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

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  • #16
    I don’t endorse the following as a regular routine. In LL all stars my son caught six innings in high humidity 90+ heat. The game went extras. He pitched the 7th. He got the win walking three and striking out three. He said his arm felt fine. His legs were toast. He did this twice in three weeks one year. There are rarely high stress catcher throws in LL all stars. Stealing is asking to be thrown out by ten feet.

    Each year in LL we had a travel team in a Sunday DH league running concurrently with the LL season. The roster was the fifteen kids most likely to be the twelve to make all stars. The purpose of the team was to teach a roster full of mostly pitcher/shortstops/catchers/center fielders to play their all star positions. We also had to limit pitching innings due to the priority of the LL season. My son would start, pitch two innings and sit. Then he would catch the second game. He rarely thre more than 25 pitches.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by sparkny2 View Post

      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?

      First - let's get back to the main subject for a sec... We're talking about a catcher, playing the pitcher position as well and/or vice versa. In youth travel and LL baseball - this happens often at the younger levels for several reasons - usually only about 11/12 kids on the team, your better players normally play P/C/SS, and most catchers don't catch full games. When you start getting to 12s/13s/14s, that's usually when that type of position switching slows down and true catchers start to form but not always.

      I don't think it's terrible for a player to play both positions as long as it's well controlled. My main point was that I have heard a lot of people say that if you play catcher, you can't pitch. Other than the fatigue factor from catching (legs/heat/tired) which does happen, I think it is possible. I think when it comes to arm safety, too many go overboard and believe that a catcher puts a lot of stress on his arm playing the position and that's far from the truth. The stress from catching is not the arm - it's no different than playing catcher and 3rd base and having to make throws.

      Second - To Sparkny's question... In an ideal situation, I would always love to have 2 kids that mainly catch and nothing else. At the youth level, I don't have that full time catcher like I did coaching at the HS levels. So I trained about 6 kids last off-season and used each of them. Again - I had 10 players on my team as 1 kid who was going to be my primary catcher moved on me as we started winter practices. At the end of our season, I HAD to do exactly as you stated above. We played a big tournament at the end of the season that went from Thursday-Sunday with 4 pool play games and then the bracket play. We played 1 game on Thursday, 2 on Friday, 1 on Saturday. Then, on Sunday, we did bracket play and we ended up winning the tournament and had 3 games. Now - managing all of that with 10 players was not easy. In the final game - I had to remove the kid that I had catching which he had caught 3 or 4 innings I believe. I put him on the bench in the 5th inning and he had to come in and pitch the final 1.2/3 innings. I had been able to save him from pitching the entire tournament and he was the only kid that had not pitched at all yet. At the end of the game - we had two outs, up 9 to 8, guy on 3rd. Batter hits a dribbler down the 3rd base line. Pitcher hops off the mound, grabs the ball, and throws a dart to first to win the game.

      Of course - I understand what people are saying. The overall process is to keep the kids healthy. I was able to play 54 games last season with 10 kids. It took some managing but kids got a ton of reps. Everyone pitched at least 10 innings on the year and no more than 43 and no one got hurt, no one had arm troubles, and everyone wanted to come back and play again for next season.

      4/5 years ago - we were playing a tournament where this kid was catching and caught the whole game - up to the 6th inning. We were in a tight game and it was getting a tad heated. One of our coaches started complaining that their kid was not even on the rubber (portable mound) and he wasn't - he was about 6 inches in front of it. The other manager got po'ed - pulled the catcher and brought him in to pitch. He gave up a HR but ended up striking out 2. This kid is now 17 and throws 94 and is signed to play at TCU and is a PG All-American. We were around 13u at the time. This kid pitched/catched for the next several years until about 15u. So - simply saying - it can be done, it is done, but if your son is doing it - just make sure the coaches are responsible enough to watch and monitor your son so he does not wear down or get injured. Proper rest HAS to be given.





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