Myth about changeup?

I always notice everyone say that if your arm is tired or if your going to be pitching alot of innings in a short time, that you should throw alot of changeups because they are easier on your arm. But I think that kind of contradicts the idea of an effective changeup right? If a good changeup is one that you throw the same armspeed as your fastball, shouldn’t it be as hard or just about as hard on your arm?

One has nothing to do with the other. To throw a changeup you alter the grip, or use a different grip. But if you were to slow down your arm speed, look for your E.R.A. to go through the roof, because the batters would pick up on the pitch immediately. I remember a game when I wasn’t scheduled to start, so I sat on the bench and watched the other team’s opposing pitcher. He had a beautiful slow curve, one of the prettiest I’d ever seen, but he was telegraphing it; not only did he twitch his elbow in a funny way when he was going to throw it, but also he slowed down his arm speed, and both these things are no-nos in any pitcher’s book. We sat on that slow curve and jumped all over him for six runs.
You have to maintain your arm speed regardless of what pitch you’re throwing. :roll:

[quote=“Zita Carno”]One has nothing to do with the other. To throw a changeup you alter the grip, or use a different grip. But if you were to slow down your arm speed, look for your E.R.A. to go through the roof, because the batters would pick up on the pitch immediately. I remember a game when I wasn’t scheduled to start, so I sat on the bench and watched the other team’s opposing pitcher. He had a beautiful slow curve, one of the prettiest I’d ever seen, but he was telegraphing it; not only did he twitch his elbow in a funny way when he was going to throw it, but also he slowed down his arm speed, and both these things are no-nos in any pitcher’s book. We sat on that slow curve and jumped all over him for six runs.
You have to maintain your arm speed regardless of what pitch you’re throwing. :roll:[/quote]

Dude I understand that lol I wasn’t born yesterday, Im just trying to debunk the myth that changeups are easier on your arm, they are just as hard BECAUSE you use the same arm speed.

Hi FSTBLLTHRWER,

Yes, you are correct. A changeup will have close to the same impact on your arm as throwing a fastball. Essentially, the same pitching motion is used. the only difference is a changeup put slightly less stress on your fingers than a fastball b/c a fastball really requires you to push off the seam with your two fingers and a changeup’s grip does not require as much stress on your fingers in comparison. However, this is just a very slight difference.

Most people who make this statement are most likely comparing a changeup to to throwing breaking pitches (curves, sliders, etc) which put more strain on your forearm. As I’m sure you already know, coaches recommend the changeup b/c it lets a pitcher compete with change of speeds rather than just fastball after fastball after fastball. This is particularly important when you are taking movement out of the equation with no breaking pitches.

Hope this adds something to the discussion.

Best,
Jack Elliott
Baseball Pitching Tips
http://www.baseballtrainingtechniques.com/Baseball-Pitching

a quality change up you can throw when behind in the count is tough to develop. it often takes a year of constant practice to gain adequate feel.

Actually, there is some ASMI research out there that suggests less elbow stress for the change-up and approximately equal stress for the FB and curveball. I’ll try to dig it up later and post a citation.

Even assuming that all three pitch types are thrown with the same body mechanics and the same arm-speed (which is definitely a goal for pitchers who want to throw these pitches effectively) there are unique factors for each of them in the launch and release.

FBs are launched and released with the palm forward, toward the target.

Healthy curveballs are launched and released with a ‘karate-chop’ orientation of the throwing hand.

To take off speed and impart some movement, effective change-ups are pre-set, launched, and released with considerable pronation of the forearm, wrist, and hand.

Since the forearm, wrist, and hand must go into pronation after the release of every pitch (it is physiologically necessary–you can’t ‘refuse’ to do it) it seems very plausible that change-ups and screwballs, which are already pronated even before release, would be less stressful to the elbow than FBs and curveballs.