Foot position on pitching rubber


#1

I observed something for the very first time last night.

I saw that the Phillies closer, Tom Gordan, actuall on his last warmup toss had half of his foot off the end of the rubber and the midstep to the toes positioned in front of the rubber. In other words he positions himself almost to where the inside corner is on a lefty.

Is this done often? Is this a good technique to use? It seems that he could throw a normal straight fastball and it would be on the edge of the inside corner or outside corner for righties.

What is the ruling on this because he stayed in that position when he began the inning.

Again only half of his foot was in front of the rubber about if that.

I’ve never thought to tell the kids to do this on an 0-2 count where you want the corner and you could just position yourself out there and throw a straight fastball trying to hit it.

Also, when he threw a slider it broke 6 inches off the plate to a righty because of his positioning.

Thoughts??


#2

Technically it illegal to have part of your foot past the edge of the rubber, it is a balk unless the whole of your foot is in contact with the rubber. With that being said, it rarely gets called and this is the same positioning i used and have all of my pitcher move to teh edge of the rubber on their glove side. I have only been warned about this one time and never been called for it. Tom Glavine does this as well. My reasoning is that if I throw a straight fastball it goes to the outside corner to a righty, but if i throw a fastball to the inside corner it is actually riding in on the batter with no movement.


#3

I’m surprised a lot more pitchers don’t do this. Gordan obviously does and his ball down the middle is now an inch off the plate.


#4

Surprisingly this is always how ive pitched. I was never taught a certain motion, just did what came naturally. Always had success too.


#5

I think a lot of pitchers learn to stand to the glove side of the rubber simply to avoid the hole that is usually in front-middle of the rubber - better to have the toes down in the hole than the heel.