MARTINSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Just south of Indianapolis, the Indiana Twins youth travel baseball program is dealing with the same dilemma as the big league clubs.
“I never went that long without playing a baseball game,” Twins 17-year-old shortstop Brayden Hazelwood said.
The long layoff, combined with a back-loaded schedule lodged right into the brunt of the summer heat, is a major concern for every youth baseball and softball coach across central Indiana.
And how to handle your star pitcher’s workload?
That is a question Twins pitching coordinator Scott Haase is willing to share his expertise on.
The goal is easing your son or daughter’s arm back into the game they love as opposed to turning this unique season into a nightmare.
“Outside of the games, they have to be working out at home,” Scott Haase. “That doesn’t mean big lifts. It is just some shoulder (exercises) and some tubing that looks like physical therapy, just to build strength.”
Inside the Indiana Twins facility on the edge of Martinsville, every pitch of the season is tracked. Pitch counts are capped per inning, per game, per week and ultimately for the entire season.
As to where to begin with your staff — it all depends on each player’s activity level during the extended off-season, according to Haase.
“If they (youth pitcher) have only practiced for a couple of weeks and they have to pitch, then (pitch) two to three innings,” Haase said. “The coaches have to be the adults, they have to make the right decisions for their player’s health.”
“Whether they are 6 years old, 9 years old, or 15 years old, hopefully they are wanting to play baseball for a really long time.”
Everyone still wants to win, but at this level staying smart beats the final score every day of the week.