5-Day Routine For Starting Pitchers

  • Updated
Youth pitching program
ATTENTION PITCHERS: One of the big misconceptions in baseball is that playing the game keeps you in shape to pitch. I wish that was true. It's not. To get to the next level, preparation matters. Big league pitchers spend far more time preparing to pitch than actually pitching.

If you believe adding velocity could be critical to your success, check out my proven programs for pitchers of all ages.

Starting pitchers in the big leagues generally get at least four days of rest in between starts during the regular season.

The following chart offers guidance and tips on the types of activities pitchers can do between starts to recover fully and prepare for their next outing.

his information is based on a 5 day routine, where a pitcher pitches every fifth day with four days rest in between. If a pitcher is going to pitch on only three days rest, you can delete the third day throwing program.

Pitching on four days rest

Days of rest Pitcher's routine
Game day Pitch 7-9 innings or throw 90-115 pitches on a pitch count
Day after Full stretching and medi-ball program. Jog 10 polls; 10 sets of 60 yard sprints, run 2, walk 1; 25 pick ups. Light weight maintenance work. Toss easy on side lines.
2 days after Full stretching and medi-ball program. Jog 10 poles; 10 sets of 60 yard sprints. Light weight maintenance work. Play catch and drill work.
3 days after Jog - Stretch - Warm Up. Bullpen work at 3/4 speed or 8-10 minutes of BP. Run sprints.
4 days after Day previous to next start. Jog - stretch - shag B.P for pitcher. Short bullpen work for 5-6 minutes, 1/2 speed, at 52-55 feet. No running or sprint work.

Why rest days are important

According to Pitch Smart guidelines, it is important for leagues/teams to set workload limits for their pitchers to limit the likelihood of pitching with fatigue.

Research has shown that pitch counts are the most accurate and effective means of doing so.Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the parent and the athlete to ensure that the player follows the guidelines.

The following chart outlines pitch count limits and required rest recommendations

Pitch count days rest chart
Source: Pitch Smart

How useful are pitch counts and days of rest?

J.C. Bradbury, from Kennesaw State University, researched "Resting the Pitcher: How Useful Are Pitch Counts and Days of Rest?" and concluded: There is a positive relationship between pitch counts and future performance. ▫ Small, but real, effect. • The cumulative effect > the immediate effect. ▫ 38 pitches in one game ERA by 0.25. ▫ 10-pitch average over 10 games  ERA by 0.25. • Days of rest have little impact on performance ▫ Heavily influenced by small variation.

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Youth pitching program
One of the big misconceptions in baseball is that playing the game keeps you in shape to pitch. I wish that was true. It's not. To get to the next level, preparation matters. Big league pitchers spend far more time preparing to pitch than actually pitching.

If you believe adding velocity could be critical to your success, check out my proven programs for pitchers of all ages.

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