Farm Pitching Machine: Tips and Trick
ONLY ADULTS SHOULD OPERATE THE PITCHING MACHINES. Push the pitching arm under the hand lever’s black rubber tab. Put a ball on the pitching arm (ball rests on height adjustment screw). Load the spring by stepping down on blue foot lever and then gently pull the hand lever back to release the ball. You probably want to set the ball so it throws a 4-seam fastball, but on some machines a 2-seam pitch may be better. You should experiment with your machine. Consistency is the key, and newer cleaner balls will be more consistent than older beat-up balls.
For Farm, recommended distance is approximately 35-39' from home plate (in front of the mound).
For Farm, the recommended speed is 28-29 mph. This is done by setting the spring pin on the foot lever mechanism of the pitching machine to 5. Do not change this setting.
The recommended distance and speed should give you about the right combination of reaction time for the batter and low travel arc of the ball.
There are three areas that control height. The hand lever’s black rubber tab (should be set to 4), the tab on the pitching arm (should be set to 3) and the adjustment screw where the ball rests (on the pitching arm). Use this adjustment screw to make pitching height adjustments. Do not change any of the other settings.
Turning the screw clockwise will result in a lower pitch. Counter clockwise will result in a higher pitch.
The pitching machines have been tested and the above-recommended settings should be used throughout the season. It is important that the pitch speed, height, location and arc be consistent from game to game so please avoid changing the settings. You can make adjustments by turning the height adjustment screw and/or moving the rear part of the base left or right.
By making slight left/right adjustments to the rear part of the base of the pitching machine i.e. nudge rear part of base left to move ball to the right, nudge rear part of base right to move ball to the left.
Should I be performing any maintenance or repairs to the pitching machine during the season?
Probably. Verify the settings are properly set. You may want to check the screws, nuts and bolts and verify they are properly fastened. You may also want to WD40 any moveable parts – i.e. ensure they are properly lubricated. The rubber strips on the pitching arm may become unglued during the course of the season. If this happens, apply rubber cement glue. Report any problems immediately to the Farm Division Coordinator.