"dead arm"

Here’s a link to a video on this topic from the MLB channel. Recent discussion there has been about Josh Beckett giving up an unusual number of home runs and, thus has “dead arm”

This sounds like a really unscientific term to explain something we don’t really understand… in the old days, say pre 1979, dead arm referred to everything from torn ligaments to bone chips to nerve entrapments… all medical conditions that at the time there was little understanding much less cure…

So is dead arm real? I think I have the vapors…


I think there is such thing as a “dead arm” sometimes I know it feels like the ball is light in my hand and it comes out easy. But on days when I’m more tired it feels like the ball weighs a ton and it feels like my arm is slower. I’m sure major league pitchers have stretchs where their arm feels tired, and Beckett might be going through that right now.

What you have in such situations is not what one would call a “dead arm”—just tired, is what. “Dead arm” is extreme fatigue, wherein one can’t seem to do anything, and the only way to deal with it is just plain rest it, not do any throwing for a few days and then get back into it easy. A lot of pitchers will find that an arm that is just tired will do no more and no less than one requires of it, and that can be an advantage—the breaking pitches will do just enough, the fast ball will do just enough, and there’s no danger of overthrowing. So if what you’ve been experiencing is just a tired arm, don’t worry about it. Rest it for a day or so afterwards and then get back into your usual routine—and be careful not to overthrow!