I have read this several places and I know it is true for myself when I pitched. You don’t snap your wrist much if at all with a change up and that helps kill the power and reduces stress on the arm. Furthermore, most pitchers with really good change ups are not throwing 100% arm speed. They throw it like when they take just a little bit off the fastball with perfect mechanics, firm wrist, and a loose grip. In contrast, many coaches teach it by throwing as hard as you can. Roger Craig taught it by telling his pitchers it is like pulling down a lamp shade, keeping a firm wrist. I have studied Pedro’s change up versus his fast ball and have come to the following conculsions: a) he is definitely throwing it like a fastball with something off it. His mechanics are perfect on his change up and his good fastball has him spinning off to the side. b) he does the lamp shade thing, but it is from the side c) he firms up his wrist Tom
The change up if thrown properly is a lot less taxing on the arm than a fastball. There is a huge difference. Yes, the arm speed should be the same. tg
…..meanwhile Sabathia threw on 3 days rest. Notice how he threw a ton of change ups to save his arm. If he has to pitch again in game seven, in the unlikely possibility, the Angels should gear up for the change up and hit it out of Yankee stadium, forcing tears from Scott’s eyes!
OK here is the real clip. But, what is with the late second push off to get the body through? Tom
YouTube – Scott Kazmir Pitching
If the eyes are level, head is level, upper body is level, then at the twist rotational forces will be maximized, throwing around the body’s center axis in contrast to taking a short cut and tilting getting to release point sooner. A pitcher must have some decent core strength. I have seen some little kids do this properly. I know of a 11 year old that does it right. I have not checked many kids, but guess that hardly any do it right. Tom
Throwing across the body could make a kid jerk more, but I don’t think opening him up to a more neutral position will make his head level or a jerk necessarily go away. As Dick has mentioned it will be an entirely different feel to throw with a level head and upper body. Check out this picture from last night. The pin point control he has is truly amazing. His head position is truly amazing. As I said that if the upper trunk is not tilted and upright including the head and eyes, then the release point is further outside and more rotational force will be applied so you will throw harder. Plus, you will have better control. Look at the pros. It is not just a coincidence that almost all of them have a level head. Regards, Tom
HP is for Home Plate view. Freeze it at ball release and you will be shocked. His head and upper trunk are pulling his body to the side away from home plate. If you look at the pros, almost all have stable upper trunks and heads. tg
Jay, To me it seems like he is throwing across his body a bit, since he is landing several inches on the close side. There are some coaches that think this is OK, but I think most here as well as I think the stride line should be ball of foot to ball of foot. Use a dish towel, putting it where he is landing now and tell him to miss it. I would work on this at the same time as what I mention next. Ask him, how much mph he is getting from his head? Have him look at his motion from a HP view in slow motion and then freeze it at ball release. “Where the head goes, the body will follow.” Then check out the pros. Almost all of them have their eyes level. This should help with more mph and control. He will get more mph because he is now cutting short his twist and whip with the tilting of the head and upper trunk. When he learns to balance his upper body his release point will be closer to third base. We are working on this with my son. They learn this from trying to throw hard. There are a few kids that have stable heads but not many. Their core strength is a factor. They have to learn a new feel, keeping the eyes level. My son really improved when a coach had him keep his front chin in close to his front shoulder and keep it there and then at release drive it to the mitt. This worked for us. All of the sudden his control is much better, especially low and away. The mph is better too. First and foremost, he needs awareness of what he is doing, so get him actively involved with video reviewing. The reason I suggest doing this at the same time as opening up his landing is that I think that getting pitchers to land closed and throw across the body makes it easy for them to jerk their head while throwing. So conversley, it might make it easier to get a stable head by opening him up a bit. Tom
Maybe his hips were corked.
I could have once again confused things with semantics or just not knowing enough about mechanics. A little bit of knowledge is dangerous. I just watched an interesting pitching instructional video by Roger Craig. He was saying that you absolutely don’t want the front knee forward during the stride because it leads to early rotation. I believe you have said the position of the hips dictate knee position. So, loading, staying closed, cocking is what I am referring to as keeping the front side closed. Many players use the slide step, but some prominent pitching coaches don’t recommend it because it is hard to stay closed and hard to get a consistent powerful landing which impacts control and speed. So, some players do the slide step and some do a modified slide step. The modified allows you to cock the hips- I think Bill Thurston said that. I will add that I would be very careful with regards to what you say to a coach, because you might have unintended results. The last thing you want is to run the risk of being alienated or being thought of as uncoachable. Asking for clarification is usually reasonable, honest, and appropriate. Tom
Hi Brad, Post a video. I can only think that he might think he is not cocking his hips or that he is rotating early. Maybe he is saying he wants to cock them better or longer in order to unlock them. Have him ask for clarification. Hitters have early rotation when they land with their front foot past the 45 degree angle mark. tg
Some pitching coaches suggest breaking the hands closer to the body to correct arm swinging. From the clips that I have seen most mlb pitchers take the arm back behind the body or just barely past it, but since they almost all counter rotate past the rubber, the arm looks like it is swinging. tg
My mind has a vocabulary all its own. If you think that termonology doesn’t makes sense, think about what I have to put up with daily…….insanity! tg
Here is a work in progress. This guy was converted from a short stop to a pitcher. He has a live arm and hits in the mid to upper 90’s. I went to the game last night to film Neftali Feliz and he warmed up and didn’t get into the game. Drats! So, I filmed this prospect. He has a live arm.
YouTube – Pedro Strop Pitching
I thought I would post this again on youtube so that everyone can see. Check out his trunk posture and level eyes are release. Tom G.
YouTube – Zach Greinke