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High School Sports Blog

The latest news and analysis on high-school sports around the Seattle area

April 30, 2008 at 1:47 PM

“Young & Done” follow-up

Yesterday I had a pair of stories on arm injuries to young pitchers — how they happen and how they change kids’ lives (if you haven’t read them, here’s the main story and the sidebar on WIAA rules).

The evidence strongly points to most injuries being the result of overuse, particularly kids throwing too many pitches. We at the Times have heard of high-schoolers throwing as many as 158 pitches in a game this season. That’s more than any major-leaguer threw last season.

I want to make this clear: no state has a pitch-count rule, so this is not only a Washington issue. The president of the Washington Baseball Coaches Association said he’s worried about administering a pitch-count limit, who would track it and what arguments it could spur on the field.

Undoubtedly, pitch counts are only one dimension of a more complicated problem. But they are the most quantitative way to measure how far a pitcher has gone, and to judge if he has hit fatigue (remember, throwing past fatigue increases the risk of surgery 36 times).

So would you welcome a pitch-count rule, and what else can be done to help pitchers avoid going under the knife?

Morning stars

1. Spencer Graham, Kentridge, baseball. In a 21-16 game — 21-16! — he had three home runs and seven RBI, including a grand slam in the fifth.

2. Justin Veltung, Puyallup, boys soccer. Had three assists in a 3-0 win that clinched the SPSL South for the Vikings.

3. Cody Porter, Lake Stevens, baseball. Went 3-for-4 with a home run for Lake Stevens, which scored two runs in the seventh for an 8-7 win.

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