While professional baseball has come to treat its young pitchers’ arms like the valuable resources they are, imposing pitch count limits and innings limits and doing everything it can to limit the damage to developing hurlers, a whole lot of them are damaged goods when they arrive. Damaged by insane workloads in college and high school, often from coaches who have little interest in a pitcher’s well-being after his brief time at their school.
Now, reports Baseball America, state athletic associations are starting to impose pitch count limits, with The National High School Federation requiring all 50 state federations, which govern high school baseball, to create pitch limits of some sort before the 2017 season begins.
Baseball America details Georgia’s plan, which limits pitchers to 110 pitches and mandates a days rest requirement after outings in excess of 86 pitches or more. This against a backdrop where, historically, some teenagers are trotted out for 120+ pitch performances, sometimes far more, and then are put in games a day or two later.
College is still a place where arms are routinely abused, but the tide is turning against that too. Hopefully, eventually, all of this will lead to fewer pitchers seeing their careers end before they really begin.