View Full Version : Possibly a really stupid question

10-04-2011, 07:53 PM
I've been following the Sox and baseball since the early '80's, but I've never been a pitcher. With all the recent trends of following pitch counts, what are the effects on a pitcher's arm for pickoff attempts at first base? For example, AJ Burnett just threw 2 pickoff attempts to first. In some at bats when a Ricky Henderson type is on first, you will see 5 or 6 pickoff attempts. The distance from the mound to first base is approximately equal to the distance to home plate. Presumably, if the pitcher thinks he can get the runner, he is going to throw it as hard as he can to try to get him. I realize that the motion of the windup and pitch is pretty violent and different than a throw to first, but I have to think that it still puts some wear on the arm for that game. Do 10 pickoff attempts in a game have a similar effect as a couple pitches? Do pitchers have a mechanism to throw to first that doesn't put any strain on the arm?

Just trying to enhance my knowledge of the game!

10-04-2011, 09:23 PM
I doubt any pitchers can hit the same speed as when they pitch to a batter. Pickoffs don't really allow for one to get a good buildup of strength. Mostly deception. But I don't know. Just my opinion, I've never pitched either.

10-04-2011, 09:55 PM
This is actually an interesting question, I think. I never thought about it as a high school pitcher. Thinking about it now of the top of my head, it seems like a pickoff has more of an effect similar to and infielder throwing to first after a ground ball. Without the violent motion involved, it doesn't seem to me that the physical strain would be equal to that of a regular pitch. I could be wrong, though.

10-04-2011, 10:08 PM
I'd imagine it's not a rough on the arm since there is less torquing of the arm since you're not throwing a fastball or a breaking pitcher where you're twisting your arm.

10-04-2011, 11:11 PM
I would assume that a pickoff does not equal a pitch. I just wonder about games where the pitcher does a lot of pickoff attempts. Is there any effect at all?