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5.30.2010

An off-topic rant about college baseball

Hey everyone. My biggest problem with college baseball is the way pitchers sometimes are used in truly unreasonable ways.

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.

It sucks.

(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.)

10 Comments:

Blogger Kathy said...

The NCAA monitors everything else. Surprised they don't monitor that.

2:19 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Baseball regional hosts will be revealed at 2:30.

So a new thread will be up SOON.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

And thanks for a courtesy read, Kathy.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Sensi said...

As if there weren't enough reasons to hate baseball.

2:23 PM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

I love baseball.

I agree with Kathy. The NCAA is all over everything else, why not this? But you would think coaches would be smart enough to not abuse their pitchers.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Cincy, I read where your daughter is now moving to Montgomery for a year. At least they will be close to Auburn! Will they go back to Nashville after the year?

2:30 PM  
Blogger stupup74 said...

JGT, I could not agree with you more. What some of these H.S. and college coaches do with pitchers is almost criminal.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Auburn gets a regional!

2:35 PM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

Kathy,

They will be in Montgomery from August 2010 until August 2011 and then they will move to ... drumroll please... Birmingham!!! He is clerking for a federal judge in Montgomery and then has accepted a job with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings Law Firm.

So one child will be in Huntsville and one (with husband) will be in Birmingham. Can life get any better!! Both will be close to Auburn and will come for games. That is part of their graduation present - a pair of season tickets to Auburn. I am not above bribery :)

2:37 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

New thread UPZ.

2:39 PM  

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