Clarification on Jenks mechanics


#1

I noticed in the paper today that Bobby Jenks was taken out of the game yesterday - citing tightness in his shoulder…

Jenks mentioned he was using bad mehanics and was quoted saying “I’m leaking a little bit, and dropping my elbow. Those 2 things together are not good” - Can anyone explain what he means w/that? Leaking meaning, falling off when throwing? Where would he be dropping his elbow?

Thanks,
EBK


#2

[quote=“ebkcontainers”]I noticed in the paper today that Bobby Jenks was taken out of the game yesterday - citing tightness in his shoulder…

Jenks mentioned he was using bad mehanics and was quoted saying “I’m leaking a little bit, and dropping my elbow. Those 2 things together are not good” - Can anyone explain what he means w/that? Leaking meaning, falling off when throwing? Where would he be dropping his elbow?[/quote]

I wouldn’t trust much of what Jenks (or many ML pitching coaches) says. Often, they don’t understand what actually happens when a person pitches.

I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true.

In terms of what’s going on with Jenks, I think his problem is related to how high he takes his PAS elbow, as you can see in the photo below…


#3

“Leaking forward” is generally a feeling of flying open a bit with the front shoulder. Now, this can happen because his body is not working in sequence and his lower body is going too quick for his upper body.

The most common correction on this site is to “get the hips going quicker.” I completely agree with this assessment, but it should be clarified for some of the younger guys here. While we want to be quick to the plate, and get our leg up and down as fast and efficiently as possible, there is still a such thing as “too quick.” The upper body needs to be slightly behind the lower body so that it is in a position to throw at the right time. This is probably what Jenks was feeling: he was rushing his delivery and opening the front shoulder a bit.

When Jenks says that he was dropping his elbow it is because he felt like he was pushing the ball to the plate rather than staying through it and throwing on more of a downhill plane. Now “downhill plane” does not mean throwing straight over the top, it’s simply making the path of the hand more efficient after external rotation: bringing it straighter to the plate rather than out and around. I think even sidearm guys can throw “downhill.”

He probably felt as if he was dropping his elbow because the front shoulder was flying a bit, forcing his upper body to move more side to side.

So this now brings up the point that when we analyze pitching injuries/mechanics, watching one or two videos, or looking at random still images does not tell the entire story. Jenks may have had the best mechanics in the world based off one delivery, but if he is not repeating this delivery every time, then he is stressing his body in a different way each time he pitches. That’s one of the reasons why injuries occur: guys cannot repeat their delivery consistently.


#4

I was going to post but Palo 20 nailed it. Nice job Palo20.


#5

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]
I wouldn’t trust much of what Jenks (or many ML pitching coaches) says. Often, they don’t understand what actually happens when a person pitches.
I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true.[/quote]
That is very hard to believe, these guys should understand these things at their level

He does bring his elbow above his shoulders quite a bit - now whether he drops before he turns is the question…

Thanks Chris


#6

[quote=“ebkcontainers”][quote=“Chris O’Leary”]
I wouldn’t trust much of what Jenks (or many ML pitching coaches) says. Often, they don’t understand what actually happens when a person pitches.
I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true.[/quote]
That is very hard to believe, these guys should understand these things at their level[/quote]

If you look at some of what they say, you have to wonder if they’ve gone frame by frame through ANY video, much less high speed video.

Instead, they rely too much on the naked eye.

The problem is that the naked eye is just too slow to see much of this stuff.


#7

Palo20,

Thanks for the explanation, that was very informative - appreciate it.

I never thought of bringing my arm straighter to the plate when I throw - what exactly does that help - the deceleration of the arm? Or it’s just a better path to follow to reduce injury?

Thanks,
EBK


#8

Chris,

while I agree that many pro pitchers cannot really explain what they do, they can certainly feel it. Jenks was describing his feel that day, and was probably accurate with his description if we looked at high speed video of his performance.

EBK,

No problem, glad I could clear some things up.

I’d say bringing the arm straighter to the plate can help reduce injury, but mostly helps from showing the ball too early to the hitter and flying with the front side too early. This is a part of deception and what many pitchers would call “getting through the ball.”

A drill that may help you feel this is to take the ball and hold it at your ear. Just put it right next to your ear. Now throw it straight from there. The only way to go from there is straight to the plate, and you’ll get the feel of really finishing a pitch. Now remember it’s just a drill to get the feel of this, I don’t suggest actually throwing like this.