Pitch Counts

The dreaded pitch count. A player gets up around 100 pitches and everyone gets nervous; the bullpen gets hot in a hurry. I’ve done it as a coach. Its hard to escape, its part of the current baseball culture. The problem is that baseballs been around for over 120 years. Pitch counts have only been around for 20 or so and the magic number of 100 has only been used or the past 13 or so. Nolan Ryan, the man who threw a baseball for 27 years in the Majors, routinely threw in 150 plus pitches in a game. He is said to have once thrown 259 in one game. But he’s not the only one. For 90 years it was the norm for pitchers to throw complete games. It was also the norm for pitchers to throw every 4 days. What wasn’t the norm was the disabled list.

So I ask you, why do we limit pitch counts to an arbitrary number? Why do we spend more time stopping pitchers from throwing then letting pitchers throw?

Here’s an article from a couple years ago about how the Rangers are doing away with pitch counts. Seems to be working so far.

Conditioning Over Pitching