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A Big League Point of View on Pitch Counts

The WBP High School to College Baseball Recruitment Planning Program

Pitch countsby Gil Patterson,
Current New York Yankees Director of Pitching
Worldwide Baseball Prospects Pitching Advisor

The GM of WBP and I were talking the other night about a pitching coaches most important job, in helping a pitcher get to the big leagues and stay there. We talked about a number of things:

- How much ability they had.
- How hard they worked.
- Ability to make adjustments.
- Strong mental approach.
- Being in right place at the right time.
- Staying healthy

Many pitchers have had there careers cut short due to injury. Keeping a pitcher healthy is not an exact science. Genetics come into play, as well as good mechanics, conditioning program, arm maintenance, and the correct amount of rest, as well as recover time between outings. Professional major and minor league pitchers have pitch counts. Over use is a major factor with arm injuries. Not giving the arm enough time to rest causes fatigue and can result in an injury.

These are the pitch counts that most teams adhere too for pitchers:

In general a 100 pitches per game, with four days rest in between starts, is the amount of pitches they are allowed to throw. At times, even more important than the amount of pitches, is the effort and stress level of the game. The harder they have to work might decrease there pitch limit. The effortlessness of the game might increase there pitch limit.

In general 20 pitches per game, with one day rest in between. With 30 pitches, two days off. With 45 pitches three days off. With 60 pitches four days off. These pitch counts are for young men 19 an older, who train to do this for a living.

Coaches and Parents:
So if I am in control of younger pitchers I would make sure that I am responsible enough to put there careers first of any game.
Sometimes people say they have all off-season to rest, but you can be injured to the degree that ten off seasons will not help.

Yours Truly,

Gilbert Patterson
New York Yankees Organization
Formerly Oakland A's Organization