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Pitching Mechanics Analysis
Michael Pineda

February 20, 2012

There has been extensive discussion among Yankee fans about whether new Yankee pitcher Michael Pineda has the Inverted W or not. The bottom line on Michael Pineda's pitching mechanics is that I do not see the Inverted W in Michael Pineda's pitching mechanics, but I do see some things that concern me.

Michael Pineda

Michael Pineda

Michael Pineda

Michael Pineda

First, Michael Pineda doesn't have a classic Inverted W. While his elbows do get a bit high, it's borderline at best.

Michael Pineda

Michael Pineda

Michael Pineda

Michael Pineda

You can see some hints of a timing problem in the two pictures above, and in the picture directly above in particular. The thing to notice is how Michael Pineda's arm is passing through 90 degrees of external rotation but his glove side elbow has pulled back significantly and his shoulders have rotated significantly. That suggests that his arm is a bit late.

Michael Pineda

Michael Pineda

Michael Pineda

Michael Pineda

Michael Pineda

Michael Pineda

You can see the same thing in the pictures above of Michael Pineda; notice how his Pitching Arm Side (PAS) forearm is vertical and at 90 degrees of external rotation and his Glove Side (GS) elbow is well behind his back. That is often an indication of a timing problem.

Stephen Strasburg

Stephen Strasburg

Stephen Strasburg

Stephen Strasburg

However, what Michael Pineda does isn't as drastic as what Stephen Strasburg does; notice how much later Stephen Strasburg's PAS forearm is. Strasburg's PAS forearm is closer to horizontal whereas Michael Pineda's PAS forearm is closer to vertical, which is a significant difference.

Michael Pineda

Michael Pineda

Michael Pineda

Michael Pineda

What concerns me the most about Michael Pineda's arm action is that he seems to show the ball to Center Field. Many people teach this, but it's both unnecessary and potentially injurious.

If you look at high speed clips of Michael Pineda, you can see his PAS forearm rotate around at the last second as gets his hand into position to throw the ball. That late torqueing can create a timing problem and can increase the load on both the elbow and the shoulder.

Michael Pineda

Michael Pineda

In the high-speed clip above, notice how he shows the ball to Center Field and how this causes his arm to be late and appears to create a timing problem. He also does all of this with his PAS elbow quite high, and possibly above the level of his shoulders in a position of Hyperabduction.

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