Stephen Strasburg's pitching mechanics are the root cause of his
injury problems, first with his elbow, then his shoulder, and now
See how, in 2010, Stephen Strasburg's pitching arm was FLAT and
...when his shoulders started to turn?
And his pitching arm started to come under load?
It's a serious, and increasingly common,
Timing flaw that I call
Flat Arm Syndrome.
Flat Arm Syndrome
And Strasburg's fate has gone pretty much exactly as I predicted
it would in
...because his mechanics in some of the frames I have
seen aren't quite as bad as Mark Prior's, and at times he sometimes
makes the Horizontal W, rather than the Inverted W, there is a
chance that Stephen Strasburg could have a career more like
a John Smoltz. In that case, he would be effective for
periods of time but would also struggle with elbow and shoulder
While Stephen Strasburg's pitching mechanics have improved over
the years, he's far from fixed.
This is my core, and latest, piece on Stephen Strasburg's pitching
mechanics. My older pieces include...
Stephen Strasburg's pitching mechanics are best known for his
Inverted W, the infamous arm action
with the pretentious name. However, and as I first explained in 2007
with respect to Mark Prior, the Inverted W
isn't the core problem.
As I said, about Stephen Strasburg, in a 2010 interview...
What the not so durable guys do is they take their
elbows back but they also take them up. Now, that's actually
painful to do, but it's not that bad in and of itself. The problem
is that when you take the elbows back and up, you can end up with
a Timing problem.
By Timing, I'm referring to the position of the pitching arm...
...when the shoulders start to rotate.
Strasburg Frame by Frame
Stephen Strasburg - Frame 17
Stephen Strasburg - Frame 18
Stephen Strasburg - Frame 19
Stephen Strasburg - Frame 20
Stephen Strasburg - Frame 21
Stephen Strasburg - Frame 22
Stephen Strasburg - Frame 23
Stephen Strasburg - Frame 24
Stephen Strasburg - Frame 25
1. I say "wrist" because I have some concern that problem may
actually be with Strasburg's shoulder; a serious problem called
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome or something similar.