How to throw effective bullpen sessions
Throwing bullpen sessions during the preseason and during the season are effective for working on command and pitch grips.
We recommend throwing 50%+ fastballs, 20-30% secondary pitches (2 seams for younger pitchers, breaking balls for older pitchers) and 20% changeups.
Bullpen Sessions for Young Pitchers
Bullpen Pitch Sequences
4 FB, 4 Two-Seam, 4 Changeups, 4 FB
For a Right Handed Pitcher
- 4 seam – up and in and down and away.
- 2 seam – inside to righties – always throw low
- Changeup at the catcher’s outer foot (not in the dirt)
- 2 seam changeup that fades away from lefties
- Circle change – inside to righties – drifts further in
- Cutter – inside to lefty, moves further in
- Sinker – inside to righties
Change up your bullpen progressions to keep it challenging and interesting for your pitchers.
- Two in a row. Throw each pitch to each location twice in a row. If they miss the first time, emphasize hitting the spot the next pitch.
- Three in a row – throw each pitch for a strike three times in a row. Strike out the batter on three pitches.
- Don’t miss twice – emphasis avoiding throwing two balls in a row to stay ahead in the count. If you never throw two balls in a row, you won’t walk anyone.
- Around the world – challenge the pitcher to throw each pitch to each location in a row without missing spots.
- Pitch an inning. Call balls and strikes and work through an inning. If the pitcher is throwing well and his arm is strong, continue on to the next inning.
Bullpen Session Tips
- Master the inside pitch – balls look faster on the inside than the outside
- Utilize your bullpen sessions as a means for getting your catchers reps as well. Have two catchers alternate every 10-15 pitches. Have them work on framing for the first five pitches and stealing footwork for the second five pitches.