Change-Up Hard on Arm?

Regarding Stephen Strasburg’s straining his right oblique yesterday, the Washington Post reports that Strasburg “threw two consecutive change-ups, the pitch most difficult on his arm - it was the pitch he threw in 2010 when his ulnar collateral ligament snapped.”

Huh? I thought the change-up was a relatively “safe” pitch, at least for youth pitchers? When and how can the change-up be “the pitch most difficult on the arm”?

Thanks. :?

The oblique muscle is apparently located between the lower ribs and the pelvis. The pain comes from twisting and turning during the deceleration phase of the pitch. Stretching the muscle beyond it’s limit and straining it. I don’t see why the writer would implicate the change up as possibly causing the injury…but hey maybe the Nats will ban Strasburg from using it. That is IF, they make it to the playoffs and IF they let him pitch at all. It’s kinda like having four wheel drive and not using it in a snow storm. It just goes to show, you can’t baby a professional pitcher. Well, you can but then you make him into a baby.

You’ve got me there. The change-up is a pronation pitch–just like a fastball. As long as the thumb is under the ball to allow pronation to happen, it should be one of the safest pitches. As such, there shouldn’t be any stress on that ligament. Unless he’s doing something odd with his grip position or grip intensity, I’m not sure. He does throw from the inverted W :wink: which some claim allows one to throw harder. Throwing harder means more stress and more likelihood of muscle or fiber failure. I’m not saying his InvW caused the injury, only that it’s more likely than the change-up.

My wise and wonderful pitching coach of decades ago once told me that just about any pitch I threw could be turned into a nice changeup, and he demonstrated several such for me and showed me how to throw them.
My guess is that Steve Strasburg was throwing his changeup all wrong, and that was how he threw out his arm. Granted, some changeups are more difficult to throw because they put more strain on the arm, but why was he doing this? Doesn’t he realize that there are changeups and changeups, and some are easier to throw and control.
For example, there’s the palmball. This was the first changeup I acquired, at age 12—this is the one often referred to as the “Bugs Bunny” changeup—and it is one of the easiest to throw, because you throw it exactly like a fast ball, no ifs, ands, buts or bases on balls. The grip is simplicity itself; you grip it with all four fingers on top and the thumb underneath for support. The whole point is not to grip the ball too tightly, because you don’t want to squeeze the juice out of it!—a firm grip, well back in the palm of the hand, hence the name. But you can change up on this one, either by loosening the grip a bit or holding it further forward in your hand. I had great success with this one.
I think Strasburg needs to take a good look at his grip, and he also needs to avoid changing his arm speed to slow down the pitch. 8)