King Felix

I was just watching some of Felix Hernandez’s strikeout reels…when he is on, is there a pitcher now or in history even that has a better repetoire of stuff? an upper 90 fastball with sink, a 88-90 mph slider, and a 83-86 mph curve…he’s unbelieveable and he’s so young!
what do y’all thing of his mechanics while you’re at it?

His throwing shoulder lags behind body rotation very badly, making him a prime candidate for shoulder problems. His throwing forearm loops into release, making him a prime candidate for elbow surgery. Take your pick of which will happen first. Depends on where the weakest link is.

I can see the shoulder lag, but what do you mean by his forearm “looping”?

If you look enough stills or video clips you will see that through the acceleration phase his forearm starts outside 90º, flexes to less than 90º, then extends fully. The UCL is under tension during this extension/lengthening phase and coincides, for Hernandez, with cocking. Not a good thing for his arm. It appears to “loop” because this happens while the shoulders are rotating. Think of this as viewed from directly above. The ball scribes the path of an arc or incomplete circle.

coach
Although I won’t argue about the stresses involved and the dangers, I will say that what you see is the paradox of the traditional pitching motion. Those things are part of what allows for high velocities but is also responsible for a high risk of injury.

Can you show me a clip or give me the name of a pitcher that doesn’t do this?

Greg Maddux. Roger Clemens. Both achieve an almost vertical forearm that stays almost stationary there prior to moving into acceleration. In essence they pirouette around the ball right up to acceleration. The shoulder lag is still an issue though. If you compare early images of Clemens with more recent you will find that his shoulder lags considerably less now than early in his career when he had shoulder surgery. Go go Getty.com and search for overhead views of Clemens in the bullpen (at Coors field) and you’ll see how he does things now.

[quote=“dm59”]coach
Although I won’t argue about the stresses involved and the dangers, I will say that what you see is the paradox of the traditional pitching motion. Those things are part of what allows for high velocities but is also responsible for a high risk of injury.[/quote]

Precisely. The guy throws mid to upper nineties, ofcourse there will be shoulder lag.

The original post in this thread queried what people thought of Felix Hernandez’s mechanics. Biomechanically, anatomically, this is not a mechanic to replicate unless you’re interested in injury. Another time we can debate whether or not the shoulder lagging behind increases velocity or detracts from it. Regardless of these issues he’s an amazing pitcher.