Pitching Mechanics Analysis
I wrote the piece below in May of
2007. In light of Adam Wainwright's recent elbow problems, I just put together a new piece,
with new and better video,
that discusses in greater detail
Inverted W and the
W in general.
Recently, Adam Wainwright has
started having problems. It has also come out that he is
experiencing Tendonitis in several places in his pitching arm.
Given that he is experiencing both control problems and a drop in
his velocity, I believe that he is experiencing both elbow and
shoulder problems. Let's go through some frames from a clip of him
pitching and see if we can identify the root cause of his
In Frame 1 above,
Adam Wainwright has the ball at his Pitching Arm Side (aka PAS)
hip and is starting to swing his Pitching Arm back toward Second
In Frame 3 above,
Adam Wainwright has swung his Pitching Arm back toward Second Base
and is just starting to bend his PAS elbow. However, and IMO
critically, his PAS elbow keeps moving upward after this frame.
admittedly hard to see, which is why I missed it before, in Frame
6 above you can see Adam Wainwright's PAS arm forming a fairly
pronounced "M" or Inverted W
with his PAS elbow above the level of his shoulders and his PAS
forearm hanging down below it.
You can more clearly
see what I'm talking about in the still above of Adam Wainwright. I believe that this increases the
distance over which, and the force with which, his PAS upper arm
will externally rotate and in place an increased load on both his
elbow and shoulder.
What you see in
Frame 9 above is what led me to be concerned about Adam
Wainwright's PAS shoulder. Notice that his PAS elbow is still
above the level of his shoulders as his shoulders start to rotate.
If you compare this frame with a frame of Greg Maddux at the same
moment, Greg Maddux's PAS elbow will be 6 to 9 inches lower. I
believe that is a very significant difference. Frame 9 also
suggests that Adam Wainwright's timing isn't quite right. This,
combined with what seems to be a drop in his velocity, makes me
worried about his Labrum.
You can see this
more clearly in the photo above of Adam Wainwright.
You can see the same
thing in the photo above of Adam Wainwright, which was taken at
the same moment in time but from a slightly different angle.