Tom, let me qualify what I've posted heretofore, and what comes after. Please don't take any of this in a negative way. I'm being very honest with you, professionally, and with my experience of being there and managing guys just like yourself and at a point in time that you're in, career wise.
- I'm considering your body's muscle memory, your age, and your way of doing things. I'm not suggesting anything that you would see at a youth clinic, NPA, and so forth.
- I'm not trying to use this media to FIX anything. That's unreasonable and not in touch with the real world as it has, and will, impact you. I'm about 350 miles (as I remember) from where I live in Western Massachusetts to Lancaster, so being there next to you every step of the way is impossible. So let's take it slow and try and allow you to successfully manage your pitching career for the time that you have left in Independent pro ball.
- Without knowing your career and health history, I'm going to assume that you just came off a DL list and therefore, should temper your recovery. Again, I'm approaching you in this manner because I feel it's the safest way to go.
.....are you saying to keep my glove hand more towards the right side of my body and not so much by first?
In a way, yes. For you, with your weight -220 lbs, and height 6.5, your management of your upper body is the key to explosive deliveries in addition to a down-right-nasty slider. Also, when you must brush a guy back, you'll have more control without getting a warning to you and your bench. So, try and sweep your glove arm out and close to the right of your body and in a line just off to the right side (your right) of your backstop. Then that glove hand should be right over a reasonable location for your stride foot to plant itself. By the way, if you have a backstop that goes too far off the plate, wanting anything "away", this posture will compensate that visual witness and keep you pitch just off the black. This glove action works 10 times out 10. By the way, explosive deliveries comes from the legs and pelvic muscles, but first manage control of that upper body before I suggest leg and other managements.
Question: Also, if I got it right you are suggesting to try to keep my upper body back more and break my hands earlier?
Answer: Now comes the tricky part. For you who has been doing what you've been doing for so long, in addition to going on 30, and all that weight, you're going to have to really work on the "trigger" as we use to call it, that tells you.. " ok, now have my comfort zone... let's do this...." Unfortunately for a lot of guys with your physical makeup... keeping your body back as you put it, means leaning back. Don't lean back. You have too much mass in the shoulders that'll rob you of control gong forward down the mound. Think of your upper body as a torque wrench and a spring under tension. Try and maintain a somewhat upper body posture throughout your leg lift and your hands together as you're use to,.... just delay dropping that leg lift until your right hip starts to drift, initially, towards your target. Just as your body starts to drift forward with your right hip leading the way.. BREAK THE HANDS, BRING THE BALL UP TO THE COCKED POSITION, STRECTCH OUT THAT GLOVER ARM AS SUGGESTED EARLIER AND REMEMBER THAT YOUR GLOVE HAND WILL STOP IN A WAY OUT IN FRONT OF YOU.. THUS GUIDING WHERE YOUR STRIDE FOOT WILL PLANT.
At your release, don't forget to "go with the pitch and don't bail out early." In other words don't "pop" up immediately after releasing the ball... stay with the pitch, quickly exchanging your glove shoulder with your pitching shoulder. Think of this ending posture like burying your pitching shoulder into your backstop.
Tom, I know this is a tough time in your career. I admire your spirt and willingness to do this. Just be mindful that my suggestions here are void of your lifestyle, you past physical history, and your overall tenure in the business. Also, and this is very important, be careful of who you talk to, asking for one of your catchers to catch for you, and ANYTHING THAT IS CONTRAY TO ANY COACH WHO IS GUIDING YOU THUS FAR.