Curveball advice


#1

My main objective is to learn to take velocity off of my curveball. For background, I throw a low to mid 80s Fastball, A hard slider (76-79), a split change (75-77) and I currently throw a traditional curveball (74-76). I obviously need to learn how to change speeds better. I am okay with my slider and split being similar speeds due to the difference in movement of the pitches; however, My curveball is my weakest pitch (Still a pretty good one). My curveball has similar action to my slider as well. I am interested in hearing how i could slow this pitch down preferably to the low 70s and get more of a 12-6 action. I would be willing to work with new grips if necessary or just listening to any advice you may have to improve the same I’m already throwing. I look forward to your responses.

-Kevin


#2

What is your arm slot? I think getting 4-5 mph off of your curve will be good for you. You say the curve is your weakest pitch. Does it lack depth? How does it move? what is the shape?

Best regards,

Ted


#3

My arm slot is pretty over the top, maybe a high 3/4. I say it’s my weakest pitch because It is not consistent, and I lack the confidence necessary to throw it in all counts. It’s honestly not a bad pitch, I’m just not satisfied and know it can be improved


#4

It’s movement is between a 1-7 and 2-8. It breaks hard and late probably about 10 in.


#5

With that slot you should be able to get 12-6 movement. The things I think are most important to set the wrist before the arm is taken away and not to get too much index finger involvement. The ball should roll off of the middle finger. You might even begin your efforts with the index finger extended. This alone may get you the speed reduction you are looking for.

Apologies if you are already aware of these cues.

Best regards,

Ted


#6

I appreciate the feedback, i will play around with my index finger and see how it works for me. Michael Wacha has had some great success with that style. Thanks Ted!


#7

I am pretty sure he has taken some cues from Wainwright. You might look for some stuff on his curve as well.

Good luck,

Ted


#8

Keep in mind the slower your curve the more “loopy” it will be. Throwing a harder curve has two benefits:

(1) Lets you better tunnel your pitches to increase your deception.

(2) Gives you later movement.


#9

What Roger says is indeed true. It is also easier to get called strikes on harder curves with less movement. However, a significant percentage of the college coaches I have spoken with this past year like to see 12-15 mph reduction for a curveball. Kershaw and Wainwright, two pretty good curveballers, often have 18-20 mph reduction off the fastball. Your current differential is less than 10, which appears to be almost slider like. I am not saying you should necessarily lose your current curve but a slower 12-6 will be a useful addition if you can get a feel for it.

I you look at the effective velocity matrix on Perry Husband’s website, you will see that moving diagonally through the hitting zone maintains the same velocity profile. Moving vertically will change the effective velocity within the pitch.

Good luck,

Ted