The Pitching Mechanic
Real-Time Illustrations and Analyses of
Proper and Improper Pitching Mechanics
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.
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
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.
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.
Greg Maddux Video Clips
I just posted 3 clips of Greg Maddux pitching in 1997 to my
professional pitcher analysis page.
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 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 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 - 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
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 - 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.
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.
Mechanic - June 2008