An off-topic rant about college baseball
I followed Jake Peavy's career closely when he was a farmhand with the San Diego Padres. When Peavy was 19 and 20, the Padres required that he be taken out of games once a certain pitch count was reached. That number typically was between 60 and 70.
Full count? Doesn't matter. Once that pitch count is reached, the manager went to the mound and Peavy was removed. It works like that for many prospects. Is that going too far? Perhaps. Most young arms can handle more than 70 pitches every five days, but most professional organizations err on the side of caution.
College ball, of course, has a different purpose. The goal here is to win. Development simply is a byproduct of competing in the opinion of many coaches. The pitch counts seen in college ball sometimes move into the absurd.
Which brings me to the reason for this rant.
A kid by the name of Chad Pierce, ace pitcher for Wisconsin-Milwaukee, has endured a busy week.
He earned a complete-game win on Thursday. He threw 150 pitches that day.
OK. The kid is 23 years old. Maybe he can handle an occasional 150.
Today, UWM coach Scott Doffek does the unthinkable. He sends Pierce to the mound in the Horizon League championship game on TWO DAYS REST. And the kid throws 86 pitches.
He actually performed well.
Still, Pierce now has thrown 236 pitches over a three-day period. That's an incredible amount of strain on his arm. Professional teams, which surely are tracking Pierce's performances, know he's thrown 236 pitches and they don't like it.
So now the kid's chances of a future injury are significantly higher and as a bonus, his draft stock may suffer.
(As an aside, Auburn coach John Pawlowski is a former major-league pitcher and pays close attention to pitch counts. He doesn't abuse arms.)