Old Blue Eye and the Freak

September 8, 2018
 
Hey. It’s been a while. How’re things?
 
Okay, enough with the pleasantries. Let’s get to baseball.
 
*             *             *
 
I presume that most of you know who Max Scherzer is. He’s a starting pitcher for the Washington Nationals, and he’s currently pacing the NL in wins and strikeouts, to go along with a robust 2.28 ERA. There’s a good chance that he’s going to win the Cy Young Award in a couple months, just like he did last year. And the year before that. And in 2013.
 
He’s a good pitcher, Max Scherzer. If you told me he was the best pitcher in baseball right now I wouldn’t argue too hard about it.  
 
I presume that most of you know who Tim Lincecum is. Or 'was'...I suppose that we have to use the past-tense for Tim Lincecum, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016. Tim Lincecum was a skinny whip of a pitcher who won consecutive Cy Young Awards for the Giants in 2008 and 2009.
 
I imagine that you have a pretty good visual memory of both of these players. Saying ‘Scherzer’ or ‘Lincecum’ must surely conjure some image or memory in your head. Maybe it’s the no-hitters: both pitchers have tossed two no-hitters apiece.
 
Scherzer and Lincecum share a few parallels. Both are right-handed power pitchers. At their best, both would have been considered among the very best pitchers in the game. Both men led their leagues in strikeouts for three consecutive years. Both won multiple Cy Young Awards, and had other years when they received votes. And there’s the no-hitters: Lincecum notched two in less than a year; Scherzer threw two during the 2015 season.
 
So here is something you probably don’t know about Max Scherzer and Tim Lincecum…or something I didn’t know about them, at least: Lincecum and Scherzer are the same age. Lincecum was both on June 15th, 1984. Max Scherzer was born on July 27th. Same year.
 
And they were actually drafted consecutively in the 2006 MLB amateur draft. Lincecum went 10th overall to the Giants in 2006, while Scherzer went 11th to the Diamondbacks.
 
I didn’t know that.
 
*             *             *
 
Let’s look at their careers in bullet points. Here’s Lincecum and Scherzer, from 2007 to 2011:
 
Year
Tim Lincecum
Max Scherzer
2007
7-5, 4.00 ERA
Minors
2008
18-5, 2.62 ERA, Wins 1st CY.
0-4, 3.05 ERA
2009
15-7, 2.48 ERA, Wins 2nd CY.
9-11, 4.12 ERA
2010
16-10, 10th in CY vote.
12-11, 3.50 ERA
2011
13-14, 2.74 ERA. 6th in CY.
15-9, 4.43 ERA
 
Tim Lincecum, through 2011, looked like a pitcher hurtling towards a Hall-of-Fame career. He had won two CY Awards, had three years of pacing the NL in strikeouts, and had notched a couple wins during the Giants World Series championship in 2010. His career record was 69-41, with a 2.98 ERA and an ERA+ of 137 over 1028 major league innings.
 
Max Scherzer was 36-35, and though he had posted an impressive W-L record in 2011 (15-9), the peripheral metrics (a 4.43 ERA) suggested that Scherzer’s success reflected less on his abilities, and more on the quality of the team behind him.
 
So what happened?
 
They flipped, of course. Tim Lincecum went from being one of the brightest stars in the game to an eminently hittable pitcher, almost overnight. And Scherzer became one of the game’s very best pitcher:
 
Year
Tim Lincecum
Max Scherzer
2012
10-15, 5.18 ERA
16-7, 3.74 ERA, 231 K's,
2013
10-14, 4.37 ERA
21-3, 240 K's, Wins first CY
2014
12-9, 4.74 ERA
18-5, 3.15 ERA. Fifth in CY vote.
2015
7-4, 4.13 ERA
14-12, 2.79 ERA. Fifth in CY vote.
2016
2-6, 9.16 ERA
20-7. 2.96 ERA, Wins 2nd CY.
2017
Out of baseball
16-6, 2.51 ERA, Wins 3rd CY.
2018
Out of baseball
16-6, 2.28 ERA.
 
Tim Lincecum went 41-48 with a 4.91 ERA before getting bounced from the majors. Meanwhile, Scherzer has posted a 121-46 record with a 2.90 ERA, establishing a reputation as one of the most consistently excellent and durable pitchers of his era. Most significantly, Scherzer keeps getting better: 2018 is shaping up to be the best season of his career.
 
So what happened?
 
One answer might be found in tracing their trajectories back further, to the years before they were in the major leagues.
 
Let’s keep our table simple, and just look at their number of innings pitched:
 
Year
Age
Tim Lincecum
IP
Max Scherzer
IP
2004
19
Washington (College)
112
Mississippi (College)
20
2005
20
Washington
104
Mississippi
106
2006
21
Wash (125 IP), A+ (31.2 IP)
156.2
Mississippi
80
2007
22
AAA (31 IP), MLB (146.1 IP)
177.1
A/A+
90.2
2008
23
MLB
227
AAA (53 IP) MLB (56 IP)
109
2009
24
MLB
225
MLB (170.1 IP), AAA (4.2 IP)
175
X
X
Total
1001
Total
580.2
 
Tim Lincecum, a star pitcher in high school, threw 1001 college and professional innings through the 2009 season. Of those 1001 innings, more than half of them came during starts against major league opponents.
 
Max Scherzer, a lesser prospect as a high school player, pitched 42% fewer collegiate and professional innings, and most of those innings happened in the minors and college.
 
Scherzer has had the much longer career.
 
This isn’t surprising, of course. This isn’t anything new. It has long been understood that pitchers who throw a lot of innings as youngest tend to have shorter careers than pitchers whose workloads are held in check as rookies. Ken Holtzman, drafted in the 3rd round of the 1965 draft, was pitching 220 innings in the majors as a twenty-year old: his arm was finished at thirty. Tom Seaver, drafted in the 10th round that year, didn’t reach the majors until he was twenty-two: he was effective as a forty-year old. Nolan Ryan was drafted a round behind Tom Terrific, and he didn’t cross 200 innings in a season until he was twenty-five years old. Last I heard, Nolan was still pitching somewhere.
 
With Scherzer and Lincecum, we’re using a small sample, and it would be unreasonable to put too much weight on one cause for the divergency of their career paths. Tim Lincecum was nicknamed The Freak, because it seemed impossible that anyone with his frame could throw as hard as he did. Max Scherzer is a bigger guy, and just on physicality alone, it shouldn’t be too surprising that Scherzer has had a longer career than Lincecum. We can’t draw a conclusion bases on one matched set: the best we can hope for is a compelling inference.
 
Scherzer and Lincecum are the same age, and as college players they had a similar enough talent to be drafted consecutively in the amateur draft. Look at their next three years: 
 
-          Tim Lincecum, in the year he was drafted, pitched 125 innings of college ball, and then jumped in and tossed 30 innings in the low minors. Max Scherzer pitcher 80 college innings, and didn’t throw in the minors after the draft.
 
-          A year later, Lincecum threw 177 innings, most of those in the major leagues. Scherzer threw 90 innings in A-level baseball.
 
-          Lincecum threw 227 innings during the next season, all in the majors. Scherzer pitcher 109 innings, splitting them between Triple-A and the majors.
 
Who had the heavier workload as a younger player? It’s not close: Tim Lincecum had a much heavier workload than Scherzer.  
 
Who has had the longer career? Again, it’s not close. Max Scherzer has had the longer career than Tim Lincecum.
 
So what? What does that matter?
 
Well, you didn’t think this article was only about Tim Lincecum and Max Scherzer, did you?
 
*             *             *
 
Four pitchers having strong major league seasons in 2018 were early draftees during the 2014 amateur draft. Carlos Rodon was selected as the third overall pick, while Aaron Nola and Kyle Freeland went consecutively as the 7th and 8th picks. Sean Newcomb, despite having the best baseball name of the group, was selected by the Angels with the 15th pick.
 
All four players were collegiate players, and all four are the same approximate age: Nola, Freeland, and Newcomb were born within a month of one another, while Rodon is six months older than the rest of the group.
 
So here’s our question: can their individual usage patterns in the early stages of their careers project how long a career they’re likely to have?  
 
Let’s take a look at each of them. We’ll go in draft order, starting with the #3 overall pick:
 
Year
Carlos Rodon
IP
2012
NC State
114.2
2013
NC State
132
2014
NC State (98.2 IP), MiL (24.2 IP)
123.1
2015
MLB (139 IP), AAA (10 IP)
149
2016
MLB (165 IP), AAA (3.2 IP)
168.2
2017
MLB (69 IP), MiL (16.2 IP)
75.2
2018
MLB (99.2 IP), MiL (17.2 IP)
117.1
 x
Total
880.2
 
Carlos Rodon has had a career trajectory that parallels Lincecum far more than Scherzer. Like Lincecum, Rendon carried big innings for an elite college team. Like Lincecum, Rodon pitched a little bit in the minors after he was drafted. And like Lincecum, Rodon jumped straight to the majors, and straight into a starting pitcher slot. Rodon started in 23 of his 26 major league appearances in 2015, and was 28-for-28 as a starter in 2016.
 
 
Year
Aaron Nola
IP
2012
LSU
89.2
2013
LSU
126
2014
LSU (116 IP), Mil (55 IP)
171
2015
Mil (108 IP), MLB (77.2 IP)
185.2
2016
MLB
111
2017
MLB (168 IP), MiL (10 IP)
178 IP
2018
MLB
181.2
 x
Total
865
 
Aaron Nola has followed a similar trajectory to Rodon: he pitched innings in the minors after he was drafted from LSU, and he jumped to the majors the next year. And like Rodon, Nola has been used exclusively as a starting pitcher.
 
Year
Kyle Freeland
IP
2012
Evansville
91
2013
Evansville
93
2014
Ev. (99.2 IP), MiL (38.1 IP)
138
2015
MiL
46.2
2016
MiL
161.1
2017
MLB
156
2018
MLB
170
 x
Total
856
 
Kyle Freeland, currently in the midst of one of the best seasons a Rockies starting pitcher has had outside of Ubaldo Jimenez, had a similar ‘college-and-then-low-minors’ season that Nola and Rodon had. But the Rockies let Freeland stick around in the minor leagues for two seasons, and then called him up to the majors at the start of 2017.
 
I don’t know if this represents an institutional preference…I don’t know if the Rockies prefer to let their young pitchers kick around in Albuquerque for a season before they make it to the majors.
 
My personal view is that I like what the Rockies did with Freeland more than I like what the White Sox and Phillies did with Rodon and Nola.
 
I’ve never been a professional baseball player, but I imagine that the transition from playing on a college team to joining the professional ranks must be difficult. Think about it: all of these players played on college teams for three years: they knew their teammates and coaches, they knew their town and college…they would have understood their place in a wider universe.
 
To go from that to playing A-ball in some nowhere town, and then jumping through multiple levels of competition the next year before arriving to the Major Leagues is a whirlwind of a transition.
 
Carlos Rodon has played games on the Charlotte Knights every season of his professional career, 2014 through 2018. Every year he’s made a start or two down there. And yet…he’s never really been on that team: it seems doubtful, looking at his innings pitched totals there, that he ever had the chance to get to know the place, and his teammates, and the coaches. Charlotte has existed as a kind of pit stop for him.
 
Just my opinion, but I think there’s something valuable in letting a pitcher acclimate to some of the lower levels of professional baseball, before they are dragged into the major leagues.
 
Another positive in how the Rockies have handled Freeland is their decision to move him to the bullpen late in the 2017 season. Approaching his career mark in innings pitched, the Rockies didn’t drop him off the team: instead they took the pressure off him halfway through September and rested him in the bullpen.
 
That is a big point, and I want to hit that again. We have four young pitchers…and only one team has ever bothered to use their young pitcher in the bullpen. This is a shift in how pitchers are brought up in the major leagues that no one really talks about. Starting pitcher are now expected to always start…to start from Day One. Is that a good strategy or a bad one? Is the bullpen a kind of demotion, or is the bullpen a useful tool in bringing a pitcher into the game gradually?
 
I don’t know. Just musing.
 
Year
Sean Newcomb
IP
2012
Hartford
45.1
2013
Hartford
72
2014
Hart (93 IP), MiL (14.2 IP)
107.2
2015
MiL
135.1
2016
AA
140
2017
AAA (57.2), MLB (100)
157.2
2018
MLB
149
x
Total
658
 
Like the other pitchers on our list, Newcombe has been trained exclusively as a starter.
 
But Newcomb has worked substantially less than the other pitchers on our list, logging 658 innings to the 850+ that the other pitchers have tallied. Newcombe spent an entire season in Double-A Mississippi, and then made eleven starts with the Triple-A team before joining Atlanta last year.
 
Newcomb’s innings pitched tallies have increased gradually every year: his current high-water mark was 157.2 innings last year, though the Braves run to the top of the division means that he’ll almost certainly eclipse that total this year.
 
But Newcombe will still be trailing the other three pitchers in overall innings pitched, and he is trailing them significantly in innings pitched thrown in the major leagues:
 
Player
Major League Innings
Rodon
472
Nola
438.1
Freeland
326
Newcomb
249
 
In terms of where their careers sit right now, Newcomb is trailing the pack considerably. Aaron Nola, a Cy Young candidate, has accumulated a career bWAR of 14.4. Rodon (7.9) and Freeland (9.8) have both made positive contributions to their teams. Sean Newcomb is at 2.1 bWAR: he is an all-star season behind Rodon and Freeland, and two all-star seasons behind Nola.
 
And it wouldn’t surprise me if Newcomb winds up having a career better than the pitchers drafted ahead of him.
 
*             *             *
 
A couple tangential comments that will have to substitute for a conclusion.
 
It is difficult to talk about Sean Newcomb without mentioning the ugly twitter posts that he wrote while he was in high school. Newcomb grew up in Middleboro, Massachusetts, a town that is a couple miles over from where I grew up. Though he is more than a decade younger than me, I would guess that there are some parallels in the worlds we grew up in, and the kinds of people and worldviews we encountered.
 
Small towns in Massachusetts have many qualities deserving of celebration, but they can also feel stiflingly provincial, and narrow-minded in a specific way that is difficult to speak to. There is an anxiety in those places that is palpable, and a deep pressure to hold to a kind of homogeny that doesn’t leave any kind of space for difference. I attended a public high school and I hated it, even if I can look back and recognize that I received an excellent education from dedicated teachers. I had a sense, frequently, that the place where I grew up was existing as a kind of quicksand and I left the first moment I could. I still feel echoes of that when I return; I still feel that pull of inertia.
 
When I read Newcomb’s tweets, I was reminded of a kind of dormant rage that I felt throughout high school. I don’t know Newcomb, and I am certain that our experiences in high school were different. I was not a star athlete, or any kind of athlete. I wasn’t like Newcomb, but I recognize him: I know the kind of kid he would’ve been. The tweets he posted were abhorrent, but I recognize, in that voice, an anger that is at least familiar.
 
Which isn’t intended to let Newcomb off the hook at all. it is important to note that the frequency of these events (Josh Hader didn’t grow up in eastern Massachusetts, after all) extend beyond geographic cultures, and suggest that there is something toxic in the wider realm of high school athletics, some ugliness which seems to encourage regressive attitudes towards racial and sexual difference.
 
I don’t know what I’m getting at, except to note that I'm familiar with the specific area that formed Sean Newcomb, and it has a complexity that you wouldn’t grasp if you just assumed that he hailed from a suburb of Boston. This area was hit hard by the economic crisis of 2008, and it’s been decimated by the opioid crisis. The county voted for Clinton in the last election, but barely: 50.7% of the votes in Plymouth County went to the Democrat.
 
Well, that’s one point.
 
On a less dramatic note, I have a lot of questions regarding draftees going directly into the minors after a heavy college season. This seems like another thing that every team is doing these days: they draft a kid coming off 100-120 innings of college ball (plus a few scattered playoff innings), and they drop him into Single-A ball to toss thirty or forty innings. I wonder whether this is such a great idea…I wonder if it wouldn’t be better to let the draftees take a break and rest their arms a little. No sense in rushing things along.
 
I am interested in pairing other comparable draftees, and looking into their track records. Matt Harvey and Chris Sale and Drew Pomeranz were comparably rated pitching prospect when they were drafted in 2010…how do their records compare? David Price and Madison Bumgarner were close draftees….first and tenth in 2007. What was their usage patterns in the early years of their careers?
 
I remember that Bill made a comment in one of the Historical Abstracts that good players don’t need a lot of time in the minor leagues, and that the notion that a Willie Mays or a Mike Trout would benefit from further seasoning in the minors is silly. I believe that this is true of elite hitters, but I wonder if there is a benefit to pitchers to not get rushed through the system so aggressively. With first-round picks, the trajectory seems very aggressive: a player will play in two or three different levels of minor league ball before hitting the majors in a year. Understanding that college baseball is a good parallel to minor league baseball, I still wonder if it’d be better to do what the Rockies did with Freeland: let the kid have a year in the minors, and then put him on the roster on Opening Day.
 
 
And I question, very much, the decision to make starting pitching prospects only start. Of the four pitchers listed here, only Freeland has had any experience out of the bullpen. All the rest have been used as starters exclusively.
 
On one level, that makes sense: if you have a shortstop, you want him practicing at shortstop…there’s no obvious value in having him practice in leftfield.
 
On another level, the decision to force prospects into making starts right out of the gate is another kind of ‘skip’ in the ladder of stress - mental and physical - and it is surprising to me that baseball teams have almost entirely stopped the practice of letting young pitchers get their first taste of the majors by coming in from the bullpen for a few months.
 
So that’s that. Thoughts?
 
 
David Fleming is a writer living in western Virginia. He welcomes comments, questions, and suggestions here and at dfleming1986@yahoo.com.
 
 

COMMENTS (13 Comments, most recent shown first)

trn6229
Great article. Pitchers such as Dwight Gooden and Denny McLain had great success in their twenties and were basically done after their 30th birthday. Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and others pitched a very long time. Bret Saberhagen had some really great years and some off years and injured years. Mark Langston, Bruce Hurst and others had normal career length. It does make a difference how much pitchers pitch at a young age. Warren Spahn never won a game before age 25.

Take Care,
Tom Nahigian
3:01 PM Sep 21st
 
BrentHr
Agree, a very thought provoking article. One question I'd ask is that it seems like you see a natural link between pitching lots of innings and being rushed to the majors. But what if you take a hot prospect, maybe on a noncontending team, rush him to the majors, but take care not to push pitch counts and innings. Limit him to a season or two of 100 IP, but do it in the majors. In other words, is the problem from coming up too soon or pitching too many innings. Maybe this is a bad idea in terms of rushing free agent eligibility, but that's another day's problem.

9:20 PM Sep 10th
 
villageelliott

Posted by MarisFan61:Next article: How and why the lives of Scherzer and Villageelliott diverged. :-)

Like the Freak in the title, I peaked early and shot my wad before the age of twenty seven.



2:04 PM Sep 10th
 
Gfletch
Anecdotal support: Earl Weaver. One of Earl's "commandments" was that the best place for a young pitcher was long relief. Make of it what you will, but Earl's teams were notable for the long term stability of their pitching staffs.
11:54 AM Sep 10th
 
Gfletch
Dave: excellent article for many reasons. But chief among them for me is that it is thought provoking.

We live in a highly evolved culture, but we still have to grow up, go through the stages of life - infant, toddler, elementary school, juvenile, young punk, young adult...hopefully a mature prime...veteran, village elder, old coot.

I was shy in my teens, almost embarrassed at my feelings. I envied guys who seemed to have what it takes: confidence, coolness, girlfriends, cars. A lot of them, no doubt, have continued to do well. But some of them were too 'mature' for their own good, it turned out. Had I had 'what it takes' might I not have ended up with a pregnant girlfriend, (serious) substance abuse, and responsibilities I either wouldn't or couldn't handle?

Of course the narrow judgement of what constitutes successful professional pitching has a lot to do with physical maturity, not just psychological maturity. But the pressure in professional sports to succeed right now does, I have no doubt, damage many young prospects. The better a kid can pitch, the less likely it is that he will be protected. Can a manager or a general manager ignore the impending dismissal that comes with not winning?

And look to the wider world.

Have you ever heard of Robert Stanfield?

Robert Stanfield was the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party and lost three straight federal elections to Pierre Trudeau. That doesn't happen anymore in politics. If you lose, you're out for good, right away. Win, or go home. Permanently. No building a political organization for the long run, no building consensus, no building on your popularity or recognition, no maturing in the job.

Okay. Enough. I said your article was thought provoking. Now I need to let those thoughts...mature.

Thanks, Dave.
11:52 AM Sep 10th
 
rwarn17588
It's also worth noting Warren Spahn credited the three years off because of the war to making him a better pitcher. He said the war experience made him more mature, and I think his body also filled out a bit in the interim. He didn't get going until he was 25, but he was money for the next 17 to 18 seasons.​
11:25 AM Sep 9th
 
evanecurb
BrianFleming,

Thanks for taking the time to look that up. The stats for college summer league play for individual players are hard to find if you don’t know where they played. It might be valuable to have that information in the same way that college stats are valuable. I had a teammate in high school (Billy Sample) who was drafted in a very low round so decided to play in college (James Madison U.) instead of going to the minors. During his college summers he played in the Valley League (a college summer league), which was much more more competitive and a higher level of competition than his games at JMU. After his junior year at JMU he was drafted in a higher round (10th?) and went on to have a decent career in the majors. His collegiate summer league experience was an important part of his development.
10:47 AM Sep 9th
 
rwarn17588
This is an interesting article, and I'm not saying Dave is wrong. But there are so many variables with pitchers, it's difficult to know how their future is going to play out.

A few observations:

-- Lincecum's scrawny frame -- he was called The Freak because of it -- may provide a clue on why he burned out so early and why the skepticism from baseball insiders was warranted. Dudes like him may be pretty good early but tend to have a short shelf life. Scherzer, meanwhile, looks like a hoss and pitches like it year after year.

-- When Dave talked about pitchers who were taken from college ball, given a short stint in the minors and then lots of pitching right away in the majors, the first thought I had was Jason Verlander. He basically had one season at A and AA ball at age 22 (118 innings) and has been pitching steadily in the bigs ever since. The hefty workload obviously hasn't hurt his career one iota.

-- Scherzer and Cory Kluber are part of the Sandy Koufax Club -- late bloomers who suddenly got dominant once they put everything together. Maybe the years of struggles -- and bench-warming -- let their bodies heal and mature in the interim, setting up more durable careers (so far). I could be wrong. And pairing the current-day pitchers with Koufax may do them a disservice, especially when Lefty's career came to a sudden end.
10:14 AM Sep 9th
 
MarisFan61
Next article: How and why the lives of Scherzer and Villageelliott diverged. :-)

I loved the article too.
9:26 PM Sep 8th
 
villageelliott
Fine article except for one mistake.

Max Scherzer attended the University of Missouri-Columbia, not the University of Mississippi. (I also attended/worked at Mizzou.)

He also graduated from my alma mater, Parkway Central HS (Chesterfield, MO)

5:35 PM Sep 8th
 
BrianFleming
Evan, to answer some of the question you asked, the Cape Cod Baseball League on their website says that Tim Lincecum played for the Harwich team during the summer of 2005.

The CCBL does not list Max Scherzer as an alumni.

However, I randomly happen to have the Brewster Whitecaps 2005 yearbook and there is a picture of Max Scherzer on page 43. Apparently Max committed to playing that summer for Brewster but later was invited to tryout for team USA. According to the page headline "Assuming they become members of that elite traveling teams final roster, they will not play this summer in the Cape League."

The bio for Max reads: "Max Scherzer, RHP, Missouri Sophmore, 6'2, 198, R/R This spring for Missouri, Max racked uo a glitterubg 1.52 ERA and 9-3 record. He threw 121 innings, struck out 110 and held opposing hitters to a puny .152 BA. As a freshman, he had first career start against Southwestern Missouri State, allowing just one run on four hits, striking out seven in four innings. In high school, at Parkway Central in St. Louis, MO, Max had a record of 11-8 and a 2.32 ERA as a senior. He earned all-metro pitcher recognition in his senior season and was drafter by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 43rd round."

I hope this casts some small amount of information on the development of young Max Scherzer. Just imagine if Max didn't play for team USA and instead spent the summer on the Cape and ended up starting a game against another future Cy Young winner.
12:23 PM Sep 8th
 
evanecurb
Dave,

This is a great article, one of your best. I love the fact that you went to the trouble to look up their collegiate innings totals. One thing that you left out was college summer league usage. Did these pitchers play in the Cape Cod League (or similar summer league) while in college? If so, how much were they used? Those innings count, too. One small example: I would guess that, the year in which Lincecum threw 30 innings in A ball, Scherzer probably competed in a collegiate summer league (which, depending on the league, are roughly equivalent to college ball or low A in terms of player age/quality).
10:05 AM Sep 8th
 
bearbyz
However, someone is going to have to start those games. If the kid isn't pitching what would he be doing? He be bored getting into shape. At that age these kids want to play. I don't think you can cut them off completely.

One idea might work is have your pitchers in a ball pitch 3 innings a game. It would be like relieving and like starting. The innings should be less hard on the arm.
9:45 AM Sep 8th
 
 
©2018 Be Jolly, Inc. All Rights Reserved.|Web site design and development by Americaneagle.com|Terms & Conditions|Privacy Policy