How to throw a SINKER

Dear lets talk pitching,

First, let me put out the manmdatory cautions: youngsters should not throw breaking pitches, their arms are not ready for them.

You throw the sinker pretty much like a fast ball. It is mostly a modified two seem fastball. Take your two seemer grip, then move your pointer and middle fingers closer together. They should now be between the seems (fingers on seems takes away the sinking action). Offset your thumb from the 6 o;clock position to about 7 or 8 o’clock.

When you throw, this grip will make you, without trying, “turn the ball over”. From a righthander, the ball will have a little clockwise and “top” spin to it. The ball will TEND to move in and down to a righthanded batter.

Move your thumb the other way and you will be throwing a “cutter”. A cutter is a fastball that acts like a slider (without as much movement and sinking action) but has almost the velocity of the two seem fastball.

The regular two seem fastball will tend to tail into a right handed batter from a righthanded pitcher.

Another way to throw the sinker is to widen your pointer a middle finger a bit from the two seem fastball. Now they will be outside the laces of the “sweet” spot on the baseball. Thumb stays in the same position as a regular two seem fastball. This pitch will tend to break straight down late. You will loose velocity (compared to the two seem fastball) but pick up movement down. With a little pressure from either finger, you will find the ball tailing one way or another. Some call this a sinker, others call it a split fingered fastball. Neither term is completely accurate but both suffice.

If you have large hands and widen the split in your fingers so that the ball rests on the web between those fingers, you will be throwing a fork ball. That pitch breaks down hard and is fairly slow. It actually works like a poor knuckle ball but at a higher velocity.

Again, you need a coach right there with you that knows what he/she is doing. You should also not be trying to throw these pitches until you are at least 13 and more like 16. Some people say that widening your fingers on a ball can hurt your arm. I say it depends on the size of your hands and length of your fingers. Be safe with it.


Brandon090, even though my kids don’t and didn’t throw curve balls until they were 14 or 15, the newest AMA articles about curve balls indicate that curve balls do not hurt the shoulder/elbow/arm (if thrown properly) than fastballs. The articles go on to indicate that the biggest issue is overuse, number of pitches per week, per year and pitching with tired mechanics. My opinion was for years that curve balls should not be thrown until at least the growth plates close and unless taught and supervised by a professional I would still agree with that.

Only one of my kids throws a 12/6 curve balls right now but he is 16 now, but as they were younger, they all threw a knuckle curve which just is a different grip but the arm swing is just like a fastball.

mk i just put this for people who wnat to learn and do i need to get manucured nails to throw a knucklecurve

All my kids have thrown a knuckle curve and you know that a 14 year old isn’t going to have manicured nails, he just knuckles the index and middle finger up, sometimes playing with where it sits on the seams, and throws it like a fastball. They can get slow bending break if they throw it soft, 15-18" break and sharp break if they throw it hard.

We keep forgetting to get some pics of it up but maybe this week, no one playing this weekend.

Ok thanks tht will help me alot and i wish u lived in crossville tn.

I will see if we can get some video of how he holds his knuckle curve this week.

Umm ok thanks but i have really slow internet (dial-up) soo could u help me speed tht up. and ty