ChrisOLeary.com > Essays > Show the Ball to 2B or CF?

Show the Ball to Second Base
or Center Field?

This was one of my original pieces on this subject. I have replaced it with a new piece on the topic of pointing the ball at second base.

Variations

There is a throwing and pitching cue out there that people are advocating as a key to fixing problems like pushing the ball. Some people also state that by doing this you will reduce the risk of experiencing elbow problems. This cue goes by a number of different names...

  • Show the ball to Center Field
  • Show the ball to Second Base
  • Keep your fingers on top of the ball
  • Stay on top of the ball
  • Get on top of the baseball on the back side
  • Get on top facing the other direction
  • Cobra position
  • Feed the giant
  • Put the can on the shelf
  • Palm turned away from the face

The Problem

The problem is that this cue can in fact increase the risk of elbow problems (and won't fix the problem of pushing the ball). You can see people pushing this idea all around the internet...

The logic behind this cue is that it is supposed to help you stay behind the ball. The problem is that the people who advocate this idea have little to no idea what a pitcher's arm actually does as they throw the ball. What's more, by following this cue you will significantly increase the risk of elbows problems, at least in young pitchers, by forcing them to supinate their forearms through the release point. This increases the load on the UCL, which can lead to growth plate problems in younger pitchers and Tommy John surgery in older pitchers.

The Alternative

Very few major league pitchers actually point the ball at second base or center field. Instead, they show the ball to Third Base, which is what people tend to do naturally.

Jeff Suppan Showing the Ball to 3B

For example, it's what Jeff Suppan does in the clip above.

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