Help for a new pitcher

I am a 14 year old left-handed pitcher. I am currently playing in a summer league, and pitching off of 60-feet mounds. This is my first experience ever pitching from the distance, so my pitches aren’t nearly as fast as they used to be. I am okay with this though, because I still have pretty decent control. However, I would like to add another pitch to my arsenal. At the moment I only throw:
-4-Seam Fastball
-2-Seam Fastball
-Circle Change Up

I actually have been experimenting with the Vulcan Changeup, but I’m looking for some sort of breaking ball that doesn’t require an arm movement that will ruin my arm like a curveball will at my age. I would like to learn a slider, but I’m not sure if that will ruin my arm like a curveball would.

This is really my first season competitively pitching on a regular basis, so all advice is appreciated. Thanks you guys.

I would wait a couple of years with the slider, until certain growth processes in the arm and shoulder are more or less complete. Meanwhile, you certainly could add another changeup to your repertoire, and there are plenty to choose from—my pitching coach told me years ago that just about any pitch you throw can be turned into a nice changeup. I would recommend that you work on a palm ball, which I picked up at the age of twelve and used for two decades as a changeup—and very effective it was too.
I will tell you, though, that the slider, when thrown correctly, is a lot easier on the arm and shoulder than the curve ball. 8)

Wat about a knuckle ball, it’s less complicated then it sounds and if u practice it enough it can be a monster. There are not near as many knucklers as there used to be so it’s definetly something to conciter.

a slider is really bad for your elbow
and ive seen somewhere that curveballs are bad for your shoulders (dang them, haha)

but you can throw a change-up that breaks a lot (palmball or forkball)
between those, the palmball is nicer because the forkball requires arm movement that uses the elbow kind of harshly

7nacho, I’m afraid I’ll have to disagree with you.
Jim Brosnan, a very good relief pitcher with Cincinnati in the early ‘60s, once described the slider as a pitch which is not as fast as a fast ball nor as sharp-breaking as a curve but which is easier to throw and to control than any other breaking pitch. He also said that most pitchers would give their eye teeth to own a good one. And he was right about that—it is easier to throw and to control, because it actually puts less strain and stress on the arm and shoulder than anything else when you throw it correctly. I learned the slider when I was sixteen; my instructor was one of the Yankees’ Big Three rotation at the time—you might remember him; his name was Ed Lopat—and he told me, “Throw it like a curve, but roll your wrist, don’t snap it.” He showed me the off-center grip he used, demonstrated the action, and then he handed me the ball and said “Go ahead—try it.” The fact that I was a true natural sidearmer certainly helped; I got the hang of the basics of the pitch in about ten minutes, and I spent a whole winter and most of the spring perfecting it—with no arm and shoulder trouble at all. It became my strikeout pitch.
So I would say to this kid who’s been inquiring about it—when you reach age 16, go ahead and work on a slider if you so desire. The whole trick is the easier wrist action. You might find yourself with a dandy of a pitch. :slight_smile: 8) :baseballpitcher:

i’m 14 as well and iv’e been throwing a curve since i was twelve and i haven’t had any arm troubles. if you learn how to throw a curve the right way, then you will be fine. arm injuries occur because of bad mechanics, overuse, and throwing when your arm isn’t in pitching shape, not from curveballs IMO.

Agreed. :slight_smile: