There is help on the horizon for all those sore arms in High School and Summer Leagues. It’s the ever expanding support for a shift back to wood bats or bats that are made to respond in the same manner as wood.
I’ve heard the argument that if we just develop more pitcher’s to spread out the workload, then it doesn’t matter what the bat is made of, we can reduce injuries. Well, that’s not happening period. Pitching is a highly competitive position and the most effective pitchers will always command the most innings. The better you are the more at risk you are for overuse.
A simple return to the wood bat has shown evidence of the following:
- It is more challenging to square the ball up and get a hit.
- The sweet spots are smaller and the ball comes off the bat slower.
- Base hits off the handle or the end of the bat are diminished.
- The average 8 and 9 hitter will not be slamming home runs anymore.
- Last year’s BBCOR college hitting stats according to NCAA Div 1 have scoring at a reduced 5.58 runs per game. The first time below 6 per game since 1977.
- Home runs were nearly cut in half at .52 per game last season compared to .94 in 2010.
- Overall batting average was down to .282 as compared to .305 the year before.
- Lineups will not feature power hitting.
- Earned Run Average: was 4.70 last year. The last time it was lower was 4.59 in 1980.
Pitchers are going to have the opportunity to go longer into the game with the same pitch limits, throw fewer pitches per game, throw fewer pitches per inning, reduce their walk ratio by attacking the strike zone instead of nibbling on a squeezed strike zone. In short pitchers will be taking back some of the ground they gave up when they had to go up against those dangerously wicked voodoo monster screaming latest high tech lightning bats.
Back to small ball and tradition.