Pitch counts make little difference in high school baseball

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Re: Maine hs moving toward pitch-count restrictions

Postby baseballdad16 » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:41 am

thebam wrote:
baseballmind wrote:I have a problem how they are going to keep track. anybody have any idea how they are going to keep track?

I think the way to do this is have the official scorekeeper of both teams (who is keeping the book) get together at the end of each half inning and compare stats.. agree on the number and give it to the Home Plate Umpire.. he makes the note, similarly I assume to the way they keep track of Innings Pitched now? There is plenty of time during warmup throws to accomplish this .. hell even hand signals back and forth and the home guy go tell the umpire.



Bam, that's how little league does it and it works fine.
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Re: Maine hs moving toward pitch-count restrictions

Postby baseballmind » Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:08 pm

how is this going to work when a coach has a kid maybe throw 30 to 40 pitchers in the bullpen before he even enters the game. we need to let coaches do there jobs and if the ad thinks the coach is over pitching his kids then he needs to step in and get things straightened out. coaches are paid to develop the kids not hold back the kids that can throw more.
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Re: Maine hs moving toward pitch-count restrictions

Postby jake » Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:10 am

So what exactly is too much?

Do throws to first count? What about a bunt play or PFP? Or a comebacker on a 1-6-3 DP? And are we going to limit the warm up pitches too? What about a kid with a nasty hook in Wiffle ball? What about a kid that throws rocks for fun…will he be on a count for that? Lest we forget a snowball fight or two, do those “pitches” count? How about a kid that plays a lot of tennis? It’s the overhand motion that is destroying shoulders and at a rate of speed and effort that can only be repeated in a game or with long toss.

This takes COMMON SENSE. That’s hard to find - and even tougher to implement. Maybe coaches should stop leaning on 14-18 yr old kids to boost their ego and keep a given W/L record intact. They’ll probably get a trophy anyway.

Here’s a crazy thought…maybe teach kids how to pitch. Too crazy?

Teach them how (and where) to throw a fastball in a fastball count and still get an out. Maybe add a cutter (minimal elbow torque vs deuce, slider, splitter) and a changeup. Can these kids change eye level and move the ball in and out. That’s what I want…a group that can command their pitches, not just one horse to saddle up and ride to a state championship. Is that the life lesson (think bigger picture here)?

“Kids, your best my not be good enough right now, so you can take a seat and we’ll get the most we can out of the guy that can pitch the best.” And win or lose, the athlete riding the pine will still get a trophy.

I say this having played in a high school game (1990s) wherein the starting pitcher threw 217 pitches….in 6 innings. So is that too much pitching or just plain bad coaching? 5 days later, in the subsequent playoff (separated by a ‘weekend of rest’) he went over 200 pitches again.

I also recall a legion playoff in which Lewiston/Gayton played Augusta back in 2010: “Even though Minoty was overworked out of necessity (110 pitches on Wednesday, 64 on Friday and what would be 152 on Sunday for 326 pitches in five days), he had allowed a total of one hit over his last nine innings as Gayton came to bat in the bottom of the sixth.”
[http://www.centralmaine.com/2011/08/01/augusta-falters-in-final_2011-07-31/]

Out of necessity?! 326 pitches in 5 days out of necessity. What necessity supersedes this kid’s health?! The fact that he only gave up 1 hit? So who needed what? Did the Augusta team need the win more than Minoty would need his arm? Apparently so.

Hindsight may show he is unharmed and recovered just fine. I certainly hope that is the case for this individual and every other overworked teenager (seriously folks, read that one again). I refuse to believe these are isolated incidents or rare by any measure.

I would imagine if you asked him (or any pitcher...remember the whole Matt Harvey thing?) to come out of the game, especially in front of his peers, he would stake his claim to stay on the bump. That’s a seemingly noble effort you want from every player, but must be handled appropriately. That’s why the coach is an adult.

We don’t need pitch counts or inning counts – but we do need to educate coaches about recognizing fatigue and cumulative strain. Limitations are absurd and ignore the aptitude each and every human has to act responsibly, especially coaches. More regulation and restriction is simply not the answer.
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Re: Maine hs moving toward pitch-count restrictions

Postby pre3time » Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:42 am

Interesting.....I wonder when the MPA will look into the number of times a HS Tennis Player sets their arm in motion, a QB makes a pass, how many shots a basketball player takes in practice and games, shot put and javelin athlete's giving it their all, swimmers, and how about the players on the Golf Team having a bad round.....these all take a toll on the arms.....


And lets not forget the legs with running & jumping.
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Re: Maine hs moving toward pitch-count restrictions

Postby Mhunt36 » Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:46 am

Let's be realistic, I don't hear about alot of HS tennis or Volleyball players having Tommy John Surgery or another specific surgery as a result of a specific action. There is a reason why we are more protective about pitchers' arms period. At any level. However, the key will always be to practice better mechanics and for coaches to exercise restraint and common sense. I still think there is a way to do pitch count that at least makes sense. It at least makes more sense to this former pitcher and current pitching coach than inning limitations.
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Re: Maine hs moving toward pitch-count restrictions

Postby Willy13 » Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:12 am

I couldn't agree more, proper mechanics are huge, and conditioning...The MPA needs to strongly consider allowing high school coaches to work with these young arms earlier in the season. In my opinion there just isn't enough time to really get arm strength built up, and to fine tune mechanics. Some of these cold springs we have up here doesn't help either on the arms..Most of the high school coaches are allowed two solid weeks to practice, and then they could possibly be dealing with scrimmages. That's not enough time to properly condition a arm under controlled circumstances. Pitchers need a good solid month to get conditioned properly for game situation..I've walked into more gyms and seen high school pitchers snapping off curves on day 1 to hurry up and get ready..just a thought
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Re: Maine hs moving toward pitch-count restrictions

Postby jake » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:15 am

There must be a clear differentiation between THORWING and PITCHING. Pitches thrown from the mound in a competitive environment always have the highest forces on the elbow and the shoulder. A 2011 study of MLB players in the American Journal of Sports Medicine showed 57 percent of injuries in pitchers are to the elbow or shoulder, compared to 13.6 percent for position players.

Let me be clear – throwing overhand is naturally destructive to the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) – which is what is replaced with Tommy John. Softball pitchers can throw far more pitches and are used more frequently because of the underhand delivery. They still experience cumulative strain, but the forces at the shoulder and elbow are far less – therefore it takes more stress to cause a similar pitching injury.

I am right there with you willy13…nothing like seeing a breaking pitches after a good set of Palmer drills and decent ramped warmup. And you’ve got to stop the action and explain the why.

MHunt36 – your comments underscore the need to stress durability over ability. Pitchers simply cannot be durable with poor mechanics.

Even the subject of mechanics is odd – at best. Take a look at Dr. Mike Marshall down in Zephyrhills, FL. Dr. Mike is a guy that has studied mechanics and come up with his own innovative way to pitch…even after the successful career he had pitching “conventionally.” Seriously folks, if you haven’t seen it…go take a peek at some of the videos. Keep in mind…this is a biomechanics expert. I don’t happen to agree with his approach or methods, but maybe some of you will.

The INDIVIDUAL must be taken into consideration. Using a broad brush to cover the majority of partially-prepared pitchers/players will lead to a growing number of outliers. Skeletal maturity occurs at different rates for different kids. It takes one overzealous coach to ruin a kid’s arm. Yes, I realize that we are emphasizing HS athletics here…and newsflash, major league elbows blowing up in 2015/16 are likely from CUMULATIVE strain – so it starts at the lower levels.

All we’ve talked about is throwing or getting ready to throw….what are these kids doing after they throw for recovery? What’s the sleep quality? What is the internal dialogue? Are they getting quality nutrition – and from a qualified resource? There is also joint specific recovery and manual therapy of the shoulder and the elbow that aid durability.

Alan Jaeger – the grandfather of long toss says “pitch counts are in place because we’ve deconditioned the arms…if we condition well then we would not need pitch counts.” That durability them shows up yet again. Coaches condition arms by using them at the right time, for the right reason and to the right degree. That work must be followed-up with appropriate recovery and mindfulness.
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Re: Maine hs moving toward pitch-count restrictions

Postby throwinheat5 » Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:34 pm

That brings up a great point. How many of your pitchers in high school ice after every practice and game? I would bet very few. I made it a point by our training staff to have an ice chest and bags at all practices and games and away games would find the trainer at some point if we didnt bring our own ice. I did not realize the benefit of icing until college sadly.

I do agree that some of the babying of arms have lead to more of the injuries, is your arm sore or are you hurt...that is two very big differences. Soreness you work through and still throw and prepare(of course at a cut back and reduce rate) but hurt you shut it down. Gotta love the kid that says coach my arm is dead i got nothing...can i go into short stop??
high school kids are great!!
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Re: Maine hs moving toward pitch-count restrictions

Postby OldTownBaseball » Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:54 pm

http://usatodayhss.com/2016/texas-baseb ... unt-limits

I don't suppose the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association is an influential group?
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Re: Maine hs moving toward pitch-count restrictions

Postby TheOneArmMan » Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:47 pm

Pitch counts/innings limits are one of those things that should never have to happen. A good coach will know when his kids arms are tiring, or have begun to reach a limit. A good coach will know when to change who is on the bump, and teach the kids how to correctly recover. Each kid will have different limits, and different recovery needs. In a perfect world, there would be no such thing as pitch count/inning limits.

However, the drive to win in both the coach and players hearts will push these limits, both for the kid that should and shouldn't throw more than 100 pitches or 7 innings or short rest. These rules are in place to protect the programs that tend to lose sight of the long term health of the arm.
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