"good breaking balls come from..."

on sunday night baseball joe morgan recently said that “good breaking balls come from arm speed”. I know pitchers with excellent, late breaking, tight breaking balls with fastballs that don’t touch 87. If arm speed creates velocity, how can this be?

On the other hand, I also know pitchers who can through 86 yet they can’t throw a good, sharp breaking ball to save their life.

The thing to remember about arm speed is that you have to throw all your pitches with consistent arm speed and the same arm angle. If you throw, say, a curve ball with the same arm speed as your fast ball and then slow down your arm speed for a changeup, trouble lies ahead, because you’d be telegraphing that changeup and the batters would sit on it.
Throwing a good breaking ball—curve, slider, splitter, whatever—involves several things, including the grip. Joe Morgan might have been a very fine second baseman, but there are things he doesn’t quite grasp about pitching, and we all need to remember that. One doesn’t juist grab a ball and throw it. I remember one of the first things my old pitching coach told me years ago; he said “Be sure to use a big enough glove so the opposing batters can’t read your pitches. Some of your stuff has distinctive grips.” There’s a particular grip for the knuckle-curve, for example, another one for a slider, still another for a palm ball—but you throw every one of these pitches with the same arm speed, and that’s all you need to know about this particular aspect of it. It’s the grip and the wrist action that really make for good breaking stuff.

Agreed with Zita. But in a harsher way, unfortunately for Joe, he may have been able to be a great player, but he sure as hell can’t teach or explain it

I guess I was being a little too polite… :slight_smile:

Orel Hershiser, on the oth’er hand, knows his stuff inside and out

Yes, Orel knows his stuff. The bulldog had a great pitching mechanics video I used to have, and still miss.