As I discuss in my longer article about the
Tommy John Twist, I have
long expressed concern about how often you see the same
twist in the wrists of pitchers who have had or will need Tommy John
surgery, especially pitchers who have required multiple Tommy
Shelby Miller Demonstrating
The Tommy John Twist
The problem is that Twist is often accompanied by the
Timing problem that
is the root cause of the majority of arm problems in baseball pitchers.
Tommy John Twist
I orginally refered to this movement using a technical term,
Premature Pronation. I then started calling this movement the
Tommy John Surgery Twist, because of the position of the wrist and the
I've recently shortened that to just the Tommy John Twist.
The Tommy John Twist is a problematic movement pattern — that
results from teaching ballplayers to
point the ball at second base — that I believe contributes to
injuries in baseball pitchers by increasing the likelihood they will
That is a problem for two reasons.
studies show that pronating the pitching arm side forearm for an
extended period of time will tend to inhibit the external rotation of
the pitching arm, leading to a
Timing problem and, in the worst case, what I call
Flat Arm Syndrome. Second, pointing the ball at second base
reduces or even eliminates the ability of the muscles of the forearm
to take some of the load off of the Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL),
the ligament that is replaced during Tommy John surgery.
One of the more recent victims of the Tommy John Twist is Alex
Reyes of the Cardinals, and I give a high-level overview of how and
why the Tommy John Twist creates a problem in my
analysis of Alex Reyes' pitching mechanics.