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Mark Prior's New Pitching Mechanics

6.30.2010

It turns out that Mark Prior is working on his pitching mechanics, hoping to make a comeback. While he has made some changes, they are unfortunately largely cosmetic and thus are unlikely to significantly improve his long-term prospects. The problem is that, while Mark Prior no longer makes the Inverted W, he still has the same timing problem.[1]

In video clips I have seen, Mark Prior's PAS upper arm is at 0 degrees of external rotation at the moment his Glove Side (GS) foot plants rather than 90 degrees of external rotation. This is due in part to how late Mark Prior breaks his hands. His Pitching Arm Side (PAS) forearm, given his arm action, simply doesn't have time to get up to the proper position by the time his GS foot plants. This will increase the load on his elbow and his shoulder and should put him back on the DL.[2]

For Further Reading

If you are interested in Mark Prior's Pitching Mechanics, I have put together a number of pieces that address different aspects of the story...

About The Author

Chris O'Leary never played baseball beyond grade school due to a shoulder injury suffered due to poor pitching mechanics. As a result, he is focused on ensuring that what happened to him doesn't happen to anybody else. The Epidemic is one way he hopes to achieve that goal.

Notes

[1] As I say in my pieces about the inverted arm actions -- Inverted W, Inverted V, and Inverted L -- what is bad isn't really the arm action itself. Rather, the problem is that these arm actions increase the likelihood that a pitcher will develop a timing problem, and a timing problem (aka rushing) is the thing that kills pitchers' elbows and shoulders.

[2] The fact that Mark Prior hasn't pitched at a high level in a number of years may actually work to his advantage for a while (up to a couple of years). Serious injuries take serious amounts of time to recover from, which Mark Prior has gotten. However, nobody has addressed the root cause of his problem -- the timing problem -- so Mark Prior's problems are going to crop up again.

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