Adding a pitch?

Okay I’ve been on here a while and I am getting close to actually pitching in a game, my coach is really starting to like my knuckleball in fact during warm ups he has me throwing them and talks with me about when he might put me on the mound.

Now I’ve been working hard in the bullpen like you wouldn’t believe and so my fastball is at a halfway decent velocity and I can put it where I want it if I have to. I really only have 2 pitches though, I have my knuckleball and my fastball.

I was wondering what pitch I should learn just in case one of those days comes a long when my knuckler just doesn’t want to dance. I can throw a curve but it really is not that consistent I have thrown it pretty well before but it usually hangs. I figure a change-up would be okay but really that defeats the purpose because it’ll be going the speed of my knuckler and straight which is what I want to avoid. I’ve considered the scroogie but that’ll just tear my arm up, I don’t throw hard enough for a slider or anything like that. So I am asking, should I continue to work on a curve? Should I learn the change-up or should I learn something different like a split or forkball or possibly even another pitch?

Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Let’s see now…you have a decent fast ball, and that knuckler which I suspect is your best pitch—nothing wrong with that. But as you say, there are days when that pitch won’t knuckle if you stood on your head. So you need another pitch, maybe two. I would suggest that you continue to work on your curve ball—if, as you say, it hangs much of the time you need to do something about your mechanics with regard to that pitch. Maybe a different arm angle. You might also try a knuckle-curve, which can be murder on the hitters—we all know that. And what makes you think you can’t throw a slider? Have you ever tried it? Don’t say you can’t until you’ve worked with it for a while—you might be very pleasantly surprised. So go ahead, experiment, and you just might find another pitch or two that you can add to your arsenal.
The Goddess is watching. 8)

I’d go with the forkball. If you can get a forkball with barly any spin the batters will think your throwing a knuckleball and they will wait on it expecting it to move around but then when it doesn’t they’ll think its not gonna wiggle. They’ll either relies this 1)When it’s to late 2)Or they start their swing and then the ball just drops.

[quote=“Zita Carno”]Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Let’s see now…you have a decent fast ball, and that knuckler which I suspect is your best pitch—nothing wrong with that. But as you say, there are days when that pitch won’t knuckle if you stood on your head. So you need another pitch, maybe two. I would suggest that you continue to work on your curve ball—if, as you say, it hangs much of the time you need to do something about your mechanics with regard to that pitch. Maybe a different arm angle. You might also try a knuckle-curve, which can be murder on the hitters—we all know that. And what makes you think you can’t throw a slider? Have you ever tried it? Don’t say you can’t until you’ve worked with it for a while—you might be very pleasantly surprised. So go ahead, esperiment, and you just might find another pitch or two that you can add to your arsenal.
The Goddess is watching. 8)[/quote]

I thought about possibly throwing a knuckle-curve that I could use the type were I hold it like a knuckleball and over flick to make it break downwards. I read somewhere that you have to be able to throw at a certain velocity to throw a slider and idk if I can do it but I’ll try. I would definitely like to learn a slider so I would have a use for that Gyro I can throw but that I don’t use because I don’t have a breaking pitch to use as a setup for it to begin with.

Hey, Pustulio, here’s another thought: you might experiment with that “slip” pitch I was talking about—the slider thrown with a knuckleball grip. As I had mentioned in a couple of previous posts, I learned that pitch a long time ago from my pitching coach, and I used it with devastating results—the batters couldn’t hit it for beans. So while you’re working on the slider you might try this one too.
I told you the Goddess of the Slider was watching! :slight_smile:

Yeah try that slip pitch I threw it just to throw it a little bit to my cousin just playing catch and it is a nice pitch.

Well what’s it supposed to do exactly because when I throw it I get my knuckleball out of it.

Someone else who’s been experimenting with the pitch says that it has a break not unlike a pitch Randy Johnson throws. The thing to remember is that this is a variation of the slider—and believe me, it’s a honey. I wouldn’t worry about whether it knuckles or not. And you can use a two-finger or a three-finger grip, it’s up to you. And you can try different arm angles with it—I threw mine sidearm exclusively, and when I went to the crossfire and threw that pitch, you should have heard some batters! So work it up and use it. 8) :slight_smile:

I do throw my knuckler 2 fingered, just I don’t seem to get anything out of it, it’s just my knuckleball. However I have been experimenting with the corkscrew knuckleball and hopefully if I can get it over the plate I’ll start using it.

HI Pustulio,

I would add the slider. It is easier to get it called for strikes and looks like your fastball until too late. It is easy to learn unlike some of the specialty pitches or a regular curve. Both Niekro’s had + sliders a little known fact.

my 2 cents,

Ian

and best of Luck!

Oh on a slider when I throw my cutter outside it usually has a big break on it almost like a slider and I don’t turn my wrist and it never hurts my arm. If I were to really throw it like a slider it wouldn’t break that much more and its still a hard pitch to hit.

[quote=“ian demagi”]HI Pustulio,

I would add the slider. It is easier to get it called for strikes and looks like your fastball until too late. It is easy to learn unlike some of the specialty pitches or a regular curve. Both Niekro’s had + sliders a little known fact.

my 2 cents,

Ian

and best of Luck![/quote]

Yeah I know about the Niekro Bros. having sliders I am a huge fan of Phil Niekro and I also know he almost went pro as a conventional pitcher but he was borderlined so one scout asked him if he had anything else he said “knuckleball” and so the scout watched it and said “son don’t you throw anything else and you’ll be MLB in no time”.

Okay, well I’ll try to work on the slider or slip pitch. I think I would really like to have the slip pitch and the knuckle-curve so that I can still use the knuckleball grip if the knuckler is working so I can mix them in and then I can still use them if the knuckler doesn’t want to dance.

I’d say an eephus.
I mean, it’s the most underappreciated pitch that can really mess hitters up. A curveball-like eephus is the best solution. It doesn’t hang flat out and if you just lob it up in the air it will come down in a more horizontal angle than just a lob. Even if you miss your target and get a called ball, you can just throw your fastball after that, and I can assure that despite being an only decent one, hitters will be looking like it’s a 95mph heater, usually fouling or missing.

But the eephus is for gamblers, and if you can’t gamble you better just practice something else. It’s do or die. Everybody knows that if you miss with your eephus or throw it in the wrong situation and the batter gets the best of it, it’s bye bye baseball. Surprise is the key of eephus. If you know how to use it and when, it’s devastating…

But again, the eephus is not thrown many times in a game. Actually the guys who use it at all might throw it few times in a bunch of games. I haven’t seen anybody to include an eephus in their repertoire. But heck, you can be always the first to do so.

Even if you include the eephus I’d recommend to add a fourth pitch. The best I recommend for that? A submarine sinker or slider. I mean, if you want to see the word devastating in action, surprise is the key. And the eephus aside, what describes the word better than these…?:

  • Different arm angle
  • Different spin on ball
  • Different behavior of pitches
  • Different body action

Trust my word on this. I think many pitchers don’t experiment and change arm angles because a) they don’t know how to, b) they don’t want to master another arm angle (too lazy in other words) or c) they are afraid coaches might see it as a sign of them playing around without knowing anything.
But in reality, I can guarantee it works. If you throw 49 pitches from 3/4 arm angle, is the batter really going to expect the 50th to be anything besides 3/4? Well, heck no, so there comes the surprise factor.

I’ve seen hitters swinging and missing at a 2-seam fastballs that bounced a feet in front of home plate. I mean, really, totally crappy pitches. How many times that has happened while I pitch from my usual 3/4? Never. But when I’ve suddenly thrown a surprise submarine pitch, I’ve seen hitters do this multiple times, not just once.
When they are starting to realize that my body action is different, I’m already releasing the ball, and when their brains actually realize that something different is happening, they have much less time to react to the actual pitch because 99% of the hitters can’t just block these factors aside… they can’t concentrate of what they should: looking at the ball from the release point, only. While their brains try to think what’s going on, what’s happening, why something has changed (meaning a totally different, unexpected windup/body movement) it’s too late already. Result? Well, either they just never catch up to anything and just take the pitch, no matter what it is, of they swing and miss ugly.

So even if you don’t choose the eephus, I recommend adding a submarine/low sidearm pitch to your repertorie. If you can make it move, even better. I started by just throwing fastballs sub-style, and after some playing around I learned to throw a slider and a splitter-changeup.
I could throw only submarine if I’d wanted, but then the surprise would have to be a 3/4 or over the top pitch. But because most of the pitchers use these arm angles, it’s not really going to work too many times in a game. I prefer adding unorthodox to normal than opposite.

I hope this helps you somehow. If you decide to use my advice and you want to add submarine to your repertoire but you don’t know any pitches and want me to help with grips or so, I can gladly help.

Best luck to your pitching career.

Well the cool thing is I already can throw a fastball and knuckleball submarine style. However my coach has been trying to fix my arm angle since I used to throw sidearm now he has me at 3/4 which is fine, no arm angle has ever bothered my arm except straight over the top. And really I have thought about the other arm angles but idk if my coach would want me to do that.

[quote=". a n t o n i o . ."]- Different arm angle

  • Different spin on ball
  • Different behavior of pitches
  • Different body action

Trust my word on this. I think many pitchers don’t experiment and change arm angles because a) they don’t know how to, b) they don’t want to master another arm angle (too lazy in other words) or c) they are afraid coaches might see it as a sign of them playing around without knowing anything.
But in reality, I can guarantee it works. If you throw 49 pitches from 3/4 arm angle, is the batter really going to expect the 50th to be anything besides 3/4? Well, heck no, so there comes the surprise factor.

I’ve seen hitters swinging and missing at a 2-seam fastballs that bounced a feet in front of home plate. I mean, really, totally crappy pitches. How many times that has happened while I pitch from my usual 3/4? Never. But when I’ve suddenly thrown a surprise submarine pitch, I’ve seen hitters do this multiple times, not just once.
When they are starting to realize that my body action is different, I’m already releasing the ball, and when their brains actually realize that something different is happening, they have much less time to react to the actual pitch because 99% of the hitters can’t just block these factors aside… they can’t concentrate of what they should: looking at the ball from the release point, only. While their brains try to think what’s going on, what’s happening, why something has changed (meaning a totally different, unexpected windup/body movement) it’s too late already. Result? Well, either they just never catch up to anything and just take the pitch, no matter what it is, of they swing and miss ugly.

So even if you don’t choose the eephus, I recommend adding a submarine/low sidearm pitch to your repertorie. If you can make it move, even better. I started by just throwing fastballs sub-style, and after some playing around I learned to throw a slider and a splitter-changeup.
I could throw only submarine if I’d wanted, but then the surprise would have to be a 3/4 or over the top pitch. But because most of the pitchers use these arm angles, it’s not really going to work too many times in a game. I prefer adding unorthodox to normal than opposite.

I hope this helps you somehow. If you decide to use my advice and you want to add submarine to your repertoire but you don’t know any pitches and want me to help with grips or so, I can gladly help.

Best luck to your pitching career.[/quote]

I never thought bout that! That is a great idea!! Im gonna try that this year… That would definitely throw off a couple hitters.

-> Greg
Go ahead buddy. I definetly encourage you to try surprise pitches.
If you’re unsure of how it feels or if it’s going to work, I recommend to throw it in a 0-2 or 1-2 counts.
I can throw all of my submarine pitches for strikes with a pretty good success rate so I can go with them even in 3-1 or 3-2 counts. But to start, use pitchers counts and develop from there.
Good luck bud. I hope to hear some good stories about baffled batters :wink:

-> Pustulio
Man, for you I recommend the same, just go for it!! If you throw 3/4 and like me, know to throw submarine style, just take your chance.
Submarine knuckler can be devastating, but it only changes the release point of your primary pitch, so a 2-seam fastball or a slider would be the pitches I recommend to you.
With a bit of less speed than your normal fastball and a little more wrist action you can get yourself a nasty submarine sinker by testing with the 2-seam grip. A slider, despite sounding weird is actually pretty easy to learn. Just use the ordinary slider/curveball (I’ve even used knuckle-curve grip) grip and wrist the heck out of it from the submarine angle. Devastation guaranteed.

A coach is always a coach. You should respect him/her, but also remember he/she is just a human being and they aren’t always right in everything. Never turn your back to new experiments. If you don’t try anything new, you can’t know what you might be possibly missing.
All the logic for success is on your side… and I say go for it.
After your coach sees some baffled batsmen, he will only thank you.

I’ve been working on my pitches so I’ve got location for fastballs and cutters. Pretty good and I can even take some off my cutter so its more like a slider. Well Once in while for a good hitter I’ll mix in the knucklecurve. It’s so slow and weird that even a good hitter will be confused. No one has hit my knucklecurve yet. I’m not bragging I throw it like 4 times a game. But…it can get me out of good innings. I threw it for a called strike 3 on one kid and he had no clue I had that pitch back in my arsenal. Then one kid I totally set him up 0-1 or 1-1 with it. Then he was nervous and worried about me throwing it again so I threw him cutter outside for a K. That is the same effect as Antonio is saying. I’m sure he went back and said he saw a big looppy curve and then kids go in expecting it and that can set the tone for a whole game.

If I threw it all the time, eventually I will I just hang it almost always. But when you throw it a few times a game no ones going to hit it. Most don’t even swing. I’ve thrown it for a couple balls but mostly strikes, all it needs to do.

If you got an eephus you would be an official gimmick pitcher.

Do It.

Or, if you want to be a real pitcher, get a curve, or a forkball!

You’re not a gimmick pitcher is you get people out and still pitch properly. Even with a knuckleball and an eephus you still have to pitch, you’re not a freak show for throwing unusual pitches. An unusual pitch means you just happen to use it, you still have to know how to pitch, mix speeds, throw strikes and keep runners close.

Notice Tim Wakefield’s success isn’t just because he can throw a knuckleball, it’s because he can mix speeds with it and he can keep runners close and locate a different pitch when he needs to.

I agree.

I’d even actually rather be a succesful “gimmick” pitcher as you call it than a “real” pitcher who can’t get guys out.
And if you ask me there ain’t such thing as a gimmick pitcher, there’s only different pitchers who use different ways to get outs. Traditional and unorthodox. That’s it.

I find it funny how people often open their mouths to declare people “real” and “not real” based only on what they think without seeing the whole picture.

Nice to see more people who have experienced the advantage of using a surprise pitch. Way to go Bower.

PS: A weird thing I noticed… people have actually voted for a change-up. A change-up in my opinion is effective only when mixed with a good fastball. Absurd to think that it would be effective for a guy who uses mainly knuckleballs. A change-up ain’t a pitch that is effective by itself only.