A long-winded analysis of ASMI vs. Marshall

This one’s been in the books for awhile. Maybe some people will find it interesting. Would love to hear from laflippin about this since he’s the only other insane person who is actually interested in this kind of detail. :slight_smile:

Doesn’t this mean that if his pitchers were able to throw 90+ mph, there would be even more force on the elbow in extension? Because I hate to see a guy throwing 85 mph putting the same strain on his arm as a guy throwing 95 mph.

I think the forces would be the same, but I don’t want to get into that until I write a piece about the limitations of biomechanical analyses. You can’t say that Marshall’s pitchers are at the same risk of injury (mechanically speaking) as traditional ones because the forces are the same. There are a lot of mitigating factors as to how those forces are applied.

This quote from your article…

“The final velocity of the ball will be directly related to the distance over which the ball is accelerated”

…captures the essence of Marshall’s problem, in my opinion. Given the mechanical constraints that he places on his pitchers, they have a very short path over which to apply force to accelerate the ball. The Farrenkopf video, among others, illustrates this limitation vividly.

Traditional pitchers, who typically use a much more rotational mechanic than Marshall pitchers, are able to start accelerating the ball along a longer (arc-shaped) pathway.

Given equal strength, genetic ability, and the ability to apply equal force to the ball, producing equal acceleration…the Marshall pitcher would not be able to generate as much release velocity as a traditional pitcher. The path lengths for accelerating the ball are simply not equal.

I found it interesting that somebody who was both Marshall trained and traditionally trained once agreed to undergo biomechanical evaluation for comparison of both styles–I think the company that did the study was represented by former SF Giants pitcher John D’Acquisto. In any case, that study at least eliminated the variables of strength, mass, and genetics…as I recall, the study essentially concluded the same way as the ASMI inter-pitcher mechanical comparisons, i.e., that the Marshall mechanic is an inherently less efficient way to generate force on a baseball.

Lee:

That’s what I initially thought. But Marshall’s pitchers generate humeral internal rotational angular velocities and elbow extension angular velocities equivalent to elite pitchers who throw much harder than them. I think the answer has to be something else. Marshall’s pitchers DO accelerate their forearms over a shorter distance (MER is lower), but that doesn’t seem to affect internal rotation velocity (or joint torque).

What do you think about the pronation/broken chain theory?

Good point, I had “misremembered”, to use a great new word coined by Roger Clemens, that those numbers were accelerations…but they are indeed velocities. Since the internal rotation velocities are about the same and the elbow extension velocities are about the same for the Marshall and elite pitcher groups, then it does stand to reason that something downstream of the elbow velocity is responsible for the large discrepancy in release velocities between the two groups.

Your thoughts about exaggerated pronator teres contraction breaking, or violating, the kinetic chain are interesting and may have some real merit…that obviously occurs in the forearm of a Marshall pitcher who is taught to “forcefully pronate” each pitch. You can’t really throw a true fastball if pronation has already occurred before release of the ball, and presumably Marshall believes that his pitchers should be able to add “extra” pronation in the milliseconds immediately after release. I’m guessing timing the “extra” pronation to the exact millisecond of release is difficult, asymtotically approaching impossible…so, yes, pronation before release of the ball has perhaps several ways of lowering release velocity. You mentioned interference with the efficient use of kinetic chain in the forearm and wrist; the other thing that pronation before release does is this: It removes a considerable amount of the hand/fingers from behind the ball, where it would otherwise apply force directly to the back of the ball, in favor of a more “screwball-like” configuration of the hand-and-ball. With less “hand” directly behind the ball, the less force can be applied to the ball near release.

For any given pitcher, every pitch that is either pronated or supinated at release is slower than his fastball…in qualitative proportion to the degree to which the backing fingers are “off-center” at release.

The article actually states the following:

"As we understand it, velocity comes from just two factors under a very simple physics-based approach, which should be easy to grasp for most readers.

The final velocity of the ball will be directly related to the distance over which the ball is accelerated and how quickly the ball is accelerated. Seems simple enough, right?"

So, there are two things that contribute to velocity. 1-Distance over which the ball travels and 2-how quickly the ball is accelerated.

Marshall proponents have always stated that they don’t have any “fast-twitch” guys to work with. Basically, they say they get the bottom of the barrel guys to work with. However, this article is stating that the acceleration of the Marshall guys is just as fast as the non-Marshall guys. Because of this, the difference in velocity is due to the shorter distance that their mechanics allow the ball to travel before release. In other words, the Marshallites excuse that they don’t have any fast-twitch guys to work with is not true. It is the mechanics that don’t allow the velocity to be where “traditional” pitchers get.

The whip thing is a whole different deal. I believe that could be true as well. Just wanted to comment on the above for now.

This was literally my exact thought process. I thought for the longest time they were accelerations (for no reason since it clearly states they are angular velocities), but after realizing they were velocities and speaking to biomechanists about it, the broken chain theory is what I came up with.

However, it’s also worth noting that your thoughts on the shorter distance over which the forearm accelerates is important too. It’s not something I’m focusing on with THIS article, but it is no less important as an argument.

Exactly. I thought that picture of Billy Wagner (wrist/hand laid back) made that point as well.

Thanks for your input.

[quote=“bballman”]Marshall proponents have always stated that they don’t have any “fast-twitch” guys to work with. Basically, they say they get the bottom of the barrel guys to work with. However, this article is stating that the acceleration of the Marshall guys is just as fast as the non-Marshall guys. Because of this, the difference in velocity is due to the shorter distance that their mechanics allow the ball to travel before release. In other words, the Marshallites excuse that they don’t have any fast-twitch guys to work with is not true. It is the mechanics that don’t allow the velocity to be where “traditional” pitchers get.

The whip thing is a whole different deal. I believe that could be true as well. Just wanted to comment on the above for now.[/quote]

What’s being measured aren’t accelerations (both Lee and I thought this some time ago) but actual velocities!

So there are NO difference in angular velocities - and in fact Marshall’s pitchers may have HIGHER accelerations! So Marshall’s excuses wouldn’t matter, because his pitchers (Farrenkopf, Carmody, and Williams presumably) all had an average IR velocity and elbow extension velocity well within elite ranges.

It’s possible that their angular velocities could even INCREASE if they accelerated their forearm over a longer distance, but that’s not necessarily the point of the article.