Award Date

May 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences

First Committee Member

John Mercer

Second Committee Member

James Navalta

Third Committee Member

Brian K. Schilling

Fourth Committee Member

Jennifer Pharr

Number of Pages



The purpose of this study was to describe the physiological demands of highly skilled baseball pitchers during pitching, along with pitch metrics. Three junior college and three professional (n = 6) baseball pitchers participated in this study. Participants completed a graded exercise test (GXT) to volitional exhaustion to determine maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) and estimated body fat percentage, height, and body mass were measured on day one of testing. Next, participants faced live batters on a baseball field while wearing a portable metabolic analyzer (Cosmed K5) to measure respiratory gases including oxygen consumption (VO2) and carbon dioxide produced (VCO2) during pitching. During pitching, heart rate (HR) and pitch metrics, including pitch location, were recorded for every pitch using a pitch flight analyzer (TrackMan B1). Descriptive statistics for VO2, percent VO2 max (%VO2 max), HR, percent HR max, and respiratory exchange ratio (RER) were reported across innings as well as across warmup, pitching, and rest intervals. A correlation analysis between physiological variables and performance variables was also conducted to determine if any relationship existed. During pitching intervals, the average %VO2 max was 50.4 ± 6.6% (mean ± SD), average heart rate (HR) was 138.7 ±16.6 bpm, and the average RER was 0.79 ± 0.07. The %VO2 max rose from 50.5 ± 6.17% in the first inning to 53.8 ± 11.28% in the second inning and then dropped to 48.6 ± 9.40% in the third inning. In order of inning pitched the RER values were 0.83 ± 0.06, 0.79 ± 0.05, and 0.75 ± 0.07. A statistically significant inverse relationship was observed between the average %VO2 max during pitching intervals and strike percent for the entire trial (r = -.864, p = .027). This study suggests that pitchers who can perform at a lower percentage of their VO2 max tend to have a higher strike percentage.


Baseball; Intensity; Oxygen Consumption; Physiology; Pitching


Kinesiology | Medical Physiology | Physiology

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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