Thursday, May 13, 2010

How many are too many?

While reading a recap Thursday of the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional baseball tournament game between California University and Kutztown, I couldn't get past one particular sentence:

Sturgill was most likely unable to clap his hands after the final out after throwing 172 pitches in his 8 1/3 innings.

Sturgill is California starting pitcher Randy Sturgill, pictured. And he's no stranger to throwing a lot of pitches. When asked if he was surprised he threw 172 pitches, Sturgill said, "No. I mean, against West Chester I threw 160 in the (PSAC) tournament. I've thrown a lot before but never really thought I would throw that many pitches in a game in my life."

According to something called, a Website that follows college baseball, Sturgill's 172 pitches matches the most thrown by any Division I pitcher (Cal is a Division II program) this season. Texas Southern freshman Abel Flores threw 172 pitches against McNeese State.

It doesn't matter if the pitcher is a freshman or a senior, a lefty or right-hander, an amateur or professional. If you ask me, 172 pitches are too many. Heck, 160 are too many.

Few things get baseball fans more fired up than a debate about pitch counts. Some argue against the mere concept of a pitch limit. Some coaches live by strict pitch limits. If you believe in pitch counts, where do you draw the line? Is 125 too many? How about 150? Or 172? There are many variables that go into determining how many pitches a player should be limited to, but selecting a specific number is never easy.

As someone once told me when discussing pitch counts, "Too many pitches are like pornography. I can't tell you what it is, but I know it when I see it."


Anonymous bri said...

Arm slot, flexibility, torque, and endurance determine a pitchers longevity, not pitch-count.

July 18, 2010 at 5:28 PM  

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