How Jeff Suppan (Actually)
Threw the Ball
One reason why the myths about throwing and pitching persist is due to a lack of understanding;
by people's not understanding what pitchers'
do when they throw a pitch.
As a result, I have put this piece together to explain what a high-level thrower's arm
(actually) does when they throw the ball.
While Jeff Suppan does scap load, like Nolan Ryan, Greg
Maddux, Randy Johnson, and other durable pitchers, his elbows
never get higher than the level of his shoulders. His scap load
also doesn't cause his pitching arm to stall on its way up to
the high-cocked position and it doesn't affect his timing.
Instead, his arm swing is smooth and his arm gets up on time.
In Frame 179, Jeff Suppan’s Glove Side foot has just planted and his shoulders
are just starting to rotate. Notice how his Pitching Arm Side elbow is just below the level
of his shoulders and how he is showing the ball to Third Base, not Center Field.
The rotation of Jeff Suppan's shoulders has caused his
Pitching Arm Side upper arm to start externally rotating and his
PAS forearm to start laying back toward First Base.
Because the topic of arm action is both important and
frequently misunderstood, let's take a closer look at what Jeff
Suppan's arm (actually) does when he throws the ball.
The most important thing to notice is that, while Jeff
Suppan's pitching arm side elbow stays bent roughly 90 degrees
up until a couple of frames before the release point, his
throwing arm doesn't stay vertical as his shoulders rotate.
Instead, Jeff Suppan's forearm lays back toward first base as
his shoulders and his elbow rotate around toward the target.FB
While seemingly trivial, this is actually important because
it points out the gigantic mechanical and logical hole in the
justification for the cue to show the ball to center field that
I discuss in my piece,
and drills that supposedly help throwers get on top of the
If the arm doesn't do what the proponents of showing the ball
to center field say it does, then their absolutes aren't.
For More Information
There are other problems, going up to the highest levels with
peoples' understanding of the throwing and pitching motion. I
discuss these problems in my piece that lays out a
Revised Baseball Pitching Cycle.
FB. The arms of football quarterbacks do
the same thing, which means that the "tuck rule" that is used to
determine whether a quarterback is in the act of throwing the
ball isn't correct. The throw starts when the throwing arm side
elbow starts to rotate around toward the target, not when the
hand starts to move forward.