I have been trying to learn the splitter for some time now but i can’t seem to get it right. My biggest problem is that i cannot keep my wrist stiff on delivery and this gives the ball backspin and wont let it get and movement. Is there any drills or ideas for me to try out so i can get my wrist to stay stiff.
what you are trying to learn is a forkball. a splitter will get backspin dont listen what they will tell you. dan haren has one of the best splitter out there and he pitched against the red sox once with their great slow mo camera and i saw the ball spin with backspin.
check some videos on mlb.com
jose contreras on the other hand throws a real forkball and it does spins with little forward spin or no spin at all but he literally splits the ball in half with his finegrs and still can throw it in the mid 70s. the forkball is for the freaks of nature you cant just pick it up at your will, either you have it or you dont.
but for the splitter, i saw jason frasor at a blue jays game, trying to teach jon rauch the splitter and one thing he was showing him was to throw it like a circle change. get a split grip, something like this should make the job.
the first and second image is the easiest way to get a good and constent split on the ball so that you can still achieve velocity but reduce backspin which causes the ball to get leverage, combine this with some good pronation before release and you will get some good diving action. this is not like a curveball where it works first time you throw it but throw it a couple of times while playing catch and youll notice the difference.
hope that helps.
by the way, i play in a senior aa team and i pitch a 4-seamer and a splitter around 80% of the time… this is how i throw my splitter.
How much should you pronate your wrist
Austin, a lot of people tend to confuse the forkball with the splitter. They are not the same pitch—cousins at best. The forkball (and I agree, Jose Contreras throws a wicked one) is a true offspeed pitch that can cause a lot of problems for a pitcher who doesn’t have a King Kong-sized paw, because one has to actually grip the ball between the index and middle fingers… The splitter is less problematical because you can grip the ball as for a two-seamer but with those two fingers just off the seams—a less extreme grip. As for throwing it, you can just throw it the way you would a fast ball. The important thing is to keep that pitch down in the zone. 8)
you have to adjust. over doing it wont do you any good. its a slight pronation twist like if you were showing the left side of the ball to the catcher before release (if youre a righty) less pronation results in better velocity and so, a more violent pitch then if you pronate it too much then just go with a change up.
Brent Strom told me that the difference between a fork ball and a splitter is the amount of force applied by the thumb, On a spliiter. the thumb should apply as little force as possible. To make it dive into the dirt, move your thumb to the side of the ball. Throw just like a fastball.
For a fork ball, press your thumb hard on the bottom of the ball to kill the spin.
So wait. A splitter is really a two seam sinker with more bite and a forkball is a true off speed pitch?
What is the difference in the movement of the two pitches?
These are two pitches that have always confused me, I never understood the differences.
I always thought Roger Clemens had the best split I ever saw.