The Pitching Mechanic
Real-Time Illustrations and Analyses of
Proper and Improper Pitching Mechanics
Mechanic - September 2008
The Marshall Pitching Mechanics
People are still very interested in the ideas of Dr. Mike
Marshall. As a result, I just completed an
analysis of the pitching mechanics that Dr. Mike Marshall
Marshall Pitching Mechanics
Death To The Inverted V!
Today I came across the photo below of Jensen Lewis.
Jensen Lewis' Inverted V
I have now come to the conclusion that this arm action flaw
is common enough that I think it deserves its own term.
result, I am christening it the Inverted V.
I discuss this flaw,
and which other pitchers share it, in greater detail in my new
Death To The Inverted V.
Do Altered Pitching Mechanics Lead To Injuries?
Several times over past few months I have been asked to look
at a pitcher who is having injury problems and see if I see any
differences in their pitching mechanics that might explain their
Pretty much universally, I don't see any changes in
their pitching mechanics.
That reinforces my sense that in most cases pitchers
are injured because their pitching mechanics stay the same --
and were problematic to begin with -- not because their pitching
mechanics have changed. I just completed an essay entitled
Do Altered Pitching Mechanics Lead To Injuries that
addresses this topic in detail.
Joel Zumaya's Timing Problem
Joel Zumaya has recently been having shoulder problems. The
root cause of his problems is revealed in the video clip below.
What you see in Frame 32 is significant
Hyperabduction. This creates a significant timing problem
such that Joel Zumaya's shoulders start rotating well before his
Pitching Arm Side (PAS) forearm is vertical and in the
high-cocked position. Notice in Frame 35 how Joel Zumaya's
shoulders have rotated 20 or more degrees while his PAS forearm
is not yet vertical. This significantly increases the load on
both his elbow and his shoulder. See my
analysis of the pitching mechanics of Joel Zumaya for more
Analysis - Anthony Reyes
My Cardinals recently (and finally) traded Anthony Reyes to
the Cleveland Indians. In celebration of this, I have put
analysis of the pitching mechanics of Anthony Reyes. I would
be very surprised if the Indians get significant value out of
this deal due to Anthony Reyes significant
Inverted W and the timing problem it creates.
Anthony Reyes' Timing Problem
Joba Chamberlain's Shoulder
Joba Chamberlain was pulled from the game last night due to
stiffness in his right shoulder.
Based on what I see in the clip above, I don't think this
will be a major injury.
Joba Chamberlain's arm action isn't terrible (though
there is some borderline
and he doesn't seem to have a timing problem as a result. Of
course, he could have developed a timing problem (e.g.
since this clip was taken and/or his conditioning program could
I think I have a clip from last night's game, so I'll
check that and see if I see anything different.
Mechanics - Same Old Same Old
I managed to get some 60FPS video of Chris Carpenter's start
on Wednesday against the Braves.
The good news is that not much
has changed. However, the bad news is that not much has changed.
pitching mechanics are pretty much exactly what they were
before his recent Tommy John surgery. That means that he's got
Inverted L in his arm action (see Frame 37) which creates a
timing problem (see Frame 43) which increases
the load on both his elbow and shoulder. As a result, I wouldn't
be surprised to hear that Chris Carpenter is having shoulder
problems in the next couple of years.
Pitcher Analysis - Johan Santana
I recently made a clip of Johan Santana of the Mets. As a
result, I have just put together an
analysis of the pitching mechanics of Johan Santana. What I
see in the clip makes me a bit nervous.
Zach Outman's Pitching Mechanics
Over the past year or so I have gotten a lot of requests for
a video clip of the pitching mechanics of Josh Outman. While I
don't have video of Josh Outman pitching, I do have a video clip
of Zach Outman pitching from a couple of years ago (his Senior
year in HS).
The only significant difference is that Zach
Outman is a RHP while Josh Outman is a LHP.
Also, remember that Josh Outman doesn't seem to be
using these pitching mechanics any more. Instead, the Phillies
changed his pitching mechanics so they are more
Zach Outman's Pitching Mechanics
In terms of the pitching mechanics I see in the clip above,
they aren't as unusual as they first appear.
While Zach Outman starts out in an an unusual position, which
may help to increase his deceptiveness, his arm behaves pretty much
conventionally once his shoulders start to rotate.
I do like the hip/shoulder separation I see in the clip
above. I also like how, rather than leaving his Pitching Arm
Side (PAS) foot behind on the rubber, Zach Outman's PAS foot is
well off the rubber at the release point. That means that his
hips are pulling his shoulders through.
Mechanic - July 2008