Relief Pitchers and the roles they play

Hello all I am new to the forums here as I am looking to get into giving pitching lessons and like hearing different input…

It is funny how relief pitchers do not get enough credit. To be a relief pitcher you have to have a lot of certain attributes

  1. You have to be mentally tough (big time)… So many times you will come in to face one batter, a certain lefty, or you may even be put into the game to keep a runner close and field a bunt…

As a relief pitcher you are often times called out to make what are considered the biggest pitches of the game… runners are typically on and the game is more times than not close.

  1. You have to have a veeeeery short memory because if you give up a run you have to then come back and get the next guy and forget what just happened… because it is still your job to keep your team in a position to win…

Relief pitching is essential to having a winning team…
Each relief pitchers plays such a crucial role, and yes I was a relief pitcher both in college as well as in coastal plains league.

Relief pitchers do your thing because it is not an easy job , and is not for those who do not like the stressful spot


This is full of truth, as a reliever you have to be able to handle stress and must be more emotionally tough than anyone on the field.

Two words: Mariano Rivera.
He once summed it up in twelve words: “I get the ball. I throw the ball. I take a shower.” Simplicity itself. He comes out of the bullpen—and everybody knows that means “game over.” He is, make no mistake, the toughest relief pitcher in baseball. And it’s more than just that murderous cut fastball with which he breaks bats and gets outs.
Rivera has a little secret, one which has served him well for many years. Before he even starts warming up, he takes a couple of minutes to get himself into a mindset he calls “the eye of the tiger”—a quiet but very intense focus, where nothing exists for him except getting the hitters out. Then he warms up, easily at first, then putting more and more stuff on that one pitch. Then he goes out to the mound, taking that focus with him. If you’ve ever seen him pitch, you’ll notice it—that calm determination, that “nothing’s going to stop me” look.
And, almost all the time, he’s very economical with his pitches. Often he will need just five or six to retire three batters. If need be he’ll pitch two, even three innings, and he’ll get those outs. Whenever I see him come into the game I know I can relax. Did you know—in all of last year’s playoffs, he was the only closer who never blew a save or lost a game? That’s Mo—and he’s even tougher now, at the age of 40, than he was when he first discovered that cutter. And he throws it anywhere from 93 to 98 miles an hour.
My kind of relief pitcher. :slight_smile: 8)

Absolutely agree Zita, Mariano is THE greatest of all time at what he does. There are only two positions where I can say one person is easily the greatest of all time and that’s closer and centerfield, Mariano Rivera and Willie Mays.

The great thing about Mariano is that he knows what it takes to maintain his level of focus and durability. He is calm, he takes care of his body and he is humble. I’ve seen the Yankees shag fly balls in BP before games in the past and I’d say Mariano could be the best outfielder on the Yankees roster but he’s a pitcher. If anybody saw his bases loaded walk earlier this year, when he swung he looked like he had a tremendous swing and had he gotten a hold of that ball he fouled off it would have been a rocket. He’s a great all around athlete and it just proves what great care he takes of himself.

I would love to emulate Mariano Rivera, he truly is the best relief pitcher of all time.