Am I ready to add another pitch?

I finally got the curve down and I have been throwing it consistently for a couple weeks now. I plan to still focus on the Curve, Fastball and of course my knuckler when I throw but, do you think at this point I can add another pitch?

If so what should I add? I’ve considered a change-up for first time through the lineup stuff, but not for throughout a game entirely (see other thread).

Btw: I’ve found through messing around that when I try to throw a screwball I get a 12-6 curve action because of my low arm angle. I just thought that was interesting.

unless you play proffesional baseball hitters wont let you set them up so i say you’re trying WAY too hard to fool them when they basically will get themself out swinging blindly at your knuckleball. forget everything you learned out of your fastball and your knuckleball if you really have a good one. throw them over the plate and play baseball. forget about 12-6 screwballs, loopy changeups slow curveballs down the middle and your other junk.

The screwball thing was just a weird event, didn’t plan on adding that. The thing is I throw fastballs, knuckleballs and curves already and I just wondered if I was ready for a 4th pitch even as a rare occasion pitch.

I don’t know your age, but I wouldn’t try to integrate a knuckleball into your repertoire. I would stick with more conventional pitches: fastball (2 and 4 seamer), change-up, curveball, or slider.

Most youth league pitchers think they have a knuckleball because they can throw a pitch that has very little rotation. What they don’t realize is that the only thing probably making that pitch effective (if at all) is its offspeed nature, not that it dances and tumbles like Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball. They’d probably have the same type of success with a conventional change-up.

I’ve seen a lot of kids who think they have a knuckleball, but they really don’t. All it does is come in straight, slow, and with little spin.

I also don’t know what kind of aspirations you have for the future - but most scouts and colleges are not looking for tricky knuckleballers.

There’s a reason that this pitch is rarely thrown in the higher levels of baseball.

You either have a great knuckleball or you don’t. Most pitchers that have a great one are knuckleball pitchers (ala Tim Wakefield). It’s what they throw 95% of the time. They don’t care if the batter knows it’s coming. They do not rely on the element of surprise, instead, they rely on the fact that the pitch is so random, it is difficult to make solid contact. It’s like playing wiffle ball on a windy day.

Unless your knuckleball has a lot of movement, I’d put it on the shelf and focus on your more conventional pitches. Work on improving your mechanics and try to get your fastball faster. If you could achieve that simple goal, you’ll find your other pitches (change-up and curveball) start becoming more and more effective.

The knuckleball is an “old man” pitch -or- a pitch that pitchers resort to once they discover they have a great one and that they have had little success with more conventional techniques. There are very few knuckleballers who started off as knuckleballers. They evolved into a knuckleballer out of necessity.

David Emerling
Memphis, TN

3 pitches effectively used and, most importantly mastered are sufficient. Adding additional pitches risks depleting the ‘mastery’ of the other three. See Dice-K when he’s not effective.
If your intent is to continue pitching, you need to master 3 pitches, make them look the same and master the pitching essentials (location, movement, change of speed, velocity). In so doing, you use any of the 3 in any count in any situation. The result will be lower pitch counts and a longer career.
If your intent is to make batters look silly then you foil the previous intent by making too many pitches. Batters look silly enough at least 70% of the time!



Arg. The knuckleball.
Every kid thinks they have one. Then they say hey Im going to strike you out with it. And they throw it. And it doesnt spin. And your surprised. But your also surprised by the fact that its not moving. And you hit a double. Personally I dont know of one actually good pitcher at any age level that throws one in a game. (Not counting pros.)
Tweenies have too many pitches now. I threw a 2 seam fastball by itself until I was 14 1/2. By doing that, I built up arm strength and endurance. I also learned control. It also promoted a healthy arm. All the kids who threw 7 pitches when I was younger now 1.) have a beat up arm or 2.) throw 65 mph.
All I know is my son isnt going to throw anything but a fastball until he starts to play at a level where his fastball wont get him by anymore.

Great post Memphis!