Sparks, you've got at least three different issue percolating here now -- pitching time on a Fall travel ball team, recognition on the football team, and recognition now as a varsity player on the varsity team. Each involves different coaches and different issues.
The recurring theme is one that dates back to the start of the thread -- a hyper-concern about what is happening on a single given day. And, this concern seems to trickle down to your boy and has led to frustration. I doubt if there is an athlete alive who can't point to a given time in his career where he felt his skill levels weren't appreciated by his coach. See, Jordan, Michael, e.g. Yet, they, like your boy, were ultimately recognized when it counted and go ttheir chance.
Why is someone else pitching in travel ball? Who knows. Maybe your kid is more valuable as an every day player. Maybe the coach has promised the other kid's parents that he'll get a chance -- presumably he's paying the same amount as your kid and deserves just as much of a chance, and there's only seven to nine innings in a game for the coach to parcel out pitching assignments. Perhaps he's saving your boy for the games that count, or realizes that he doesn't need the experience on the mound that less accomplished pitchers do. Maybe the coach is sleeping with the kid's Mom. But it's his call. And your boy's job is to be the best catcher or SS or substitute -- and certainly the best teammate -- he can be and enjoy the camaraderie of the low key life of Fall ball. But it's only August, fercryinoutloud. Be glad that he's not overtaxing his arm and don't worry about the wins and losses if the coach isn't.
I won't speak to football. Given the lack of protection your boy got last year, it's good that he's out of it.
As for varsity, it's hard to imagine that the roster being posted in August will have a whole lot of bearing on what's going on in January and February. C'mon - his coach pitched him in playoff games last Spring. Do you really think he's decided for no reason between then and now that your kid stinks? Have your kid improve and, if you're getting close to the big "trip down south" and he's not being included, maybe he can arrange to meet with the coach and find out what the coach's plans are for him, perhaps saying, "I'd like a chance to do a bullpen for you to show you how I've advanced in the hope you'll think of me as a varsity player from the get-go." But handing sophs a spot on the varsity before the season starts can be a dicey proposition politically. If he opts to keep him on the JV at the beginning, let the upperclassmen enjoy the trip, knowing that he'll get his time to go in the future.
But for hevvinsakes let him enjoy each moment on the field for what it is -- whether it's as a catcher or shortstop or pitcher -- and not worry about what it may or may not signify as to his status. Otherwise you'll drive him, yourself, and his coaches nuts -- probably for no reason. And let him learn the life lesson that sometimes others will get short-term opportunities that he won't, and he just has to flow with it until his skills are recognized and rewarded. There's no bigger cancer in real life than the employee who worries about the perks and benefits of his co-workers rather than just going out and working for the team.