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Pitching mechanics and Tommy John

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Pitching mechanics and Tommy John

Postby jersey cubs fan » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:38 am

ESPN the mag has a story about baseball's reluctance to deal with mechanical flaws that can lead to injuries

I really love this quote.
"I'm not going to let new-school ways get in the way of my old-school thinking. I don't need biomechanics. I have experience. I have my eyes. I just watch and look." -- White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper


So baseball, and so White Sox.

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Re: Pitching mechanics and Tommy John

Postby Sammy Sofa » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:56 am

That's-a spicy meat-a-ball.
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Re: Pitching mechanics and Tommy John

Postby El Duderino » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:08 am

can we get an asteroid to wipe out the don coopers of the world?
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Re: Pitching mechanics and Tommy John

Postby Sammy Sofa » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:09 am

El Duderino wrote:can we get an asteroid to wipe out the don coopers of the world?


That asteroid hitting the field is going to tear apart sabremetrics like a bird hitting a baseball.
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Re: Pitching mechanics and Tommy John

Postby SouthSideRyan » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:24 am

Don Cooper is a pretty fantastic pitching coach though.
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Re: Pitching mechanics and Tommy John

Postby The Logan » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:42 pm

There's a cool little sub-story within that article that breaks down the mechanics of Greg Maddux vs. Stephen Strasburg here:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/77269 ... n-magazine
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Re: Pitching mechanics and Tommy John

Postby El Duderino » Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:19 pm

The Logan wrote:There's a cool little sub-story within that article that breaks down the mechanics of Greg Maddux vs. Stephen Strasburg here:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/77269 ... n-magazine


I wonder how Mark Prior circa '03 compares to Strasburg.
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Re: Pitching mechanics and Tommy John

Postby NonProfitCow » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:33 pm

The Logan wrote:There's a cool little sub-story within that article that breaks down the mechanics of Greg Maddux vs. Stephen Strasburg here:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/77269 ... n-magazine

I love nonsense like that.

[instert player name] played for a long time and never got hurt, therefore his mechanics were great.

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Re: Pitching mechanics and Tommy John

Postby The Logan » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:39 pm

NonProfitCow wrote:
The Logan wrote:There's a cool little sub-story within that article that breaks down the mechanics of Greg Maddux vs. Stephen Strasburg here:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/77269 ... n-magazine

I love nonsense like that.

[instert player name] played for a long time and never got hurt, therefore his mechanics were great.


Except that Greg Maddux's mechanics were great. The comparison, however, is ridiculous, so I agree with you in that regard. Maddux was a control pitcher, he didn't need a lot of velocity to get hitters out. Strasburg is a power pitcher. If he utilized Maddux's mechanics, he'd probably never reach the upper 90's on his fastball.
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Pitching mechanics and Tommy John

Postby MSG T » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:12 pm

The Logan wrote:
NonProfitCow wrote:
The Logan wrote:There's a cool little sub-story within that article that breaks down the mechanics of Greg Maddux vs. Stephen Strasburg here:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/77269 ... n-magazine

I love nonsense like that.

[instert player name] played for a long time and never got hurt, therefore his mechanics were great.


Except that Greg Maddux's mechanics were great. The comparison, however, is ridiculous, so I agree with you in that regard. Maddux was a control pitcher, he didn't need a lot of velocity to get hitters out. Strasburg is a power pitcher. If he utilized Maddux's mechanics, he'd probably never reach the upper 90's on his fastball.


Except that Nolan Ryan, Randy John and Roger Clemens weren't all that dissimilar from Maddux and they were power pitchers.

The problem with Strasburg, and with Prior before, was that their pitching arms weren't in the right position when their torso started rotating and moving their arms towards the plate. That does two things. First, it causes a timing problem. Their arms are still rotating to get their arm vertical, and get into the correct position. That essentially makes their arms late. Second, and related to the first, is that rotation puts a huge amount of stress on the pitching shoulder and elbow.

When I get to a computer, I'll post a couple of pics, but when your front foot hits the ground, you pitching arm (from the elbow to hand) should be vertical (hand above elbow). When Strasburg's foot hits the ground, his elbow and hand are parallel to the ground, not perpendicular. This puts a ton of stress on his elbow and shoulder. If he doesn't fix his motion, he'll need surgery again before long.

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Re: Pitching mechanics and Tommy John

Postby NonProfitCow » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:20 pm

MSG T wrote:Except that Nolan Ryan, Randy John and Roger Clemens weren't all that dissimilar from Maddux and they were power pitchers.

The problem with Strasburg, and with Prior before, was that their pitching arms weren't in the right position when their torso started rotating and moving their arms towards the plate. That does two things. First, it causes a timing problem. Their arms are still rotating to get their arm vertical, and get into the correct position. That essentially makes their arms late. Second, and related to the first, is that rotation puts a huge amount of stress on the pitching shoulder and elbow.

When I get to a computer, I'll post a couple of pics, but when your front foot hits the ground, you pitching arm (from the elbow to hand) should be vertical (hand above elbow). When Strasburg's foot hits the ground, his elbow and hand are parallel to the ground, not perpendicular. This puts a ton of stress on his elbow and shoulder. If he doesn't fix his motion, he'll need surgery again before long.

Know who else's mechanics weren't all that dissimilar from Maddux? Strasburg, from the comparison posted. That's pretty much my entire point.

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Re: Pitching mechanics and Tommy John

Postby MSG T » Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:01 am

NonProfitCow wrote:
MSG T wrote:Except that Nolan Ryan, Randy John and Roger Clemens weren't all that dissimilar from Maddux and they were power pitchers.

The problem with Strasburg, and with Prior before, was that their pitching arms weren't in the right position when their torso started rotating and moving their arms towards the plate. That does two things. First, it causes a timing problem. Their arms are still rotating to get their arm vertical, and get into the correct position. That essentially makes their arms late. Second, and related to the first, is that rotation puts a huge amount of stress on the pitching shoulder and elbow.

When I get to a computer, I'll post a couple of pics, but when your front foot hits the ground, you pitching arm (from the elbow to hand) should be vertical (hand above elbow). When Strasburg's foot hits the ground, his elbow and hand are parallel to the ground, not perpendicular. This puts a ton of stress on his elbow and shoulder. If he doesn't fix his motion, he'll need surgery again before long.

Know who else's mechanics weren't all that dissimilar from Maddux? Strasburg, from the comparison posted. That's pretty much my entire point.



Strasburg has what is called an inverted W (I didn't come up with the name). His pitching arm isn't vertical when his front foot hits the ground, that's where his problems start (Prior had/has the same motion, with the added bonus of hitting heel first with his front foot). The other guys you bolded have their arms vertical when their foot hits the ground. Note the pictures below, look at Strasburgs pitching arm position while his foot is clearly on the ground, while Maddux' arm is higher than Strasburgs and his foot hasn't hit yet. I will admit, it's easier to see when watching video and going frame by frame. Also, I know it doesn't look like much, but, when you see what happens as the hips turn and the torso starts pulling the arm through, it becomes much more obvious. Strasburg is still raising his arm as those things are happening and the others aren't, and that puts more stress on the arm/shoulder than guys who aren't doing that.

Power pitchers with good mechanics will have similar mechanics to guys that aren't power pitchers, they are just able to get more out of their bodies. It's no different than hitters, guys with tons of power will have similar hitting mechanics as guys that don't, they just get more out of the swing. Are there outliers in each example? Sure, there always are. But those are outliers, not the norm.

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Re: Pitching mechanics and Tommy John

Postby Castro's Spray Chart » Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:20 pm

This is the coolest paragraph I've read since the iPad in the dugout thing:

Collectively, their research can be as persuasive as it is cutting edge. A total of 2,000 pitchers -- including six future Cy Young winners -- have visited Andrews and Fleisig at ASMI's lab. Using a camera-and-computer system that three-dimensionally tracks data from reflective markers affixed to a pitcher's body as he throws, ASMI takes 41 measurements; think of it as an MRI of the pitching delivery. Afterward, Fleisig compiles a detailed report called a Biomechanics Evaluation about the pitcher that diagnoses problems with annotated video stills and recommends solutions. "When pitchers are young, they're receptive and willing to fix problem areas," says Reds minor league pitching coordinator Mark Riggins, who made several trips to ASMI while working with the Cubs. Crucially, the packet compares the pitcher to the exemplars in ASMI's database who threw the hardest without injury.
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Re: Pitching mechanics and Tommy John

Postby NewUserName » Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:52 pm

jersey cubs fan wrote:ESPN the mag has a story about baseball's reluctance to deal with mechanical flaws that can lead to injuries

I really love this quote.
"I'm not going to let new-school ways get in the way of my old-school thinking. I don't need biomechanics. I have experience. I have my eyes. I just watch and look." -- White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper


So baseball, and so White Sox.


this is in no defense of Cooper's stupid statement, but the White Sox seem to have rather healthy pitching in Cooper's tenure. I think sometimes a certain amount of success makes it hard to see how change would be good.
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