Pain in the elbow when throwing a slider

I need some advice… I have a great sharp slider that breaks late but i often have pain or soreness in my elbow , am I the only one with this problem or does this happen to others? Should i stop throwing the slider or ice more often? What should i do?

The soreness in your elbow may or may not have anything to do with the pitch(es) you’re throwing. I would suggest that you see a doctor and get it checked out before you make any decisions as to what to do next. :slight_smile:

How old are you?

How old are you?[/quote] I am 17 yrs and i throw in the mid to high 80s

Ice / Alleve / Ditch Slide Piece / Replace with Splitter…se Dr if pain persists.

i read in the louiville slugger pitching book that any pitch thrown correctly shouldn’t put any strain on your arm than the other

Exactly! Many moons ago my pitching coach, an active major-league pitcher, told me that the slider, when thrown correctly, is actually easier on the arm and shoulder than almost any other pitch. And unless you have a large hand and long fingers you should steer clear of the splitter—the grip puts too much of a strain on the muscles of the forearm. You could, however, if you want to add that pitch to your repertoire, use a modified grip—as for a two-seam fast ball, but spread the index and middle fingers enough so that they’re just on the outside of the seams, and throw it like a fast ball. As for the slider, here’s what my pitching coach told me: "Throw it like a curve, but roll your wrist, don"t snap it."
The grip he showed me, and which I used, was off-center—neither two-seam nor four-seam, but in between, with the index and middle fingers close together, the thumb on the bottom and the other two fingers on the side of the ball. As to how he threw it, and what he showed me—you know how you throw a curve ball, like a karate chop or pulling down a window shade? You do that, but you don’t snap your wrist; you just turn it over. It’s a lot easier on the arm, and if you still have a problem you’d better have a doctor check it out. I believe the problem is unrelated to what you’re throwing.
Good luck. 8)

Stop throwing the slider.

I think the slider and the cutter are the most dangerous pitches in baseball.

Now that is really going to take some explaining. The cutter one of the most dangerous pitches in baseball!? That’s absolutely ridiculous. We should ask Mariano Rivera about that.

Actually, why don’t you explain to me why both pitches are bad for me. But when you do it, use a kinesiological approach. I want to actually know why these pitches are bad.

Mariano Rivera has been largely injury free aside from elbow problems.


High velocity supination. It focuses the load on the UCL.

I do think the slider is worse than the cutter. Just ask Kerry Wood.

thank you, mr o’ leary. now that you have stated that the slider is one of the most dangerous pitches in baseball maybe kelvin will actually get it through his thick head that it will damage your arm.

Mariano Rivera has been largely injury free aside from elbow problems.


High velocity supination. It focuses the load on the UCL.

I do think the slider is worse than the cutter. Just ask Kerry Wood.[/quote]

Elbow problems which are far and few between.

If you say that, ask Randy Johnson then? H’s made a living off it and had what? A few back surgeries…? How’s Randy Johnson’s longevity?

And Rivera…He had Tommy John’s in '92. And to that matter, it is said that he didn’t learn the cutter until '96…A little discrepancy. He had some elbow swelling in '02 and '05. Big deal. It affected him for what? A couple weeks and then he posted absolutely incredible seasons? He’s been pitching for how long now?

Why has Smoltz, who is known for having really good mechanics, had Tommy John’s Surgery in 2000. Why?

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]

High velocity supination. It focuses the load on the UCL.

I do think the slider is worse than the cutter. Just ask Kerry Wood.[/quote]

And Kerry Wood represents all the slider throwers? Can you give me numbers that support your theory that Kerry Wood’s slider damaged his arm? Do you have high speed video of Wood throwing his slider? I thought it was his rushing problem that did him in? Does everyone throw their slider the same way? Does everyone even throw their fastball the same way?

Did Chris Capuano and Jake Westbrook throw too many sliders as well? How about Francisco Liriano? Did you know Liriano’s last pitch in 2006 was a 91 MPH fastball? Why is it that a fastball was the type of pitch to have did his UCL in and not a slider?

Is it really high speed supination or is it supinated extension of the elbow? High speed supination during external rotation? High speed supination during internal rotation? High speed supination combined with forearm flyout?

I’m not convinced that the “slider” that Randy Johnson throws, and that Steve Carlton threw, are the same pitch that Kerry Wood throws. I think LHPs may actually be throwing a different pitch than RHPs.

There is some suggestion of this if you read Steve Carlton’s web site. While he doesn’t talk about pronation, what he describes is a “set it and forget it” pitch rather than one you supinate.

John Smoltz doesn’t have really good mechanics. He has borderline mechanics like Pedro.

They both make the Inverted W.

The UCL does not rupture as a result of a single pitch.

Rather it ruptures as a result of the cumulative trauma of throwing a pitch thousands of time.

The FB just finished the job, but a knuckleball could have done it just as easily.

You may not like it, but I doubt the pitch will ever go away…too many have made too much and continue to do such…Carlos Zambrano…him and Chavez are gonna own Peru.

Jason, no ones asked so I will, how do you throw it? How often? Does pain always result? I agree with Zita…you should have it looked at. If you are throwing it wrong you can do yourself some serious damage…so after you have a clean bill of health with a doctor, determine if your method of delivering the pitch is the basis of your pain and fix it accordingly. Do NOT just try to work through it…bad bad idea.

Randy Johnson’s “slider” is more of a “slurve” because he uses a curveball grip and supinates into release. That is, his hand is slightly supinated when his forearm is vertical and continues to supinate into external rotation and internal rotation. At release, his index and middle fingers actually get around and under the ball. The ball doesn’t roll over his index finger like a curveball does.

They way Carlton throws it is close to being a cutter, in that it’s simply an off-center grip that you throw like a fastball. John Smoltz used the same grip as Carlton.