How Kerry Wood (Actually) Throws The Ball


#1

Based on the confusion that I have seen come out of conversations I have had with different people about what pitchers’ arms do as they throw a ball, I have put together an image sequence that shows Kerry Wood throwing a pitch. The idea is to give people a common reference point to talk about with respect to pitching mechanics.

Right now it’s uncommented, but at some point I will go back and add my comments about what’s going on at certain critical moments.

Ideally, this will silence the people who say that my analyses are fatally flawed because they are based solely on the analysis of separate still images. I also hope it points out the problems with analyzing just videos – namely low resolutions and frame rates.


#2

Nice job, that’s an excellent image sequence. It also shows what ASMI thinks causes his shoulder problems. One, his arm being so low at foot plant puts a tremendous strain on his shoulder to lift it so the forearm is vertical with the ball facing 3rd base. Two, his poor follow through.


#3

Let me talk about this image sequence in the context of some of the other discussions that have been going on around here…

  1. Frames 24-37 show the up, down, and out glove-side foot action that most of us agree is the best.

  2. Notice how in Frame 32, he is striding with his toe pointing at 3B. In the next 4 frames (Frame 36 = Foot Plant)he rotates his foot so that he lands with his toe pointing at the target. This ensures that his hips stay closed as long as possible and helps to explain his velocity (92MPH).

  3. Frame 35 shows that Kerry Wood, unlike Mark Prior or Anthony Reyes, doesn’t make much of an M (or an upside down/inverted W) as he turns his forearm over. I think this is a good thing (but not enough to protect his shoulder).

  4. I believe Frames 37 and 38 show the root cause of Kerry Wood’s current shoulder problems. He rushes, and starts turning his shoulders before his forearm is vertical. This causes his pitching arm side upper arm to externally rotate (or bounce) especially severely.

  5. Frame 64 shows that Kerry Wood finishes in an extremely weak fielding position.


#4

I wasn’t aware that ASMI had weighed in on Kerry Wood’s problems.

Is this a published comment or something you picked up talking with them?


#5

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]3. Frame 35 shows that Kerry Wood, unlike Mark Prior or Anthony Reyes, doesn’t make much of an M (or an upside down/inverted W) as he turns his forearm over. I think this is a good thing (but not enough to protect his shoulder).[/quote]Frames 34 and 35 actually show a “classic” M or inverted W. I can’t imagine why you would say he doesn’t do it. :shock:

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]4. I believe Frames 37 and 38 show the root cause of Kerry Wood’s current shoulder problems. He rushes, and starts turning his shoulders before his forearm is vertical. This causes his pitching arm side upper arm to externally rotate (or bounce) especially severely.[/quote]Actually, it’s quite common for pitchers to start their shoulder rotation just prior to the forearm being vertical. In fact, I’m having a hard time finding one who doesn’t. Maybe a “slinger” like Palmer or Garcia??

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]5. Frame 64 shows that Kerry Wood finishes in an extremely weak fielding position.[/quote]So whatl!?!! You could probably count on one hand the number of pros who land in a “good fielding position”. The vast majority of them finish their pitch. If they can field a ball, BONUS. I’ll show you video after video of pros finishing their pitch. I’ve only come across 6 videos of pitchers who attempt to get into a “good fielding position” and those are Chad Bradford, Mike Myers, Mussina, Zito, Nomo and Jimmy Key. Nomo’s a stretch though. I doubt if his intent is fielding. He just has a funky delivery. 36 of the pitchers I have videos of finish their pitches. 6 end up in a possible fielding position and 2 of those are submarine pitchers who couldn’t end up like the other 36 if they tried. I again doubt very much if Zito lands this way because he is attempting to become a fielder when his pitch is gone. He’s just funky. The long and short of it is that Kerry Wood’s finish position is NOT A FAULT. Was Nolan Ryan wrong? Was Clemens wrong? How about Pedro? How about Rivera, Oswalt, Kazmir, Schilling? Shall I go on? Let’s give this bit of advice a decent burial.


#6

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]Ideally, this will silence the people who say that my analyses are fatally flawed because they are based solely on the analysis of separate still images. I also hope it points out the problems with analyzing just videos – namely low resolutions and frame rates.[/quote]Chris. You say that this still sequence will silence people. Just the complete opposite. Your logic here absolutely escapes me!!! You do realize that I gave you that video of Kerry Wood and that it is at 30 frames per second. Right? That’s the exact same “low frame rate” you are now criticizing. You just extracted still frames from a low frame rate video and held them up as being a superior system to analyze pitchers with. Come on Chris. This has to stop. What do you have against video? 30 fps may not be ideal but it is useful. It must be. You just used it.


#7

I wasn’t aware that ASMI had weighed in on Kerry Wood’s problems.

Is this a published comment or something you picked up talking with them?[/quote]

It wasn’t a published comment, it was something they told me when I had an evaluation in Birmingham.


#8

Wood doesn’t do it nearly as much as Prior or Reyes do.

In my experience, the only guys who do this are ones with shoulder problems. In particular, problems with the Labrum.

If it’s not going to hurt their velocity, then why not teach pitchers to finish in a way that they can field their position?


#9

I didn’t say that these clips are superior. I said that some people think they are.

I happen to disagree.

The blurring of the arm as it bounces and then flies out is a great example of this. You can see this process in much greater detail in my collections of stills.


#10

If it’s not going to hurt their velocity, then why not teach pitchers to finish in a way that they can field their position?

Sorry Chris but most major leaguers need to finish a certain way in order to reach their potential velocity.

AKA, Felix Hernandez. Someone you said , " was going to be hurt soon"
Last time I checked he was still healthy. :wink: