|ChrisOLeary.com > BUY > Epidemic > Judging Timing in Pitchers
Judging Timing in baseball pitchers is more of an art than a science, in part because the milestones researchers are looking at are of questionable reliability, and thus validity.
However, I have developed a method for judging Timing in baseball pitchers that has allowed me to make predictions like the one I made about Johan Santana in August 2008.
Johan Santana has been one of the most effective pitchers of the last few years. However, I question whether Johan will be able to maintain that level of success or whether he will be as big of a disappointment for the Mets as Barry Zito has been for the Giants.
What did I see?
Judging Timing in Baseball Pitchers: An Overview
Why have studies of my worked failing to see what I'm seeing?
Because, while the conventional wisdom says to look at the pitcher's front foot -- at (Stride) Foot Contact -- when judging a baseball pitcher's Timing, I've found that (S)FC is no longer a reliable milestone.
It no longer -- consistently -- identifies the moment when the pitcher's arm starts to come under load.
As a result, I no longer use (Stride) Foot Contact when judging Timing in baseball pitchers.
Instead, I look at the pitching arm.
Johan Santana's Timing
Johan Santana is one of the pitchers who helped me figure out what was going on with the epidemic.
Why pitchers couldn't stay healthy.
And one of the sets of clips that helped me do that
Your're not going to find what you're looking for in the frames that people typically look at.
Instead, you have to look at the frames prior to the release of pitch.
When the pitching arm is starting to come under load.
What I noticed, when looking at Johan Santana's pitching mechanics...
...was the position of his pitching arm...
...when his shoulders started to turn and his pitching arm started to come under load.
How it was more FLAT than UP.
If you compare the position of Johan Santana's pitching arm in frames 14, 15, and 16, you will see that his shoulders start turning...
...and his pitching arm STARTS coming under load in Frame 15...
...and is CLEARLY under load in Frame 16.
To see this, compare the position of the elbow of Johan Santana's left, pitching arm side elbow to the letter "e" in the watermark.
I also find Frame 17 striking for a number of reasons. First, Johan Santana's shoulders are still turning and his pitching arm STILL isn't UP. Second, you can see how hard Santana is pulling with his Glove Side. That's happening both before his pitching arm is UP and before his front foot is down, a flaw called Early Torso Rotation.
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