What Does “SP” Mean In Baseball?

Starting Pitching

What Does “SP” Mean In Baseball?

The “SP” in baseball stands for starting pitcher. The starting pitcher is the player who throws the game’s first pitch for their team. They are important because they set the tone for the entire game. They are responsible for getting the game started on the right foot and giving their team a chance to win.

There are typically five starting pitchers on a Major League Baseball team’s roster. These pitchers will each start every fifth game, meaning they will pitch once every five days.

Pitchers who are not starters are known as relievers. Relievers come into the game when the starting pitcher is no longer able to continue pitching or if the game is close and the manager wants to make a change to try and get a different result.

What Are The Qualities Of A Good Starting Pitcher?

As a starting pitcher, you are responsible for setting the tone on the mound and giving your team a chance to win every time you take the ball. That means pitching deep into games, missing bats, and keeping opposing hitters off-balance. Here are some of the qualities that make up a good starting pitcher:

Durability: A good starter needs to be able to handle a heavy workload, pitching deep into games regularly.

Stamina: Along with durability, stamina is critical for starters. They need to maintain their velocity and stuff late into games.

Stuff: A starter’s stuff refers to the quality of their pitches. A good starter will have a repertoire of pitches that they can use to get hitters out.

Location: Being able to locate your pitches is crucial for any pitcher, but especially starters. They need to be able to hit their spots and keep hitters guessing.

Mental Toughness: Starting pitchers must handle the pressure of pitching in big games and situations. They can’t let the moment get too big for them.

Importance Of Mental Toughness For Starting Pitchers

As we said above, mental toughness is one of the most important traits for any successful MLB pitcher. The ability to bounce back from disappointment, handle pressure and remain calm in the face of adversity is crucial for anyone who wants to make it to the top of their profession.

There are several reasons why mental toughness is so important for pitchers:

Things Always Don’t Go According To Plan: A pitcher who can’t handle these setbacks and continues to dwell on them will likely find themselves out of the game quickly.

Highly Pressure-Filled Job: Not only are pitchers expected to perform at a high level regularly, but they also have to deal with the constant scrutiny of the media and fans. A pitcher who can’t handle this pressure is likely to crack under pressure and crumble in big situations.

Need To Keep Their Cool In The Face of Adversity: This is often easier said than done, but it’s crucial nonetheless. There will always be times when a pitcher faces a formidable opponent or deals with difficult circumstances on the field, and they must maintain their composure in these situations.

Mental Toughness Leads To Success: Maintaining one’s composure in the face of difficulty is crucial for anyone who wants to make it to the top of their profession. Those who can’t handle setbacks, pressure, or adversity will likely find themselves out of the game very quickly.

Confidence Is What Separates The Good And The Great Pitchers

Confidence is one of the most important things for a Major League Baseball pitcher. When a pitcher loses confidence, their whole game can fall apart. A lack of confidence can lead to poor pitching performances, loss of control, and even getting released from a team.

When a pitcher has confidence, they can trust their stuff and execute their pitches. They aren’t second-guessing themselves on the mound and have faith in their abilities, which allows them to focus on making quality pitches and getting outs.

How To Regain Confidence

Confidence is often the difference between a good pitcher and a great one. The best pitchers in the world have an unshakeable belief in themselves and their abilities, which allows them to go out on the mound and perform at their best, no matter the situation.

If you’re a pitcher who is struggling with confidence, there are a few things you can do to get back on track:

1. Take a step back and assess your skills. Are you as bad as you feel you are?

2. Work on your mindset and focus on the positive.

3. Have a plan for when things go wrong during a game.

4. Talk to your coach or teammates about what you’re going through.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a mental health professional if you’re struggling to regain confidence.

Who Are Some Of The Best Starting Pitchers In Baseball History

Some of the best starting pitchers in baseball history include names like Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, and Pedro Martinez. Each of these pitchers was dominant in their era and significantly left their mark on the game.

Sandy Koufax: Koufax’s career highlights include pitching four no-hitters (one of which was a perfect game) and being named National League MVP in 1963. He played for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1955 to 1966 and was a three-time Cy Young Award winner.

Nolan Ryan: He played for the New York Mets, California Angels, Houston Astros, and Texas Rangers throughout his 27-year career. Ryan holds the record for the most no-hitters pitched in a career (seven) and is also the all-time leader in strikeouts.

Roger Clemens: He played for the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, and Houston Astros during his 24-year career. Clemens also has won a record seven Cy Young Awards.

Pedro Martinez: Martinez was a three-time Cy Young Award winner and is widely considered one of his generation’s most dominant pitchers. He played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, and Philadelphia Phillies during his 17-year career.


To summarize, the “SP” in baseball stands for starting pitcher. The starter is an important position in baseball, and the pitcher’s performance can greatly affect the outcome of the game. The importance of the starting pitcher cannot be overemphasized, and teams that have a good one are more likely to be successful.