Types Of Pitchers

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The pitcher in baseball is the player who initiates each play by throwing (or “pitching”) the baseball toward the catcher from the pitcher’s mound to strike out the batter. The pitcher is always listed as “1” in the defensive play recording system. The pitcher is at the right end of the defensive spectrum since he is often regarded as the game’s most crucial defender. Let us know “Types Of Pitchers”

Types Of Pitchers

Types Of Pitchers

As the title is about Types Of Pitchers let dig in to it In baseball, pitchers can fall into a wide variety of categories. Regarding pitching, some pitchers are specialists, while others are more generalists. The major types of pitchers are the relief pitcher, set-up man, starting pitcher, middle reliever, Closer, and lefty specialist.

Starting Pitcher

The first pitcher in a baseball game is known as the starting pitcher. When a pitcher delivers the game’s first pitch to the other team’s first hitter, that pitcher is said to have “started” the game. A starting pitcher’s ability to stay on the mound for an extended period is contingent on several elements, including but not limited to their performance, stamina, health, strategy, and hence the team’s success.

In professional baseball, a starting pitcher often takes three, four, or five days off between starts. As a result, four, five, or even six starting pitchers are typically carried by MLB clubs. The rotation describes the order in which these pitchers take the mound. The best starting pitcher on a club is called the ace, and he often goes into the game first. A five-man rotation is the standard in today’s baseball. 

A baseball manager’s ideal scenario is for his starting pitcher to go the distance in each game. Most starting pitchers are expected to throw at least five innings every start, and if a pitcher cannot accomplish so, he will likely be moved to the bullpen. In today’s baseball, a starting pitcher is usually removed from the game after seven or eight innings and replaced by a relief pitcher, who may be a specialist like a set-up man or a closer.

Pitchers often have a limit on the number of pitches they may throw before being removed from games by their managers. Today, a starting pitcher seldom throws more than 125 pitches in a game, and the regular pitch total is closer to 100. To prevent further damage, starting pitchers often have their pitch counts capped.

Relief Pitcher 

Whether the starting pitcher is taken out of the game due to exhaustion, ineffectiveness, injury, or ejection, or for strategic reasons like pinch hitter substitutions or inclement weather delays, the game continues with the relief pitcher or reliever.

There are some informal classifications for relief pitchers, including “closers,” “set-up men,” “middle relief,” “left/right-handed specialists,” “long relievers,” and “openers.”

Relief pitchers are supposed to be more versatile and to pitch in more games with shorter periods between appearances but with fewer innings pitched each appearance than starting pitchers, who usually rest several days before appearing in a game again, owing to the volume of pitches thrown.

The bullpen is where a team’s relievers sit and warm up before entering the game.

Middle Reliever 

A middle relief pitcher is a baseball reliever who often comes into the game in the fifth, sixth or seventh innings. Middle relievers typically enter the game after the starter has been removed for a pinch hitter in leagues without a designated hitter, such as the National League before 2022 and the Japanese Central League.

As a result of their diminished stamina and effectiveness, middle relievers are typically only required to pitch one or two innings before being substituted by a set-up pitcher, left-handed specialist, or Closer. However, middle relievers may also pitch in these later innings in close games, tied games, or games that go into extra innings.

Left-Handed Specialist 

Left-handed specialists (or lefty specialists) in baseball are:

  • Relief pitchers who throw from the left side of the mound and focus on facing left-handed hitters.
  • Right-handed hitters with bad swings.
  • Switch hitters who bat poorly from the right side.

Due to baseball’s perpetual replacement policy, these pitchers often face only a single batter every game and seldom face exclusively right-handed hitters. There are typically many left-handed pitchers on MLB rosters, with at least one being a lefty specialist. John Sickels popularized the derogatory term “LOOGY” (short for “Lefty One-Out GuY”) to refer to a left-handed specialist. 

When the pitcher’s handedness matches that of the batter, the pitcher has the upper hand, and vice versa when their handednesses are opposite. It’s simpler to smash a ball over the plate, and a right-handed pitcher’s breaking balls go to the left from the pitcher’s perspective, so they cross the plate and travel laterally towards a left-handed batter from a right-handed hitter (and otherwise for a left-handed pitcher).

Set-up Man 

The set-up man, set-up pitcher, or set-up reliever is a type of relief pitcher in baseball who often comes in to throw a few innings before the Closer takes the mound. It is typical for them to throw in the eighth inning before the Closer takes the mound in the ninth.

Closers lost their status as one-inning specialists, giving rise to the rise of the set-up man. Typically, set-up pitchers enter games when their teams are down or tied. They are the team’s second-best relief pitcher, behind only the Closer. Since most teams now only use their closers for the ninth inning, the value of set-up men has increased. When pitchers excel in this spot, they can close games. Most MLB set-up men make less than the league average and are paid far less than closers.

The save is the primary metric used to rank relief pitchers. Set-up men, by definition, are not in a position to score a save even when they pitch effectively, but they can be held responsible for a blown save. The hold stat was created to assist in recognizing the value of a set-up man, but it is not recognized by MLB.


In baseball, a Closer is a relief pitcher specializing in securing the victory in the ninth inning or later with a lead. The best reliever on a team usually gets this job. Pitchers with comparable functions were called Firemen, short relievers, and closers until the 1990s. Only a select few closers have ever been named Cy Young Award winners.

A club’s Closer is their greatest reliever, and his job is to get the last outs when his team has a slim lead (three runs or less). As a rule, a closer won’t come in if his team is behind or tied. Since 1969, the save has been an official statistic used by MLB to gauge a closer’s success. Closers have evolved into one-inning specialists, usually brought in at the start of the ninth inning in save situations. Many believe the ninth inning is crucial because of the pressure of needing three outs to win the game.

Closers typically earn salaries comparable to starting pitchers, making them the best-paid relievers on their respective clubs. When a club does not have a single pitcher solely responsible for closing games, they are said to have a closer by committee.

General Pitchers’ Techniques 

A good pitcher would often switch up his pitching style to keep the hitter from getting a good swing on the ball. The pitcher’s most fundamental offering is the fastball, thrown as swiftly and forcefully as possible.

Pitchers employ a wide variety of different throwing methods. Most pitchers use a three-quarters delivery, in which the arm jerks down and out of the way as the ball is released. Some pitchers employ a delivery known as the sidearm, in which the arm makes a lateral arc to the body. In the submarine method, the pitcher’s torso leans extremely far downward during the delivery, resulting in a pronounced sidearm action in which the knuckles approach the mound.

A game of baseball cannot be played successfully without good pitching. As part of the game’s official baseball statistics, one pitcher will be given credit for the victory, while the other will blame. However, this may not always be the starting pitcher for each club, as a reliever may end up with the victory and the starter with the no-decision.

Equipment For All Types Of Pitchers

Pitchers and outfielders, except for the catcher, typically use minimal equipment. The baseball cap, baseball glove, and baseball cleats are the most common pieces of equipment. Powdered rosin is another option for pitchers to have on hand when on the mound. By touching the bag, the pitcher spreads a thin layer of the rosin on his fingertips, improving his grip on the ball.

These days, it’s common practice for pitchers to wear helmets in case the batter hits a line drive right back at them.


Now we have learnt “Types Of Pitchers”, Without a doubt, a winning club needs quality pitchers. In every situation, a pitcher might be one of several distinct sorts. Pitching is crucial at every level of baseball, with the ability to win or lose games.

Throwing strikes and getting the batter out are the two main goals of every pitcher, from the loogy to the Closer. A team’s success depends on the pitcher’s ability to achieve those two things.


How many Types Of Pitchers does a team have?

Major League Baseball clubs can carry 13 players through September and 14 from October forward until the end of the season.

How often are pitchers allowed to be changed?

Major League Baseball has no embargo on the number of pitchers a team may utilize in a single game. When a new pitcher is introduced into the game, he must face three hitters before the inning ends.

How many pitchers does a baseball club use in its starting rotation?

When each team can only carry 13 or 14 pitchers, the starting rotation often consists of four or six different players.

Types Of Pitchers
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