I’m in the middle of a 7 week fall baseball season. We play double headers on Sunday mornings. I’m mainly being used as a pitcher for 1-3 innings a day. I’m only throwing FB CH maybe 1 or 2 SL. During this off season period I want to work on command over all pitches and increasing velocity. Should I be thinking of other things? Make any more or different goals?
You didn’t list anything you were working on. Or goals.
You stated you are pitching 1-3 innings a week is what it sounds like. That is not enough to improve anything on its own…
Outside of games, what are you working on?
Sidearmboy, you don’t have to worry about other pitches at this stage of the game. You have, right now, one of the deadliest combos there is—the fastball-slider-change—and what you want to do is really work on and refine those pitches. I remember a Yankee pitcher named Vic Raschi, who had this repertoire—he didn’t have what we used to call “Aunt Susie”, a curve ball, and he didn’t need it, especially not with that devastating slider. So I say, you’re doing fine with these three you have—make the most of them.
Goddess of the Slider
I said I want to gain better command over my pitches and increase velocity those are my main goals right now. Outside of games I am working in the weight room and doing an arm care program.
I think what Fearsome was getting at was that you need to do more to work on command. Do you have any bullpen routines or work you are doing to assist in improving your command besides the 1-3 innings on Sunday?
That is true, but also specific goals.
Increasing velocity is as vague as “get stronger”. There needs to be a baseline starting point, a process in place, short term and long term goals.
Posting video of pitching mechanics would help as well.
What angle is best for a video?
I like to see some from the back (2nd base) and some from the pitcher’s open side. (from 3rd base for righty, 1st for lefty)
Thanks Ted I’ll see if I can get some footage tomorrow probably inside on flat ground.
Establish a baseline for your command right now. Chart the variance from your target on each pitch. Throw a bullpen in blocks of 10 identical pitches and calculate average miss. Track it over the off season and see what kind of results that focused effort got you. Throwing the pen in blocks of 10 identical will allow you to groove your release point for specific pitches, then recall that feeling to execute the pitch in a game.
Shotgun bullpens where you mix it up constantly do not help overall command or accuracy, they only help maintain or develop arm strength. Incorporating focused blocks of pitches accomplishes both.
Make one bullpen all focused on the inner 1/3. The next one can focus on outer 1/3, bottom 1/3, upper 1/3, etc. One pen could focus down and in, next down and away, then up and in, then up and away. Structure it how you want, just keep track of the results.
Velocity, comes from perfecting your specific mechanics and conditioning your body to be balanced and strong. It’s much more difficult to add significant velocity, so that plan needs to be more detailed and you must stick with what gives you the best results.
Very good advice on bullpens CoachPaul.
My son came into this past summer dealing with some control issues. The thing that a lot of young guys learn is it takes time and consistent effort to improve. Setting small goals, for him it we boiled it down to first pitch strikes. A taken strike, a foul ball, doesn’t matter. Improving that one thing improved his overall strike percentage by about 12%. It allows a pitcher to work ahead and leads, generally, to good things.
Something as simple as that goal can be a good place to start. It is simple to track and understand. Throwing strikes is not the same as command however. That is why Coach Pauls approach of working thirds, tracking misses etc and not mixing up feel of pitches is such a good approach.
It drives me nuts when I see young players…in my experience this happens quite a bit…who are not focused in pens. Just gabbing away, sort of messing around…trying out new pitches ect. That is wasting time.