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Pitching relief

The Iowa High School Athletic Association has put into effect a new pitching regulation that requires players to have rest days after a certain amount of pitches thrown. West Side Story looks into how these new regulations would affect the state runner-ups in their approaching season.

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Nathan Wilkinson '19 throws a pitch.

Nathan Wilkinson '19 throws a pitch.

Kara Wagenknecht

Kara Wagenknecht

Nathan Wilkinson '19 throws a pitch.

Ellie Gretter, Sports Editor

As the Trojans begin competition, they face a new pitching regulation. This regulation was implemented to minimize overuse related injuries by limiting the amount of pitches a pitcher can throw during a game based on their grade.

“This is a model [based] on workload pitches. People will be on a pitch-count. It is a little bit different for the varsity guys though, basically you have a set amount of pitches you can throw a day,” said head baseball coach Charlie Stumpff. “110 [pitches a day], is the maximum for sophomores on up. If you throw that, then you have to have four days rest. If you throw 66 to 90 pitches, you need three days rest and it goes down. [It was implemented] to make sure everyone is getting enough rest and not getting too big of a workload.”

However, throughout all of Stumpff’s years, he has not had too many run-ins with overuse related injuries.

“We have had a couple “tommy-johns” back in the early 2000s. I think the jury is still out on what technically causes these injuries: this is their best guess. I think that sometimes things happen, it’s kind of like how ACL tears tend to be in women. If I had a definitive answer I would go sell it and make a lot of money, but there are no definitive answers. They think it’s wear and tear. It could also be the mechanics of how you throw, ” said Stumpff.

Tony Comellas ‘18 agrees that these regulations would not impact overuse injuries due to the fact that there are not many of these at West.

“Coaches usually are smart about it and most players just say when they are hurting. They do not push themselves to the limit and most of the time no one is going to stretch it out,” Comellas said.

West High baseball has used similar, unofficial, regulations for years now but the new required restriction is still more strict.

“We have thrown guys, for example, Monday and Friday to try and maximize the amount of starts for whoever might be our best pitcher. We knew that on Monday and Friday we would try to keep them somewhat low, in the 80s and 90. For example, if my best guy is pitching a good game and it is going into the seventh inning and he is at 85 pitches he can’t [finish the inning] with less than 90.” said Stumpff.

Stumpf also believes that there is enough depth within the team that the regulations will not impact the performance of the pitchers.

“It really does not affect us all too much [because] we have worked on pitch counts our whole career. So, if you have enough pitchers and work with pitch counts, it just means we need to pay attention closer then we have in the past,” Stumpff said.

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Pitching relief