Hey, power pitcher, hold on a minute!
You said you got tendonitis in the elbow from throwing the slider so much and so often? What that tells me is you’ve been throwing it all wrong. It’s not the screwball, you know. If anything, the slider is, or should be, easier on your elbow and all that. When I learned the pitch, my coach, who was an active major league pitcher, told me to throw it like a curve BUT ROLL THE WRIST, DON’T SNAP IT. He showed me the off-center grip he used, demonstrated the wrist action, then handed me the ball and said “Go ahead, try it.” I got the hang of it in about ten minutes, worked on it over the winter—and although I had fallen in love with the pitch, I did not overuse it. Sure, it became my strikeout pitch—but I had a lot of other stuff with which to set it up.
About the circle change—last night I was watching “Diamond Demos” on the MLB Network, and there was a pitcher, I forget who it was, who was demonstrating that pitch. The trick is to throw it, as you would any changeup, with the same motion and the same arm speed as you would the fast ball, so whether you pronate or supinate or stick it in the microwave for five minutes doesn’t matter. It’s the fastball motion that counts. You don’t want to telegraph the pitch by slowing down your arm speed or doing anything else that would tell the batter what’s coming. Again from my own experience: in my playing days we often faced a team that had a starting pitcher with the most beautiful slow curve I had ever seen, but because he was telegraphing it—not only did he slow his arm speed but also he wiggled his elbow when he was going to throw it, and that’s a double no-no—we caught on to it, and again and again we knocked him out of the box in the third inning!
He also mentioned the “slip” pitch, and it seems to me that there are several different variations of it. The one I knew—and I learned it from that same active major-league pitcher—was indeed a simple pitch: a slider thrown with a knuckleball grip. And, as I did with just about everything I threw, I would crossfire that pitch (I was an incurable, exasperating natural sidearmer and I had picked up the crossfire early on), and what it used to do to the batters! :lol: