Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Saibi High School's Tomohiro Anraku ices his right shoulder while speaking to reporters after pitching a shutout in a high school baseball qualifying game in Saijo, southwestern Japan, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Anraku, who many consider the future of Japanese baseball, took the mound and pitched a complete-game shutout an 8-0 win in the qualifying tournament for the summer tourney. The 17-year-old Anraku, who experienced pain in his right elbow last year, is no stranger to the type of marathon pitching performances that are legendary in Japanese high school baseball. Japan's High School Baseball Federation is considering introducing measures such as a tiebreaker and pitch counts limits in order to protect the health of the country's future stars. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, CREDIT MANDATORYJAPAN OUT, CREDIT MANDATORY
Japan high school baseball looks to save pitchers’ arms
First Published Jul 16 2014 10:49 am • Last Updated Jul 17 2014 04:43 pm

Tokyo • The marathon pitching exploits of Japan’s high school baseball players may soon be a thing of the past.

Japan’s High School Baseball Federation is considering introducing measures such as a tiebreaker and pitch counts limits in order to protect the health of the country’s future stars.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

New York Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who was recently placed on the 15-day disabled list with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, was a standout in Japanese high school baseball. He led his high school team to a championship in 2005.

New York Mets pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, who had elbow surgery in 2011, gained notoriety for throwing 250 pitches in 17 innings at the summer high school tournament in 1988 after a 148-pitch complete-game shutout the previous day.

Tomohiro Anraku, who many consider the future of Japanese baseball, took the mound on Wednesday and pitched a complete-game shutout an 8-0 win in a qualifying tournament for the summer tournament.

The 17-year-old Anraku, who experienced pain in his right elbow last year, is no stranger to the type of marathon pitching performances that are legendary in Japanese high school baseball.

In 2013, Anraku threw 183 pitches in one game at the Koshien high school baseball tournament after a 137-pitch outing the previous day.

"High School coaches in Japan will argue if the core mechanics are good then a pitcher won’t hurt his arm throwing every day," said author Robert Whiting, who has written several books on Japanese baseball.

Whiting points out that Tanaka’s former pitching coach with the Rakuten Eagles thinks the American obsession with pitch counts is a bad thing. Starting pitchers in Major League Baseball generally are limited to no more than 100 pitches per outing.

One idea the high school baseball officials are pondering is a system similar to that used at the baseball tournament at the Beijing Olympics in which teams started with runners on first base and second base from the 11th inning on.


story continues below
story continues below

The high school federation sent out a questionnaire to its 4,000 member schools in mid-July seeking feedback on the proposals.

Many in Japan consider 250-pitch outings to be character building. Despite his injuries, Matsuzaka has said he feels more comfortable the more he throws.

Even in professional baseball in Japan, pitchers throw on the sidelines in between innings to stay warm.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.