Coaches sound off on pitch counts


“It motivates us to develop more pitchers, but that could, also, diminish the quality. As the weather becomes our biggest opponent and teams get backed up in games, you may see a drastic increase in scores.”

— John Hardgrove, Mahtomedi


“I don’t subscribe to the theory that the new rules are absolutely needed. I think for the most part, coaches have a pretty good grasp as to what type of workloads their pitchers can manage. If a team has only 12 to 15 players, which is common at some smaller schools, that means half the roster should be able to take the mound. Logic would suggest that’s not going to be the case.”

— Jim Lien, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley


“The rule encourages pitchers to be more efficient. Throw strikes, use your defense. That’s the way the game should be played. I read recently that the most important offensive stat in the days ahead will be number of pitches seen per at-bat. I can see that being more of an emphasis as time goes on.”

— Bucky Lindow, Cannon Falls


“I am a proponent of the rule. Too many arm injuries start in high school or lower levels. I believe this rule is needed, and is a good one.”

— Jerry Coe, Coon Rapids


“I did have a coach tell me that his team had each player take at least two pitches against their opponent because he was getting to the pitch count limit. That pitcher then had to leave the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, and his team was able to score a couple of insurance runs off the relief pitcher. I think you’ll see this strategy come more into play.”

— Bob Kuehl, Mound Westonka


“It has slowed down the game. I have noticed several pitching changes with two outs in an inning where a pitcher might have finished the inning with only a few more pitches and the pitching change made between innings. I have also noticed batters taking pitches and have instructed batters to take more pitches earlier in games.”

— Blaine Walstrom, Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity


“A pitching rule is good because some coaches are too focused on winning and not concerned about protecting their player’s arm. My hope is the high school league remains open-minded and willing to make modifications when necessary.”

— Paul Weinberg, Cretin-Derham Hall