Toeing the Rubber


#21

Well, the 15U Fall Ball season is here and I’ve started practicing with my team. We have a solid pitching staff with 4 decent pitchers - including me. Lol. I’m looking forward to playing with this team because we are pretty strong at every position. We have some good coaches too. I’m the oldest on the team - I turned 15 on June 23rd.
I’ve been doing bullpen work 3 nights a week to keep my arm in shape. I try to throw some every day.
I switched high schools - I’m going to a private school this year. The guy who runs the basketball league I play in is the financial guy at the school and he encouraged me to apply. So I did. I got pretty much a free ride to go to this school. They have a good reputation for academics as well as a decent sports program. I was encouraged to play soccer so I’ve joined the soccer team for this fall. I’ve been doing conditioning with the team in the mornings and it has been pretty grueling. Lots of running. I don’t know if I’ll be able to put on weight, but my legs are getting stronger. Their baseball team lost a fair amount of better players to graduation, so I’m hoping I get to play for the varsity. They travel down south and play in a tournament over the spring, so i’m hoping I can do that. They also play more teams out of the immediate area where I live, so it would be more chance to be seen.
I’m feeling positive about the move!


#22

I made the soccer team and have been getting quite a workout. Running about 4 miles every day. Doing a lot of sprinting and some weight lifting too. My stamina has increased a bunch. I think it will help me in the long haul. I’ve also been practicing with our Fall Ball team. Our first game is this Sunday. I’ve been working on my pitches: Fastball, Cutter, Change-up, and Curve.
Here I am throwing my curve ball:


#23

The other one cut off early. This is better.


#24

My dad cut a few of my videos together and made this video showing my 4 pitches. Feel free to offer any advice.


#25

I played in two fall ball league games over the weekend. I pitched 1 inning in one and 2 innings in the other. The league limits 2 innings per game per player.
My first game I came in in the 6th of a 7 inning game - as “the closer”. I walked the first batter I faced, but then struck out the next 3. We batted in the bottom of the 6th and scored enough runs to run rule the team 13 -2.
The 2nd game I pitched 2 innings and struck out 4 and had 2 weak grounders. We won that game 4 - 0. So, I’ve faced 10 batters, and had 7 strike outs and one walk. My era is 0.00, so I’m off to a good start.


#26

Just got back from my Sunday Fall Ball game. I started the game and pitched 2 innings - as allowed. I struck out the side in the first. Struck out 2 more in the 2nd sandwiched around a popup to the 2nd baseman. So I faced 6 batters and struck out 5. I caught the next three innings and finished up playing short. We won 13 - 5. Our record for the year is 4 - 0. For the year I’ve face 16 batters and struck out 12 and walked one. I haven’t given up a hit yet. Era - 0.00.


#27

Here’s a video of me pitching in practice. The backstop I’m throwing to is 67’ feet away.


#28

I pitched my two innings yesterday. I started the game against a pretty good team. I struck out the first two and then walked one. Then a guy hit a bleeder to right field that dropped in. That was the first hit I’ve given up all season. They had batters on first and third, with two outs and I struck out the next guy. The 2nd inning was 2 strike outs and the next guy hit a little dribbler about half way between me and the catcher. I ran and tried scooping the ball, but I bobbled it and the runner beat it out. I was charged with an error, which I deserved. I should have made the play. The next guy ground out. I caught the rest of the game. One of our catchers was sick and the other one’s elbow was bothering him (he had surgery a couple of years ago when he was 12, similar to Tommy John. He has screws in his elbow). I didn’t mind. I made a couple good plays. The next pitcher got in a jam and had the bases loaded with one out, but a double play got us out of that. And we got another guy in a rundown between third and home. They were the only scoring threats. We won the game 8 - 0, and our record is now 5 - 0.

I’m working on the same things as before - trying to get my foot landing straight and good hip/shoulder separation. I’ll post more videos as I work on things.


#29

[quote=“Drake”]
The coach asked me if I was ready to pitch again tomorrow. I said I was but my dad and his friend said to forget it. They said pitching 100+ pitches one day, catching the next, and then pitching the next was crazy. So, I guess I won’t be pitching till later in the week.[/quote]

It’s up to you to protect yourself. Dad won’t always be there. The coaches just want to win. You just want to listen to your arm, but you need to think with your head. Because throwing is not a muscle stressor motion , but a ligament , tendon stressor , when it gets injured your out for a long long time due to lack of blood flow and slow healing.


#30

Plaz, thanks for your reply. I like to pitch so much that I don’t think about my arm at times. I need to remind myself not to pitch until it hurts.


I pitched yesterday. My coach texted players on my team to see if anyone wanted to go early to play. A team scheduled to play earlier was missing a couple of players. I went early. I was the only one on my team that did. The team still played with 8. They let me pitch first. The catcher hadn’t caught in a while and he had trouble catching me. I even knocked his glove off once. I couldn’t throw my curve because it got past him. It was a struggle but I managed to get through my two innings giving up one hit - the 2nd hit of the year. I had two outs at the time and I struck out the next batter. I ended up having two ground outs and 4 strike outs.
The next game I started it too. I struck out 5 and had one ground out and one walk. I still haven’t given up a run for the season. I caught 3 innings and threw out a runner trying to steal 3rd. In the first game, I caught 4 innings. I threw out 2 runners leading off of first. When I went in to catch, the other team’s coach told my dad that they won’t be stealing any bases with me catching. I guess he didn’t tell his players not to lead off of first though. Lol. My team is now 7 - 0, and my ERA is still 0.00.

Here are a couple of videos. Me in the stretch and me in my windup.

I’ve worked on keeping my tempo up and trying to get my plant foot facing home. I think I’m throwing harder. I’m feeling good about my accuracy.


#31

Started, pitched two innings, then started the next game and pitched 5 innings?
Do you know what your pitch count was for the day?
My concern is pitching, catching, pitching, catching…getting warm and cold and warm and cold. A lot of stress on your arm.


#32

Fearsomefour, thanks for your note.
I pitched 2 innings in each game, so 4 innings pitched total. I caught 7 total. So, yeah I threw a lot. I didn’t have many innings with a lot of pitches. One inning I pitched 7 pitches - a ground out on 1 pitch and 2 straight 3 pitch strike outs. My dad kept track and I pitched 44 pitches in 4 innings. Since I caught after I pitched my arm stayed warm and then I pitched the next game, so I never got cold. I volunteer to catch, cause I really enjoy it . . . and nobody else wants to. I probably need to follow everyone’s advice and cut back on the catching. I love picking off base runners though. lol


#33

not really that qualified to say much, but since you are throwing so much make sure you keep doing shoulder excercises to strengthen your shoulder. Just from personal experience, I never really did bands until this year, and nearly every year my arm would give out on me around this time. I would lose a lot of velocity (almost 10-15 mph) and I would not be able to throw strikes.


#34

I’m still pretty busy with school and soccer every day. I don’t get much time to throw between games. I pitched 2 innings on Sunday. I struck out the first 3 I faced in the first inning. The next inning I had 2 ground outs and a fly to shallow center that was caught. So, two 3 up 3 down innings. Then I played short for 2 innings and then caught 2 innings. And then played short in the final inning. Our pitching staff combined for a no hitter, but we lost 1 - 0. In the 7th inning, our pitcher gave up a lead off walk, that stole 2nd (not against me), and then advanced to 3rd on a ground out. He scored on a strike 3 pass ball that the catcher threw to first - allowing the run to score. Our first loss of the season. We had only 4 hits and couldn’t string anything together.

This is me facing one batter:


#35

My last pitch of an inning where I just struck out the side. Notice the coaches don’t say anything to me, just “time for some runs”. Lol


#36

I pitched again on Sunday. 2 innings one game and one inning the next - a double header. I gave up a walk and struck out the side in the first inning. I had a pop up, a ground out, and a strike out in the 2nd inning. 0 hits, no runs. In the next game I came in in the 7th inning with a man on 2nd. We were down a run at the time and wanted to hold it there. I struck out the side, but we still lost, 7 - 6. Here is a video of me facing the last batter.

I thought I had him punched out at one point, but the ump thought otherwise. Lol. Check it out:


#37

Fall Ball is over for this year. I finished up on a good note. I pitched the first two innings and struck out the side in the first and struck out 2 and had a pop up to the infield for the other. No runs and I think there was a total of 4 hits - all singles, for the season. So I finished with a 0.0 era.
One of the coaches from one of the other teams told me he wants me for his team next season. I might be moving. My dad’s business is not doing too good and we might have to move somewhere else. I don’t want to leave my new school. I really like the people there.
Speaking of my new school, my JV soccer season is over too. We ended up 5 - 5 and 2. I played almost every minute of every game. It was fun and I got to make new friends. I also learned to play soccer. Lol.
Basketball tryouts are in 2 weeks. I hope to make the varsity, but I’ll be satisfied playing for the JVs. I haven’t had much time to practice basketball, so I’ll have to start getting my shooting form back. The varsity basketball team plays in a big tournament near the end of the season against some of the best teams in the country - Dematha in Maryland is one of them. It would be fun just to play in that tourney.
I’m going to take some time off of throwing for the next couple of months, just to give my arm some rest. It doesn’t hurt, but everything I read says to take some time off. So I think I’ll do that and work on my shooting and dribbling.
My dad took videos of me pitching in the last game. It looks a lot like the previous game’s video, so I’m not going to post it.
I’ll post again after basketball starts.


#38

I haven’t thrown a baseball in a few weeks. I’ve been working out with the basketball team. I made the JV and the varsity teams. I’ve been playing 2nd team point guard in varsity practices. That’s a new position for me. I’ve always been comfortable as a shooting guard, but I’m getting the hang of handling the ball more. We have a pretty good team - we have 2 kids from Europe that are both good athletes - one is a 6’6" junior, who can shoot from anywhere, and dunk with ease. I really like this team - all the players get along well (no goof-offs) and we have good coaching. Our first scrimmage is this coming weekend against a team from DC. I don’t expect too much playing time, but it should be good experience. The coach stopped my dad and told him that he really liked me and that I work hard. So that’s good. I’ve been accused by my friends of being too serious when I play sports. But that’s how I am.

I’ll check back in a few days after we have our scrimmage.


#39

The basketball season has started and I played in the team’s first varsity game against one of the best teams in the Balt/Wash metro area. They only lost one player from their last years team and had played a few games before facing us. We lost by 17, but we showed flashes of brilliance. Considering we only played one scrimmage game before this, we didn’t do bad. Their size is what beat us. 3 players over 6’5" with one being 6’9".
We play again next Monday against a local team. We should be able to handle them, but you never know. I’ll post again after that.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


#40

I played four quarters for the JVs and mop up for the varsity in the last quarter. There was a girl’s game in between. I scored 7 points in the JV game and took one shot in the varsity game - a 3 pointer at the buzzer, which I missed. Lol. We won both games: 43 -35 in the JVs, and 73 to 36 in the varsity game. We play in a tournament in PA this weekend. I don’t know who we play but it should be a fun trip. I’m playing point guard for the JVs, and backup point guard for the varsity. The starting point guard is really good. He’s a foreign exchange student from Serbia, who played on his national team that plays basketball year round. He’s hoping to get a D-1 scholarship somewhere in the US.
Basketball practice consists of a lot of running, so I should have some stamina built up for pitching, come baseball season. I’m really liking this school - the teachers, the students, and the coaches are all great. It’s been a great move for me.