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What are your thoughts on a kid pitching and catching for the same team?

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  • What are your thoughts on a kid pitching and catching for the same team?

    My son is 12 years old and he is a solid pitcher and catcher and has been asked to do both on the last couple teams he has played for.
    I have expressed my concerns to the coaches and told them I would much prefer he pitch before catching.
    With him playing USSSA tournaments, the format makes it where you may play four or five games over three days.
    Was just wondering if anyone else has dealt with this situation. thanks

  • #2
    It's ok technically to be both a pitcher and a catcher, however you have to consider catching appearances like a pitching appearance. If you pitch a low count inning on day 1, you can probably catch on day 2. If you have a high pitch load on day 1, you shouldn't catch day 1 an probably not on day 2. Pitching before catching or vice versa probably doesn't matter. Both are the same and I would avoid both.

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    • #3
      I’m not big on players pitching and catching on the same day. Sometimes it has to be done. But it shouldn’t be a regular occurance.

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      • #4
        Not a fan of it and it takes a really good coach to properly manage it

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        • #5
          Just ask him this question:

          Let's say my son pitched X (max number of pitches your age should do in a weekend) on Saturday. Will you catch him that same day if you need him to?

          If he says yes, find another team. If he says no, keep asking questions.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by andre8 View Post
            It's ok technically to be both a pitcher and a catcher, however you have to consider catching appearances like a pitching appearance. If you pitch a low count inning on day 1, you can probably catch on day 2. If you have a high pitch load on day 1, you shouldn't catch day 1 an probably not on day 2. Pitching before catching or vice versa probably doesn't matter. Both are the same and I would avoid both.
            you are right, my point about pitching first is he seems to pitch with better control and more velocity when he hasn't already caught that day or even the day before

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            • #7
              Originally posted by atlantabravesfan View Post

              you are right, my point about pitching first is he seems to pitch with better control and more velocity when he hasn't already caught that day or even the day before
              This is probably true, but I would imagine your concerns are about arm health rather than effectiveness. In terms of health it likely doesn't matter, in terms of effectiveness piching you're right.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by andre8 View Post

                This is probably true, but I would imagine your concerns are about arm health rather than effectiveness. In terms of health it likely doesn't matter, in terms of effectiveness piching you're right.
                So should I take into consideration number of throws he makes catching the same as pitch count? USSSA doesn't have any pitch count rules (which seem crazy to me)
                but I do take it upon myself to keep up with number of pitches he is throwing..

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by atlantabravesfan View Post

                  So should I take into consideration number of throws he makes catching the same as pitch count? USSSA doesn't have any pitch count rules (which seem crazy to me)
                  but I do take it upon myself to keep up with number of pitches he is throwing..
                  If your coach isn't counting pitches, I would say that's a big danger sign. # of innings is only relevant to stay within the rules of USSSA, not to promote arm health. 2 innings of 4 pitches is clearly not the same as 2 innings of 30 pitches.

                  the Pitch Smart guidlines are a good place to start. If that chart says he shouldn't pitch, he also shouldn't catch. I wouldn't count throws as a catcher specifically.

                  There are exceptions. If he pitches a single inning let's say and gets through it in 5-10 pitches, I would generally be ok with catching that same day. But generally, if you're a pitcher on day 1 you are not a catcher and vice-versa.

                  But like I said if the coach has no guidelines for how to handle catchers who pitch, you need to find a new team or get your coach educated quickly.

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                  • #10
                    I agree that I wish tournaments enforced pitch count rules, but they're too easy to fake/fudge and mess up. Innings are easily verifiable by scorebook, umpires and coaches so they are used. Teams/coaches/parents/players need to be taking responsibility for arm health. If they don't have enough pitchers, they need to get more of them or play fewer games.

                    Our team would forfiet a championship game if we ran out of pitchers rather than risk bringing a kid out who could get injured.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by atlantabravesfan View Post
                      My son is 12 years old and he is a solid pitcher and catcher and has been asked to do both on the last couple teams he has played for.
                      I have expressed my concerns to the coaches and told them I would much prefer he pitch before catching.
                      With him playing USSSA tournaments, the format makes it where you may play four or five games over three days.
                      Was just wondering if anyone else has dealt with this situation. thanks
                      Don't do it. Little League has rules around it -

                      A pitcher who delivers 41 or more pitches in a game cannot play the position of catcher for the remainder of that day.
                      Any player who has played the position of catcher in four or more innings in a game is not eligible to pitch on that calendar day.


                      People always wanted my son to pitch. "Com'on, just one inning. It's not a big deal." And, I would say "No. If he's catching, then he's not pitching. And, if you pitch him, then you can't catch him."

                      It's not just the arm. It's the legs too. Legs getting tired lead to arm injuries.
                      Coaching experience: Managed 5 Little League teams and coached on 4 others. So, what do I know?

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                      • #12
                        Well - let's dive into this a little more... First off, Let me say that I don't do this often but I have done this before. This past season, I ran a 10u team with only 10 players so guess what, sometimes things happen. I monitor pitch counts every inning and often would pull kids at 35-40 pitches tops. Then, I would give them plenty of rest. I did at times have a kid throw 30 pitches one day and 30 the next (in certain weekend tournaments). I don't like doing that but I had to a few times. IF that was done, then he wouldn't pitch during the following week so he would have a minimum of 5 days of rest.

                        IF I have a kid pitch/catch on the same day, it's usually only a few innings of each one.. AND, this was done at a younger age level (9-10-11) as usually by 12, I have full time catchers...When I have done it - it's only when the pitcher has kept his pitch count down (30-40)... And, when he catches, it's usually only for an inning (maybe 2 tops)... I haven't done it often but I have done it.

                        NOW - let's look at this a different way. As I get the whole - "If you catch, you shouldn't pitch" and vice versa but is it blown a tad out of proportion? Other than fatigue that any catcher gets from squatting, etc - how often is the catcher actually making a stressful throw? Tossing the ball back to the pitcher is not putting a ton of stress on the arm. So, if you have a pitcher that kept his pitch count somewhat low and then caught for an inning, maybe he has 1-6 stressful throws (of course this can depend on the number of runners that get on and steal)... Is that worse than say putting that same kid at SS/3rd and he has to make 4-6 or more throws across the diamond?



                        Last edited by Ratt; 09-13-2018, 10:11 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ratt View Post
                          Well - let's dive into this a little more... First off, Let me say that I don't do this often but I have done this before. This past season, I ran a 10u team with only 10 players so guess what, sometimes things happen. I monitor pitch counts every inning and often would pull kids at 35-40 pitches tops. Then, I would give them plenty of rest. I did at times have a kid throw 30 pitches one day and 30 the next (in certain weekend tournaments). I don't like doing that but I had to a few times. IF that was done, then he wouldn't pitch during the following week so he would have a minimum of 5 days of rest.

                          IF I have a kid pitch/catch on the same day, it's usually only a few innings of each one.. AND, this was done at a younger age level (9-10-11) as usually by 12, I have full time catchers...When I have done it - it's only when the pitcher has kept his pitch count down (30-40)... And, when he catches, it's usually only for an inning (maybe 2 tops)... I haven't done it often but I have done it.

                          NOW - let's look at this a different way. As I get the whole - "If you catch, you shouldn't pitch" and vice versa but is it blown a tad out of proportion? Other than fatigue that any catcher gets from squatting, etc - how often is the catcher actually making a stressful throw? Tossing the ball back to the pitcher is not putting a ton of stress on the arm. So, if you have a pitcher that kept his pitch count somewhat low and then caught for an inning, maybe he has 1-6 stressful throws (of course this can depend on the number of runners that get on and steal)... Is that worse than say putting that same kid at SS/3rd and he has to make 4-6 or more throws across the diamond?


                          You have an ideal sitch and you are clearly monitoring your players and being a heads up coach. Would you still be comfortable with this if this was in the summer (upper 80s) after 40 games played and you are on the day 2 of a weekend tourney with 4 games already in?

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                          • #14
                            a kid can't be a main starting pitcher and have catcher be his primary position, imo. on the other hand, if a kid is a catcher and has a good arm, i think a few innings here and there on the mound are good for him, and this can totally be managed. we would do 2 inning spots for our 2 main catchers here and there in tournaments (12u)

                            if we had a league game on a tuesday and then nothing until the weekend we would maybe use that situation to give one of them a longer opportunity. they both pitched around 15 innings across 50 games.

                            a friend of mine has a 19 year old at a really good JUCO who is on target to play professionally. he caught all the way through HS, but is pitching now.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ratt View Post
                              Well - let's dive into this a little more... First off, Let me say that I don't do this often but I have done this before. This past season, I ran a 10u team with only 10 players so guess what, sometimes things happen. I monitor pitch counts every inning and often would pull kids at 35-40 pitches tops. Then, I would give them plenty of rest. I did at times have a kid throw 30 pitches one day and 30 the next (in certain weekend tournaments). I don't like doing that but I had to a few times. IF that was done, then he wouldn't pitch during the following week so he would have a minimum of 5 days of rest.

                              IF I have a kid pitch/catch on the same day, it's usually only a few innings of each one.. AND, this was done at a younger age level (9-10-11) as usually by 12, I have full time catchers...When I have done it - it's only when the pitcher has kept his pitch count down (30-40)... And, when he catches, it's usually only for an inning (maybe 2 tops)... I haven't done it often but I have done it.

                              NOW - let's look at this a different way. As I get the whole - "If you catch, you shouldn't pitch" and vice versa but is it blown a tad out of proportion? Other than fatigue that any catcher gets from squatting, etc - how often is the catcher actually making a stressful throw? Tossing the ball back to the pitcher is not putting a ton of stress on the arm. So, if you have a pitcher that kept his pitch count somewhat low and then caught for an inning, maybe he has 1-6 stressful throws (of course this can depend on the number of runners that get on and steal)... Is that worse than say putting that same kid at SS/3rd and he has to make 4-6 or more throws across the diamond?


                              my son has caught a game where the pitchers could not find the plate, caught 100 pitches between 5 pitchers and then had to pitch the next day
                              there is no doubt to me his pitching would have been much better if he had been playing in the outfield instead of catching

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