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bama21

272 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2019 :  12:05:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great point. Having more pitchers or kids that pitch is a good thing and it protects the pitchers that would've normally been overused in the past.

Also, having more kids that pitch will give those parents a sense of what the regular pitchers' parents are going through.
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11UColt45s

125 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2019 :  12:18:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm a huge fan of the Pitch Smart requirements. In a way, it protects coaches against themselves. There is tremendous pressure on the top teams to WIN. The question you get is "How can you not win with that roster"? All coaches have felt this pressure to win and thought "I'm sure he's fine for a few more pitches or just one more inning".

Arguments have been made that it is an arbitrary number or that different kids progress at different speeds and can handle more than others. Both of these arguments can be made and justified in specific cases but the guidelines are in place for the average kid and were not developed randomly. Some very sharp minds were consulted (Dr. James Andrews amongst others) in setting the limits.

I love the point Coach Berryman made regarding development of pitchers as well.

As far as the Astros' ace, his Dad is very involved in his use and game prep and has been around baseball his entire life. He is very aware of arm injuries, pitch count and the abuse the arm takes when throwing with the velocity his son throws at. He knows his son and his son's throwing program better than any of us and if he was OK with it, who are we to decide whether they "overthrew" him against the Sharks. Personally, I love the kid on the bump...he has a great presence and I know he had our number!

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Chet

21 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2019 :  20:45:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just to be clear, my point wasnít to suggest he was overused. My ONLY point was that he went the distance against among the best lineups anyone is likely to see at 12u. As good as the Astros pitching depth is, SGSA is in a different class at this moment. It was high level, high quality baseball.
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bama21

272 Posts

Posted - 05/10/2019 :  07:34:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
No one knows the "magic" number of pitches, but few could argue that less is always better, especially in young kids. MLB players, grown men, with the best trainers in the world are on pitch counts routinely.

The forces exerted on these young players' arms are tremendous and the risk for the kids that are throwing the hardest increases exponentially. Also, more importantly, their bones are still being formed and growing.

As far as this dad (or any dad for that matter) being involved and knowing his kid, that's a cop out statement. Why is that, it is because no parent can see inside their kids body and know what damage may be occurring. And that is the whole point, limit the number of pitches because it isn't necessarily one outing, it is the cumulative effect. Also, and to make it worse, most of these top players are hitting and playing other positions when not pitching.
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PVPanthers

44 Posts

Posted - 05/10/2019 :  11:06:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I like the Pitch Smart format but it does have it's limitations. It is more challenging for a coach to manage.

A comment I hear is that Pitch Smart levels the playing field some because your are maybe looking at the performance of your 4th/5th/6th pitchers and not just the top 3 pitchers.

I know we considered Pitch Smart for the Kids 4 Kids series last year but when you start looking at playing 5 to 7 games over a 2 stretch it becomes very difficult to go by those count limitations unless you have 15 kids on the roster. It really works best with the old PG format with pool winners and a shorter bracket play over 3 days. USA baseball uses Pitch Smart and their tournaments are Thursday through Sunday so you can really plan to use the 0 day, 1 day, 2 days rest numbers.

It's even difficult at the HS level where teams are forced to go past their top 2-3 pitchers.
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bama21

272 Posts

Posted - 05/10/2019 :  12:26:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The winning at all costs mentality should not be tolerated; especially, when it could lead to a kid getting injured. I get it, injuries happen, but this is one that can for the most part be prevented.

I usually say, to each his own, but in this situation i.e. pitching, guidelines have to be in place and enforced because you can't trust the coaches nor the parents to make the wise decisions.

At some point in the near future, all of these parents will see that 7u-14u means absolutely nothing.

Edited by - bama21 on 05/10/2019 14:30:12
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bama21

272 Posts

Posted - 05/10/2019 :  13:02:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here is the article on Kevin Abel:
Freshman pitcher Oregon State overused to win championship needs Tommy John surgery
"The freshman pitcher whom Oregon State rode to a championship last year needs Tommy John surgery.

Kevin Abel told reporters on Tuesday night that he will need to undergo the reconstructive operation. Abel had only thrown 16.1 innings for the Beavers this season and hadnít pitched since March 1. The team had been mostly mum about his issues, saying only that he had a back injury.....During the College World Series, Abel pitched three times in a six-day span, including two starts in high-pressure elimination games. He threw a total of 247 pitches during that six-day span.

Ė 95 pitches in a win over Mississippi State on Saturday, June 23 to reach the CWS finals against Arkansas
Ė 23 pitches during an inning of relief against Arkansas on Wednesday, June 27 to keep it a 1-run game
Ė 129 pitches in shutout win over Arkansas on Thursday, June 28

He also threw 58 pitches in 4 innings of relief, picking up a win over Washington on June 18. All told, he pitched 21 innings and threw 305 pitches over four appearances at the College World Series, all in an 11-day span. Thatís simply overuse.

You cannot expect a competitive athlete to ask out of a game or say that he doesnít want to continue pitching. They all want the ball and want to keep going, and if they donít, you probably donít want them on your team. Thatís why itís up to the coaches to look out for their players and the playersí best interests. I donít believe Pat Casey did that for Abel last year. He chose to ride him for 129 pitches after having him pitch the day before in an elimination game, all while he was pitching on just three days of rest. That kind of overuse would make any MLB team cringe.

Maybe the tradeoff of winning the championship was worth it for Abel if it meant he needed Tommy John surgery the following season. Only he can answer that question. But his coaching staff did not handle him responsibly, leaving the surgery news as a disappointing but ultimately not very surprising outcome.

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Pop the Chain

7 Posts

Posted - 05/16/2019 :  10:00:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 11UColt45s

I'm a huge fan of the Pitch Smart requirements. In a way, it protects coaches against themselves. There is tremendous pressure on the top teams to WIN. The question you get is "How can you not win with that roster"? All coaches have felt this pressure to win and thought "I'm sure he's fine for a few more pitches or just one more inning".

Arguments have been made that it is an arbitrary number or that different kids progress at different speeds and can handle more than others. Both of these arguments can be made and justified in specific cases but the guidelines are in place for the average kid and were not developed randomly. Some very sharp minds were consulted (Dr. James Andrews amongst others) in setting the limits.

I love the point Coach Berryman made regarding development of pitchers as well.

As far as the Astros' ace, his Dad is very involved in his use and game prep and has been around baseball his entire life. He is very aware of arm injuries, pitch count and the abuse the arm takes when throwing with the velocity his son throws at. He knows his son and his son's throwing program better than any of us and if he was OK with it, who are we to decide whether they "overthrew" him against the Sharks. Personally, I love the kid on the bump...he has a great presence and I know he had our number!





With the Astros Orange roster, the question of "how can you not win with that roster" is legitimate.
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UGAGrad99

3 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2019 :  09:08:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We went against a kid yesterday who threw 98 pitches after throwing 48 pitches the day before. The kid was clearly struggling and the coaches only went out to talk to him at 95 pitches and left him in the game. This was an inconsequential silver bracket AAA game in a mid-tier tournament. Looking at this team's Gamechanger, this same kid threw 148 pitches over three games/two days in another tournament. Pitchsmart needs to be used more widely for this exact reason. In theory, I know it is just a theory, the high major teams have better coaching and access to better training. I also don't see them riding the same guys to the extreme every weekend. At the lower levels, the coaches have such a desire to win, they ride the same 2-3 boys every weekend to the maximum allowed. Using Pitchsmart you are forced to actually develop pitching or at least ride pitchers through just one game and not three over a two day tournament. My son's team doesn't win a lot but they play hard and my son enjoys it. We also know the coach cares about his ability to pitch at 16 and 17 when there might actually be someone important watching. At the end of the day, trophies from 12u will just gather dust.

Edited by - UGAGrad99 on 05/20/2019 10:13:36
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bama21

272 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2019 :  11:37:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The parents should be putting limits on the number of pitches. The coaches can't be trusted and the pitch smart limits allow too many as well. The fewer the better.

At this age every kid should be a pitcher, whether you want to pitch or not. This is especially true for teams with limited rosters.
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Allstarsvt

17 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2019 :  16:51:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Get rid of the hot bats and safety goes up. Less pitches, less errors, and it also allows more players to pitch. Lots of kids have not learned a good swing. Wood bat tournaments prove this notion.
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2seamfbaway

4 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2019 :  23:29:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If fewer is always better and PitchSmart is still too high then what number is right?

At some point down the line of fewer is better the kid isnít on the mound long enough to get warmed up in a groove or have a chance to work out of any predicaments, which are both important for development.

I like PitchSmart in general to have some rules in place to help protect the coaches from having to make tough decisions on one more inning or not, and from related parent criticism for pulling a kid. I do think it gives an advantage to teams getting 2 Friday pool games because they can let Sunday pitchers throw 35 on Friday in pool to still throw Sunday so they donít really have to use many extra pitchers if they choose. It also can lead to more mid-inning pitching changes in Sat pool play to stay under the 20. But still that or something like it is needed.
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