There is always a lot of talk about playing year round baseball. With summer here, I found this article by Danny Knobler on Bleacher Report about Josh Beckett and his summers. I believe limiting pitching and throwing is the way to go during summer.Texas. He was so good at his Houston-area high school that the Florida Marlins made him the second overall pick in the 1999 draft.
He played high school baseball. He played fall ball. He played summer ball.
But during those three months of the summer, Josh Beckett almost never pitched. His father wouldn’t allow it. His coach wouldn’t allow it. For those three months a year, Beckett played the outfield instead.
“I definitely don’t think I was abused,” Beckett said one day in late May. “My dad would never have let that happen. [Summer league coach] Clay Hill wouldn’t let it happen. My high school coach, too.”
A few days after we spoke, Beckett would make the 321st start of his 14-year big-league career, and it would be a memorable one. He threw the first no-hitter in the major leagues this year, against the Philadelphia Phillies.
One other thing about Beckett: He’s never had Tommy John surgery.
He’s 34 years old. He’s closing in on 2,000 major league innings. He’s been on the disabled list with blisters and with mild strains, and he needed surgery last year for thoracic outlet syndrome. But at a time when it seems every pitcher has had Tommy John surgery once, more and more have had it twice and others are on the way to get an MRI to see if they need it, Beckett has so far avoided it.
There’s no real way to know if not pitching for those three summer months in high school has helped in keeping his elbow relatively healthy for the 15 years since then. Not every pitcher whose arm is abused gets hurt, and not every pitcher who was protected stays healthy.
I encourage Lefty to take time off during the summer. I make sure he has some time away from baseball especially throwing/pitching. That’s not to say Lefty shuts down completely. So here is Lefty’s Summer Time Routine, some baseball and a lot of fun!
1. Hitting • 1 – 2 times per week
2. Boogie Board at the Beach • As often as possible
3. Fly Ball Fielding Practice • 1 – 2 times per week
4. Sleep In • 7 days a week
5. Throw • 0 times per week (he may throw a few times at camp or against a wall, but no formal pitching or throwing practice)
6. Watch the College & Little League World Series • Every change he gets
7. Rice Bucket Strength Training • Everyday
8. Practice Clarinet • Everyday
9. Rockies/Padres/Angels & Dodgers games • Every change he (okay we) get
10. Baseball Camp • 1 week of camp
11. Family Bike Rides
- My favorite!