Descriptive Analysis of Pitch Volume in Southeastern Conference Baseball Pitchers


BACKGROUND: Representative data on typical pitch volume for collegiate pitchers functioning in their specific roles is sparse and is needed for training specificity.

OBJECTIVE: To report pitch volumes in Division I collegiate pitchers. The authors hypothesize that pitcher role will result in different pitch volumes.

METHODS: Pitchers from twelve Division I collegiate baseball teams pitch volume during the 2009 baseball season was retrospectively reviewed through each team's website. The number of pitches and innings pitched for each pitcher were recorded. Pitchers were categorized based on their role as "Starter-only" (n=15), "Reliever-only" (n=76), or "Combined Starter/Reliever" (n=94) and compared using ANOVA.

RESULTS: "Starter-only" pitchers threw the most pitches (97±10) and pitched the most innings (6.0±1.0) per appearance (p=<.001). "Combined Starter/Reliever" functioning as a starter threw significantly more pitches (68±19) and pitched more innings (4.0±1.3) per appearance compared to "Combined Starter/Reliever" functioning as a reliever and "Reliever-only" pitchers (p=

DISCUSSION: Pitcher's specific roles and representative volumes should be used to design training and rehabilitation programs. Comparison of this data to reported adolescent pitch volumes reveal that adolescent pitch volume per appearance approaches collegiate levels.

CONCLUSIONS: Collegiate pitcher roles dictate their throwing volume. Starter-only pitchers (8%) throw the greatest cumulative number of pitches and should be trained differently than the majority of college pitchers (92%) who function primarily as a reliever or in combination starter/reliever roles that on average only requires approximately 40 pitches per appearance.

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in North American Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, v. 5, no. 4, p. 194-200.