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The Great Long-Arming Myth


I just had a virtual conversation with a father who was convinced by someone, probably a follower of Paul Nyman, that he had to change his son's arm action because his son was long-arming the ball. This person incorrectly believes that it is impossible for a pitcher to throw hard or well if they are long-arming the ball. Instead, this person seems to believe that a pitcher must short-arm the ball, ala Billy Wagner, if they are to throw the ball well.
     This is complete garbage.
     As the images below make clear, Roy Oswalt of the Astros long-arms the ball, and he pitches just fine. In fact, the images below are of him throwing a 95 MPH fastball.
     If you are unclear about exactly what is meant by "long-arming" the ball, it's what Oswalt does between frames 21 and 28. Notice how he breaks his hands and extends his PAS elbow so that his pitching arm is fully extended back toward 2B. He then bends his elbow just before he starts to turn his shoulders.
     Oh, and for the record there is no sign of the Inverted W in Roy Oswalt's arm action, which is one reason that I think he will have a long, injury-free career.

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