The Baseball Observer Feb 2015 vol 1 - Page 14

What is the right formula? Limits on innings pitched had good intent but it has had little to no influence on a pitcher's use, overuse, or recovery. Some form of pitch count restrictions have to be in the equation too. It’s simple to say don’t over use your pitchers, let them get enough rest and teach them proper pitching mechanics but there has to be some set guidelines that actually allow for that to happen. Coaches both in school and summer have to be sensitive to preserving the arm health of young pitchers and do it. Wins are great but not at the cost of a young man’s arm. This isn’t just on the shoulders of High School baseball but we also don’t want to keep our “Heads in the Sand” as pitchers injuries continue to increase. High school baseball is just another piece of the puzzle. This means High School coaches and summer programs have to communicate. We spoke with the NFHS. The NFHS is conducting a symposium this summer discussing the arm issue and from this possible pitch count suggestions to the states. The symposium will consist of their own staff, Dr. James Andrews with the American Sports Medicine Institute, USA Baseball and reps from MLB to name a few. There will probably never be a mandated rule for High School to have pitch counts – only suggested guidelines. The appropriate action for both High School and summer programs is to adopt the MLB Pitch Smart Guidelines.