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The Pitching Mechanic
July 2008

Real-Time Illustrations and Analyses of
Proper and Improper Pitching Mechanics


The Pitching Mechanic - August 2008



Jaime Garcia Update - Ick

I managed to find some video of Jaime Garcia pitching and I just completed an analysis of the pitching mechanics of Jaime Garcia that includes the text and photos below as well as an analysis of that video. I'm not a fan of what I see in the video.



Jaime Garcia - A Quick Look

A lot of people have been asking me to take a look at Cardinals prospect Jaime Garcia. I DVRed the game today and am looking for some high speed film of his mechanics. In the meantime, here are a couple of interesting pictures I have found of him pitching.

Jaime Garcia

Jaime Garcia

The photo above is a picture of Jaime Garcia at the release point (of what looks like a fastball). Notice all of the shoulder tilt and the fairly high arm slot as a result. One thing I like in this photo is the glove around the glove side pec, rather than flying out to the side like Rich Harden (see below). What I don't like is how the Glove Side (GS) knee is locked, because this can lead to at least knee and hip and possibly arm problems by increasing the shock on the system. I also don't like how Jaime Garcia leaves his Pitching Arm Side (PAS) foot behind on the rubber, because this can stop a pitcher's hip/shoulder separation short.

Nate Robertson

Nate Robertson

What I prefer to see at the release point is what Nate Robertson is doing in the photo above. Notice how he still has some flex in his GS knee and his PAS foot is well off the rubber and his PAS knee is bent roughly 90 degrees.

Jaime Garcia

Jaime Garcia

Above is a second photo of Jaime Garcia that is a bit awkward-looking, and worrisome as a result.
     While Jaime Garcia is showing tremendous, Lincecum-esque hip/shoulder separation in this photo, he also seems to be leaning back toward Third Base quite a bit in this photo. While he has to do this because of his high arm slot, I am worried about the strain it puts on the lower back. It's one thing to rotate the torso and spine 90 degrees as Tim Lincecum does. As Chad Bradford showed with his lower back problems, it's something else -- and something probably worse -- to rotate the torso and spine 90 degrees while also leaning forward or back. I am worried about Mark Worrell's lower back for the same reason.
     Not to be a total downer, I do like the non-90-degree angle of Jaime Garcia's PAS elbow in the photo above.
     I'll give you more comments if I think of any and some video if I can find some.



Pitcher Analysis - Rich Harden

I just completed an analysis of the pitching mechanics of Rich Harden. The bottom line is that he was a quite risky acquisition by the Cubs, but might be able to help them make it all the way this year.

Rich Harden

Rich Harden



Greg Maddux Video Clips

I just posted 3 clips of Greg Maddux pitching in 1997 to my professional pitcher analysis page.



The Inverted W - Revised and Expanded

As with the Inverted L, there is significant confusion out there about exactly what is, or isn't, the Inverted W. As a result, I have updated the article to discuss some of the subtleties of the pattern.

Carlos Marmol

Carlos Marmol Not Making The Inverted W

One thing I have added to the article is a discussion about whether Carlos Marmol makes the Inverted W or not.
     While I'm not completely certain, I'm not convinced that Carlos Marmol actually makes the Inverted W based on what I see in the photo above. I say that because, while his Pitching Arm Side (PAS) elbow is quite high in the photo above, he is also leaning forward toward Third Base as he strides toward the plate.
     This makes his PAS elbow look higher than it is.
     I'm not convinced that Carlos Marmol's PAS elbow is actually above the level of his shoulders in the photo above.

Randy Johnson

Randy Johnson Not Making The Inverted W

The thing that opened my eyes to the subtleties of determining whether a pitcher makes the Inverted W or not is the clip above of Randy Johnson. While Randy Johnson's PAS elbow gets quite high, because he leans forward toward First Base during his stride his PAS elbow still stays well below the level of his shoulders (the yellow line in Frames 43 and 49).



The Inverted L - Revised and Expanded

My ideas about proper -- and improper -- pitching mechanics have been getting increased attention of late. However, with that attention have come confusion and criticism. As a result, I have just updated my piece on the Inverted L. I hope I have done a better job of explaining exactly what the Inverted L is and why it is problematic.



Mark Mulder: Mechanics Morph?

Mark Mulder has recently come back from a long period on the Disabled List due to multiple shoulder surgeries. A lot of people have been talking about how Mark Mulder's pitching mechanics have changed and how he is throwing from a different arm slot. While I am skeptical about this claim, I do see some differences that may be significant.

Mark Mulder

Mark Mulder - 2005 or 2006

The photo above of Mark Mulder is from 2005 or 2006. The thing to notice is how low his Pitching Arm Side (PAS) elbow is. However, rather than being the CAUSE of Mark Mulder's problems, I believe that this is an EFFECT of another problem. Keeping the PAS elbow well below the level of the shoulder can reduce the stress on the shoulder joint and I think Mark Mulder is, probably unconsciously, doing this to manage a more fundamental, lingering problem with his rotator cuff or labrum (which I think results from a subtle timing problem ala Barry Zito).

Mark Mulder

Mark Mulder - 2006

If you look at the photo above of Mark Mulder from 2006, you will also see that his PAS elbow is quite low and seems to be dragging behind his body (e.g. greater negative adduction), rather than being connected to it.

Mark Mulder

Mark Mulder - Monday 6/30/2008

If you look at the picture above of Mark Mulder, which is from Monday 6/30/2008, you will see the same basic thing but with some subtle, and possibly significant, differences.
     Mark Mulder's PAS elbow is still significantly below the level of his shoulders, as if he is still trying to ease the stress on his shoulder. However, his PAS elbow, while low, does seem to be higher than in the past, which may mean that his injury has healed to a degree. Also, it looks to me like Mark Mulder's arm is dragging less than it did in the past, which is good.

Jeff Francis

Jess Francis

If you compare the photo above of Mark Mulder to the photo above of Jeff Francis, you will see more similarities now than in the past, which is probably a good thing.



Pitcher Analysis - Bob Gibson

Bob Gibson was one of the most intimidating, and successful, pitchers of the 60s and 70s. Since he was also largely free of arm problems, I thought it would be interesting to do an analysis of the pitching mechanics of Bob Gibson and see how they correlate with my ideas about proper pitching mechanics.


The Pitching Mechanic - June 2008

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