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Continued: Calling all pitchers: Sloppy spring taxes high school baseball staffs

  • Article by: JASON GONZALEZ , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 21, 2013 - 12:20 AM

Schedules will return to normal for the postseason and should allow teams to rely on as few as two starting pitchers, similar to previous seasons. While depth won’t offer as much of an edge in tournaments, the effects of not having enough pitching throughout an accelerated regular season of seven-inning games could carry into the postseason.

Fatigue, dead arms and overuse are problems coaches closely monitor. In the second week of May, Major League Baseball draft prospect Max Knutson of Mounds View had started two games totaling 13⅔ innings. That was the most he could recall pitching in one week.

“I’m definitely tired. But I’ll do my conditioning stuff and be ready next week,” he said after Mounds View’s eighth game that week.

Mounds View’s No. 2 pitcher, Sam Hentges, said the team expects Knutson to throw a complete game each time out. He described the possibility of Knutson throwing 15 innings in a week as “unbelievable.”

“It definitely takes a toll on you, but we’re getting through it,” Hentges said.

Forest Lake’s regular pitchers — Jack Schmidt, Phil Sauer, Noah Brown, Dan Wassman and Kyle Parker — and catcher Beau Fandel are thankful for the Rangers’ extra depth. Fandel said he knew this would be a season determined by who can send the most quality arms to the mound.

Gravelle’s secret to managing so many arms and so many games, he said, revolves around pitch count, and sometimes just winging it.

“We have not planned out our pitching for the entire week, like a normal season,” he said. “Rather we have gone game by game, not worrying about tomorrow.”

 

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