Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Baseball Pitch Counts

Kev asked this question I thought would make a good post topic:

"Curious on your thoughts on pitch counts in HS baseball pitchers? This past weekend our kid threw 112pitches in 9 innings of work while the opposing pitcher threw 155 in 6innings of work in the same game.We had a kid who will be drafted this year that could throw about 90-100 pitches/game and be able to turn around and do it again 3 days later. I have another kid now who can throw about 100 pitches and not be ready to go again for a week."

The low 100's at this time of year I would say is right on the money for a high school age pitcher; 155 in the danger zone. Remember, you have to count in warm up throws, bull pen, pitches between innings etc. As far as the differences in your two kids recovery wise, a lot of stuff comes into play. Physical age, training age, physical fitness, height, arm length etc. But, I think the big one that separates recovery time is throwing mechanics. And, I also believe trying to change throwing mechanics at the high school level is just as difficult to change as running mechanics. Those with lousy mechanics will also tend to "over-throw" to get the velocity they need.


Ron said...

Joe -I think you also have to account for the type of pitches too. Obviously a kid who throws just a mix of fastballs and change ups is going to tolerate more pitches than a kid who throws a bunch of "junk". The extra torque has to be accounted for...I just don't know how you account for it. It would be very interesting to do a restrospective study on pitches and look at the ratio of off-speed and fastballs and arm health.

Joe Przytula said...

Good topic Ron. But, I'm not sure if a curve or a slider is any more dangerous on the arm than a fastball, provided it is taught correctly. Coach Korn has the pitcher use his entire body to influence the rotation, not just the wrist. Interesting topic. However, I agree a good change up is devastating!

JH said...

In HS I pitched 12 innings in one gaame, over 250 pitches and we lost by 1 run.

Oh and yes my arm hurt for a very long time.

KP said...

Joe - I'm glad you mentioned counting all pitches they throw (warm-up, between innings, etc) in that count. I was at a presentation by an allied health care professional for our students and when I raised that same point he looked at me like I was from another planet.

If the program has a radar gun then why not use 100 pitches as a guideline and then refine it based on how the person is doing that day? Are their mechanics suffering? Is their velocity decreasing more than 4-5 mph the deeper they go in a game?

Pete Koeniges said...


I'm reading a book now called "Until it Hurts" by Mark Hyman. It's an eye opening story of injuries to young athletes, baseball players mostly, but other athletes as well, that were caused by well-meaning coaches, parents, and our culture. Your recent posts made my think of a passage by the U of Hawaii coach. He does not recruit in warm areas, where kids pitch year round. Too much wear and tear by the time they reach college. Interesting.