Pitching Mechanics Overview
In this piece I discuss the pitching mechanics of Alex Reyes.
Before I do, let me address one common criticism of my work.
If you have any doubts about what I said when, I have put
together a piece that goes over
many tweets about Alex Reyes. I tweet predictions because tweets are...
- Not Editable
I was concerned about Alex Reyes' pitching mechanics from
literally the moment I saw a picture of him.
What I saw was a very common flaw that I call the
Tommy John Twist and that very reliably causes
Timing problems in baseball pitchers.
And a flaw that never went away.
While Jeff Passan would have you believe
I (only) use still pictures to do my analyses, in truth I
spend a lot of time and money driving around the country to get
high speed video of pitchers (and hitters).
this video of Alex Reyes in Nashville in June
What this clip very clearly shows is Alex Reyes' arm action and how
his pitching arm doesn't get UP on time. Instead, it's
FLAT when Reyes' shoulders start to turn, a problem I call
Flat Arm Syndrome.
While there was tremendous optimism about Alex Reyes' prospects
during and as a result of his rehab, I didn't share that
February 15, 2017
With the announcement that Alex Reyes needs Tommy John surgery, I
thought it would be helpful to give people an overview of what I saw
in his pitching mechanics and why it was a concern.
In sum, what I saw in Alex Reyes' pitching mechanics was a
Timing problem that was caused by a common, but problematic,
movement pattern that I call
The picture above of Alex Reyes contains everything I needed to make
a prediction; his pitching arm is pronated with his thumb pointing
down. That inhibits and delays the external of rotation of his
At front foot plant, rather than being UP, Alex Reyes' pitching
arm instead is FLAT. That increases the distance over which, and
the force with which, Alex Reyes' pitching arm will externally
Tommy John Twist
For reasons that are sadly, and increasingly, obvious I refer
to this movement pattern as the
Tommy John surgery Twist.
In an effort to document exactly how the Tommy John Twist gets
pitchers' elbows, in June 2016 I travelled from St. Louis to
Nashville in order to obtain the best possible footage of Alex
Reyes pitching mechanics in general and his arm action in
The clip below shows exactly how the Tommy John Twist got Alex
Alex Reyes June 2016
The thing to notice is how Alex Reyes keeps his pitching arm in
a thumb-down position as his shoulders start to rotate and his
pitching arm side elbow starts to rotate around to the right.
At a minimum, that means that Alex Reyes' pitching arm is FLAT,
not UP, when his pitching arm comes under load. That overloads his
arm, creating a short-term velocity boost but also led to the
failure of Alex Reyes' Ulnar Collateral Ligament and necessitating
his Tommy John surgery.
I expressed concern about Alex Reyes' pitching mechanics from
the moment I saw him.
The Cardinals Have a HUGE Problem
Alex Reyes's Timing and arm action were never great, but they
degraded over time. Why? I explain that in my discussion of
why the St. Louis Cardinals are in a death spiral.