS pitcher could hold up throwing the maximum allowed under LLI rules. MLB players break down at those numbers.


#13

JP, these are not actually ASMI’s recommendations, these are 2006 USA Baseball and 2010 Little League Regulations. As far as I can tell their recommendations are still from the 2006 article which ends at 14.

http://www.asmi.org/asmiweb/usabaseball.htm

furthermore, the article that you sent, we are only off on 2 things, my max pitches being 120 is a little higher and my days off are 1 day later if you do the math of mine vs ASMI.


#14

Steven, I agree that injuries have dramatically increased over the years. There could be multiple reasons, quality coaching, maybe just the number of kids playing, throwing hard being the number one attribute of a good pitcher, multiple teams, too long a season and so many more. It really takes understanding both as a coach, player and parent to manage a pitchers future. Back in my day, 35 or 40 games were a lot per year, now I hear of kids playing 100 or even 150 games per year, league play, tournament ball on 2 teams and fall too.

A 12 year old kid playing 150 games a year isn’t going to make it to the bigs just because he can do that, he probably will improve at the same rate if he played 75 games and he might still be able to play if there was rest, healing and maturity.


#15

buwhite,

ASMI made the original recommendations for pitch counts to LLI. It is my understanding that the original recommendations were too conservative for LLI. Rather than get no pitch limits at all from LLI ASMI settled for blessing the current guidelines. Perhaps I am wrong but I am assuming this pertains to the 15-18 age group as listed in ASMI’s 2011 position statement as well. Please correct me if I assume wrong.

If I read your original post one way you say that a pitcher can throw 120 one day, rest for a day and then throw 60 more on the third day. That’s 180 pitches in three days. If I read it a little differently I can see how this could be interpreted to be over 4 days- 120 on a Monday and 60 more on Thursday. Giving your system the benefit of the doubt this is one day different than the NPA numbers but exceeds their 7 day totals for 15-18 yo HS age pitcher by 50 pitches. Using LLI numbers this pitcher shouldn’t be on the mound for another two days.

Regarding the 120 pitches there is a little known injury analysis stat developed by Will Carrol and the people at Baseball Prospectus called PAP- pitcher abuse points. Basically this was developed to measure wear and tear on starting pitchers over the course of a period of time, usually a season but it could be for shorter or longer periods as well.

The threshold they use for a MLB player is 100 pitches. Under this stat they consider that pitches thrown beyond this threshold, or “fatigue wall”, take a toll that grows exponentially with each pitch beyond 100. While it’s likely that this “wall” is different for each pitcher it is likely not far north or south of 100 for each.

My point, and what caught my attention with your post, is that if +/- 100 pitches is considered “the fatigue wall” for highly trained , fully developed men pitching in MLB what makes people think that HS players have any business throwing that many or more. To throw 120 and then come back in two or three days and throw 60 more seems like overuse to me, no matter whose numbers you believe.


#16

Could you please give a reference for any article that proves pitcher’s arm injuries have “increased dramatically during the exact same time period that pitches started really being counted.”

I take it that you’re then in favor of having no pitching limits, but since you’ve already said “Great rule, in complete agreement and we follow the same guidelines” in this tread to what ish1608 said their rule is, I don’t understand where you stand. If you think ASMI and all the rest who’ve made pitch count recommendations are blowing smoke, why have any limits at all?


#17

JP,

Didja ever notice that on teams where there’s a “REAL” pitching coach who “Truly” understands pitching and develops pitchers rather than just using them like a slab of meat, there’s seldom any player getting anywhere near anyone’s recommended pitch counts? The reason for that is, there are plenty of arms to count on to get the job done.

But on teams where the majority of mound time is shared by only 1 or 2 players in an effort to win, and they always seem to be near or over the recommended counts, the reason is, say what they may, they don’t know how to develop anything other than a continuing line of sore arms.

This isn’t an issue of what is good or bad, but whether coaches can truly develop pitchers. :wink:


#18

scorekeeper,

I think we’re on the same page here.

We’ve all heard of kids overused as youth pitchers that were unable to pitch in high school. I have yet to hear of a kid, even in high school, whose progress was impeded because he threw 10-15 pitches less than the upper end of his pitch limit per outing.


#19

[quote=“scorekeeper”][quote=“Steven Ellis”]If a high school pitcher throws 100 pitches on Monday, would you bring him back to start or relieve on Friday?

They do in the Majors, and in College ball, but HS is different. What do you think?[/quote]

I don’t understand why people incessantly try to equate a 14-18YO kid in HS with a full grown man playing the game for $$$$, and making hundreds of thousands of dollars. [/quote]
I don’t see where Steven was trying to equate high school kids wiith grown adults. Instead, he simply questioned whether something that is done with adults should be done with high school kids. To imply he favors doing so is putting words in his mouth.

Again, you’ve put words in Steven’s mouth. :nono:


#20

[quote=“ish1608”]If that rule was eliminated, I think it would really just depend on the situation.
-Has this player ever had arm problems?

-Have they been playing a position with high stress on the arm since pitching?[/quote]
That is a trick question. For youth baseball especially, no game is worth damaging a pitcher’s arm.