Thursday Throwing Tips – The Value of the Designated Hitter
Seems like eleven is the common number of players that travel teams carry, at least in my neck of the woods.
Good baseball people agree that overuse is the leading cause of arm injuries. But in this age of an overabundance of travel baseball games, coaches are often at a loss for protecting arms. The biggest issue lies with carrying too few of players, thus having to use many pitchers, especially with deep runs in tournaments.
Youth leagues should make it mandatory that teams carry at least 12 players so teams are not left short of pitching. This number should be even more for teenage and above aged teams. Of course, often, there is no “league” to make such travel rules, as many teams are not part of any leagues. Therefore, big travel team tournaments should start making that a mandatory part of joining their tourneys.
Along with that, good baseball coaches should use their designated hitter wisely. Whoever is to pitch the team’s next game, automatically DH’s that game, if they play at all. Additionally, when pitchers’ throw so many pitches, say over 60, they must sit or DH the following games in the same day. Along the same line, any player, who complains of a sore arm should be sat the following game or games. As you can tell, the number of available players may diminish quickly with this system, all the more reason for carrying more players on travel teams.