By Luga Podesta, M.D.
Well it’s playoff time and the new high school pitch count rules have been in affect. As expected, coaches have figured out how to manipulate the state rules to their benefits.
What we have been observing is that teams are having their ace pitch twice in the same week. The number one starter is used in relief on Monday and pitches only the exact number of pitches that would permit him to come back as the Friday starter. For example, if he pitches 66-95 pitches on Monday, he would be required to rest three nights allowing him to pitch again on Friday. This is all within the NYSPHSAA guidelines, but is it safe or in the pitchers best interest? Is that player getting adequate rest between outings? I doubt it and time will tell, especially since it is playoff time.
The number of pitches a varsity pitcher can now throw in a particular game has been expanded to 125 pitches requiring 4 nights rest. I would anticipate teams throwing aces on Monday’s keeping pitch counts between 72-102 pitches requiring 3 nights rest therefore allowing them to pitch again on Friday.
I would like to reinforce in all our minds, these rules have been implemented to prevent injuries and NOT to figure out another way to win a game!