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  • THE pitching thread

    This is in response to WonderMonkey's "In another thread maybe we can have a friendly debate on a few of the pitching points you have made. With some of the points there is just no clear answer and boils down to opinion and others I just don't agree with."

    So... if anyone has any pitching questions as to "Does long toss really help a pitcher?" or "Should a pitcher throw weighted balls?" just post them on here and I'll answer them, and I'm sure other people will put their insight in as well! Which will be very fun indeed
    While I do prefer to interact with people in a gentle manner... I'm also not at all opposed to establishing my dominance in a reign of terror.

  • #2
    Long Toss = Helps, especially in the pre-season and occasionally during the season.

    Weighted balls, and even more generically overloading OR undloading = I don't see the benefit and the negatives outweigh them anyway.

    Pushing off the rubber = Even some who think then do it don't and some that think they don't, do. I think this one is individual to the pitcher.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by WonderMonkey
      Long Toss = Helps, especially in the pre-season and occasionally during the season.

      Weighted balls, and even more generically overloading OR undloading = I don't see the benefit and the negatives outweigh them anyway.

      Pushing off the rubber = Even some who think then do it don't and some that think they don't, do. I think this one is individual to the pitcher.
      Long toss helps a pitcher build up intensity before going onto a mound for the pre game throwing, but it in no way helps build velocity for pitching, control, or stamina.

      Weighted balls have been around for over 30 years. If they honestly worked then everyone in the Majors would be using them. They aren't, and for good reason. If all of these competing activities worked...long toss, weighted balls, weight training or endless drills then baseball pitching would have improved markedly over the past decade or so in performance and reducing the risk of injuries.

      I see no evidence that performance is going up and injuries are going down.

      All you have to do is ask yourself if you are seeing more successful pitchers being developed every year using current baseball coaching practice principles. Are they? No...

      And there is only 1 successful major league person that I am aware of that drops down and pushes off the rubber and thats Roger Clemens. Now I wouldn't teach anyone else to do that. That is his style and it works for him, but what is to say that it will work for some 6'8 240 pound kid. What you want to do is load up your weight on your back leg, then pretend that some small kid is pushing your back hip, which will in turn make you lead with your front hip. You want to lead with your front hip. (If you lead with your shoulder then that is whats called rushing, you won't get a good weight transfer). Then once you've landed on your braced front leg, and your throwing, you want your foot to "squish the bug" and peel off the rubber. You want your back foot/toe to be in contact with the ground through ball release, otherwise it's like throwing to a moving target.

      "In order to do the "push" kids would get down low collapsing their back legs or just drive forward with their front shoulder - both velocity and energy killers. So there would be less velocity and more stress on the arm.

      There has always been a better way so that the pitcher created more energy to go into the pitch while producing a longer stride.

      Getting off the back leg from the push by the "little man" requires getting the weight over a firm posting leg and staying tall only for an instant because once the pitcher feels his weight fully loaded over his bacl leg he can move off of it leading with his front hip.

      All you have to do is feel a connection between the back leg and the back hip. Then when the little man pushes you off quickly the leg does not collapse. If you stay over the back leg too long it can collapse.

      But the key is to start shifting the weight earlier just as the leg starts down out of balance and depending on your wind-up some major league pitchers start shifting their weight before their leg reaches its highest point. Remember they have better control of their body than a youth or high school pitcher.

      This is not going to be quite as easy for a LL pitcher but get them started early and you will find that they can do it as well. In fact, it will feel even more natural to them to shift their weight earlier than later.

      If you can explain it to them in this way they can create a picture of what you want them to do. You can show them Matt Kinney and let them see how he leads with his front hip and how he starts off his back hip as his leg starts down.

      As they get stronger they will be able to do it better and more under control.

      The sole focus must be on the front hip leading (and the front elbow) as they move toward the target. Forget about the front leg and foot. That is what is getting some in trouble.

      Just drive the front hip straight ahead. The hip will deposit the foot on the line. You can make adjustments from there." -Dick Mills
      While I do prefer to interact with people in a gentle manner... I'm also not at all opposed to establishing my dominance in a reign of terror.

      Comment


      • #4
        How did I know Dick Mills would be brought into this. I would have put $5 on it.

        Anyway..... I've got a tourney game to go to and will give some thoughts later.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by XFactor
          Long toss helps a pitcher build up intensity before going onto a mound for the pre game throwing, but it in no way helps build velocity for pitching, control, or stamina.
          Not true, young Luke. How can an exercise increase arm strength and not build velocity? Anybody who tells you that long toss does not strengthen the arm is just plain wrong.

          Originally posted by XFactor
          I see no evidence that performance is going up and injuries are going down.

          All you have to do is ask yourself if you are seeing more successful pitchers being developed every year using current baseball coaching practice principles. Are they? No...
          I'll take this one, as well. So, you don't think more successful pitchers are being developed? It's actually an argument that anyone would be hard pressed to win. You know why? Expansion. There are WAY more players in the major leagues now than 45 years ago. Would you believe there used to be only 16 teams? Do the math. I believe that's half as many players. THEREFOR, it was harder to make the big leagues. If you were to take the top 400 players in major league baseball, they might just compare favorably to the 400 that were playing in 1960. Okay, that's one argument......

          Here's another...

          Before 1948, HALF OF THE MOST TALENTED PLAYERS COULDN'T PLAY! They weren't allowed to. Today's players are the best of the best, not half.

          I think it's too hard to argue if they are or aren't better now.

          Originally posted by XFactor
          And there is only 1 successful major league person......... deposit the foot on the line. You can make adjustments from there." -Dick Mills
          X, it does my heart good to see a young man so passionate about the game. You are a bit misguided, however. I wouldn't profess Dick Mills as the end all and be all of pitching "gurus". He has some good drills and some of his fundamental stuff is good, but the question remains, if he were so good, why couldn't his son throw strikes?

          Comment


          • #6
            I feel long-toss is a great exercise to strengthen and increase velocity. That, coupled with mechanics to take advantage of the strength produces some extra velocity. This is one of those things that I go along with the vast majority of pitching coaches that use long toss for that purpose. Now if you happen to be at or about your upper limit, long toss will help keep you there.

            And after a while I just stopped reading Dick Mills. The drill are good as stated above but some things I just don't believe.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by DarterBall
              Not true, young Luke. How can an exercise increase arm strength and not build velocity? Anybody who tells you that long toss does not strengthen the arm is just plain wrong.
              Oh really? So velocity comes from the arm then? Go out in the outfield and with both feet on the ground, throw the ball. Now go get a running start and throw the ball. Which will go farther, faster, I believe it'd be the one with more momentum. It's all about mechanics, then timing (which is rythem). Now see this is fun, because we can debate all this stuff. There is a difference between throwing long toss and throwing on the mound. A big one.

              You know, this past fall/winter I pitched tuesday, friday, and sunday. Probably around 100 pitches each time. (Started in late october, ended in mid march) My velocity was a constant 83-85 MPH and my control was veryyy veryyy good. I also found out that when I did long toss, I could throw a lot harder and a lot farther... hmmm, how cool is that eh? Maybe I can make a case for throwing off the mound will make you a better long tosser then right?



              Originally posted by DarterBall
              I'll take this one, as well. So, you don't think more successful pitchers are being developed? It's actually an argument that anyone would be hard pressed to win. You know why? Expansion. There are WAY more players in the major leagues now than 45 years ago. Would you believe there used to be only 16 teams? Do the math. I believe that's half as many players. THEREFOR, it was harder to make the big leagues. If you were to take the top 400 players in major league baseball, they might just compare favorably to the 400 that were playing in 1960. Okay, that's one argument......

              Here's another...

              Before 1948, HALF OF THE MOST TALENTED PLAYERS COULDN'T PLAY! They weren't allowed to. Today's players are the best of the best, not half.

              I think it's too hard to argue if they are or aren't better now.
              Yeah it's something to argue, and I don't really care how many people are getting better or worse.. all I know is I'm getting better and frankly thats all I care about



              Originally posted by DarterBall
              X, it does my heart good to see a young man so passionate about the game. You are a bit misguided, however. I wouldn't profess Dick Mills as the end all and be all of pitching "gurus". He has some good drills and some of his fundamental stuff is good, but the question remains, if he were so good, why couldn't his son throw strikes?
              I'm pretty sure I didn't profess him as knowing everything. And if his son couldn't throw strikes... how did he make it up to AAA Rochester and sign a contract that was over a million dollars (I forget the exact amount, but it was over a million). What you may or may not know... an injury took his son out of baseball, hes trying to recover from it but I don't know if he is going to give baseball another try.. I know I would.

              DYK over 80% of minor league pitchers go through at least one surgery involving their pitching arm. You want to know why? Bad mechanics... sure some are freak accidents but most are from bad mechanics... so, go figure..
              While I do prefer to interact with people in a gentle manner... I'm also not at all opposed to establishing my dominance in a reign of terror.

              Comment


              • #8
                I would say that anybody that gets to AA or above is pretty darn good. Single A isn't so special but the AA and certainly AAA gets a few bows from me.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Oh really? So velocity comes from the arm then? Go out in the outfield and with both feet on the ground, throw the ball. Now go get a running start and throw the ball. Which will go farther, faster, I believe it'd be the one with more momentum. It's all about mechanics, then timing (which is rythem). Now see this is fun, because we can debate all this stuff. There is a difference between throwing long toss and throwing on the mound. A big one.
                  True, but make that arm stronger and you have bettered one of the components of a pitch. Correctly increasing the arm strength adds to everything and I think long toss is a great tool for it. Increasing the strength and explosiveness of the legs (hips, thighs, hams, calves, etc) is also one of those components.

                  To sum up: I think long toss is a valuble tool in the whole equation.

                  No on to pushing off the rubber......

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by XFactor
                    Oh really? So velocity comes from the arm then? Go out in the outfield and with both feet on the ground, throw the ball. Now go get a running start and throw the ball. Which will go farther, faster, I believe it'd be the one with more momentum. It's all about mechanics, then timing (which is rythem). Now see this is fun, because we can debate all this stuff. There is a difference between throwing long toss and throwing on the mound. A big one.
                    Your argument doesn't address the issue. Your example doesn't bring in the factor of arm strength. You are ABSOLULTELY correct that you would throw harder with more momentum. If two young men of equal arm strength threw and one threw from dead stop and one threw with the momentum of a running start, the one with a running start would throw farther. But if two players threw with the same MOMENTUM, and one had more arm strength then he would also throw farther, right? What does that prove? Nothing, because BOTH are factors in throwing harder. Lots of the things you have said in this whole debate are correct. I don't know, though, if you have a good idea of the big picture of how all of these things work together. Timing, rhythm and mechanics are VITAL to improving your fastball, just as you said. Throwing as much as you did off the mound will improve your arm strength, so yes, IT WOULD MAKE YOU A BETTER LONG TOSSER. But that helps to prove my point. If you want to throw harder, you have to do it by THROWING.
                    Long toss WILL improve your arm strength. I won't argue that with you any more.




                    Originally posted by XFactor
                    I'm pretty sure I didn't profess him as knowing everything. And if his son couldn't throw strikes... how did he make it up to AAA Rochester and sign a contract that was over a million dollars (I forget the exact amount, but it was over a million). What you may or may not know... an injury took his son out of baseball, hes trying to recover from it but I don't know if he is going to give baseball another try.. I know I would.

                    DYK over 80% of minor league pitchers go through at least one surgery involving their pitching arm. You want to know why? Bad mechanics... sure some are freak accidents but most are from bad mechanics... so, go figure..
                    Ryan Mills was 27 last year when he pitched his final year in pro ball. What that means is, if he had an injury, it didn't keep him out of the big leagues. The chances of him making it were slim already. Did he have a problem throwing strikes? He averaged 5+ BB per 9 innings over his minor league career. How he made AAA Rochester? I have no idea. His career record was 17-40 with a 5.79 ERA. Did he have an an injury caused by bad mechanics? That would be ironic since his Pops makes his living teaching mechanics.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes that would define irony right there..
                      How he made it to AAA? Who knows... but he did get a huge million+ dollar contract.... Sure he didn't succeed in the majors and what not but... hes a millionaire.
                      You are 100000000000% correct on if you want to get better at throwing, you throw more.. just like if you want to get better at hitting you hit more.

                      My friend doesn't push off the rubber, and next year he'll be drafted out of high school barring he doesn't get injured. I don't... I don't know anyone who teaches to push off the rubber anymore... not even the stupid pitching instructers anymore ^_^ No offense to them
                      Last edited by XFactor; 07-25-2005, 11:17 AM.
                      While I do prefer to interact with people in a gentle manner... I'm also not at all opposed to establishing my dominance in a reign of terror.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        "Define irony: a bunch of idiots dancing around on a plane to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash." - Steve Buscemi in Con Air (Sweet Home Alabama plays in the background.)
                        A lot of people say this honor validates my career, but I didn't work hard for validation. I didn't play the game right because I saw a reward at the end of the tunnel. I played it right because that's what you're supposed to do, play it right and with respect. If this validates anything, it's that learning how to bunt and hit and run and turning two is more important than knowing where to find the little red light at the dug out camera. - Ryne Sandberg

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thats nice but please stay on topic ;\

                          With that said, yeah I had the same thing running through my head when I was talking about irony
                          While I do prefer to interact with people in a gentle manner... I'm also not at all opposed to establishing my dominance in a reign of terror.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I too know no one that pushes off the rubber.
                            A lot of people say this honor validates my career, but I didn't work hard for validation. I didn't play the game right because I saw a reward at the end of the tunnel. I played it right because that's what you're supposed to do, play it right and with respect. If this validates anything, it's that learning how to bunt and hit and run and turning two is more important than knowing where to find the little red light at the dug out camera. - Ryne Sandberg

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by XFactor
                              Yes that would define irony right there..
                              How he made it to AAA? Who knows... but he did get a huge million+ dollar contract... all from listening to his dad. Sure he didn't succeed in the majors and what not but... hes a millionaire.
                              You are 100000000000% correct on if you want to get better at throwing, you throw more.. just like if you want to get better at hitting you hit more.

                              My friend doesn't push off the rubber, and next year he'll be drafted out of high school barring he doesn't get injured. I don't... I don't know anyone who teaches to push off the rubber anymore... not even the stupid pitching instructers anymore ^_^ No offense to them
                              I couldn't agree more on pushing off the rubber. Some can do it, but it takes tremendous athleticism. Clemens does it, as you said. In the previous era, Tom Seaver was the epitome of "drop and drive". I teach a controlled fall from the balance point.

                              Comment

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