Baseball Bullpen Coach

Baseball Bullpen Coach

The bullpen in baseball is where all pitchers (other than the game’s starter) reside during a baseball game. Bullpen coaches are important members of any baseball team’s coaching staff, working directly with pitchers during the last critical innings of the game. Read on to learn more about the duties and roles of bullpen coaches.

Bullpen Coach Definition

Similarly to the pitching coach, bullpen coaches are responsible for the pitchers of a baseball team. Whereas pitching coaches work closely with starting and relieving pitchers, bullpen coaches spend all their time focused on the relief squad.

Just like a pitching coach, bullpen coaches review lots of film with pitchers, work to adjust pitching mechanics and form, and oversee pitch calls throughout the game. Bullpen coaches must have strong relationships with their players, and be focused on encouraging them to improve their mental games so they are prepared not to crack under late-game pressure.

Bullpen Coach Roles and Responsibilities

Bullpen coaches are responsible for all the pitchers in a baseball game, other than the starting pitcher. When the starter begins to get tired, or when his pitch count begins to get worryingly high, the team’s manager and pitching coach will call down to the bullpen to ask for a reliever.


Bullpen coaches are part of the decision-making process of who to put in the game next, and once they receive that call, they are responsible for getting that pitcher warmed up and ready to take the mound. Bullpen coaches work underneath the head pitching coach, so you won’t see them making mound visits throughout the game. Instead, they study the game from the bullpen, remaining in constant communication with the relief pitchers.


During warm-ups, the bullpen coach advises the pitchers on what pitches they should focus on warming up in the context of the given game situation and keeping in mind the batters they’ll likely be throwing to. They also ensure the pitcher is fully warmed up before entering the game.

Bench Catchers

One of the more overlooked responsibilities of a bullpen coach is his work with bench catchers. Catchers other than the starting catcher are in the bullpen constantly, assisting relievers with their warm-ups. This gives the bullpen coach ample opportunity to give instruction and build the skills of these players, too.

Bullpen Coach Skills

  • Good communication
  • Knowledge of the game
  • Attention to detail

Good Communication

A good bullpen coach has excellent relationships with his relief pitchers and practices good communication with these players. Pitchers need to be able to communicate with their coach when they are feeling fully warmed up, ask questions they have about mechanics, and much more. Therefore, bullpen coaches need to know their pitchers well, in order to be able to improve their forms and encourage them to continue or stop warming up, improve their mental games, etc. 

Knowledge of the Game

Another important skill for a bullpen coach is knowledge of the game. Not only do these coaches need to know the mechanics of each possible pitch, they must know when certain pitches should be thrown, study the opposing team’s batters, and be conscious of different baseball game situations. A lot of knowledge goes into a single call in baseball, so these coaches need to be at the top of their game and study often.

Attention To Detail

Finally, strong attention to detail is critical for a bullpen coach. Pitching is a skill of minuscule details; a misplaced finger can completely change the spin of a pitch. To be successful in their role, bullpen coaches must be able to notice minute details about pitchers’ mechanics in order to correct them for better results.


What is a bullpen coach in baseball?

A bullpen coach is a coach responsible for warming up, instructing, and overseeing the relieving pitchers of a baseball team. These coaches also work with team catchers to improve their skills. Mainly, bullpen coaches play the role of mechanics and form instructors, assist in making calls on pitches to throw and pitchers to put in the game, and encourage players' mental games. Bullpen coaches spend a lot of time studying film and perfecting relief pitchers’ pitch mechanics.

What does a bullpen coach do in baseball?

A bullpen coach assists relief pitchers in their warm-up exercises and makes the call regarding when they are ready to enter the baseball game. These coaches also work with pitchers on their forms and mechanics and widen and perfect their arsenals of pitches. Bullpen coaches spend a lot of time preparing their pitchers' mental games and encouraging them when it is their turn to enter high-stress baseball situations.