pitching from the stretch

I’m interested in hearing from all coaches (but especially high school) about having their pitchers throwing entirerly from the stretch, if they do or don’t and why. I have for these reasons: little if any loss in velocity,
simpler to teach, less to go wrong mechanically, studies have shown pitchers throw more strikes from the stretch, most critical pitches come from the stretch (so the pitcher needs to be very comfortable from the stretch), I’ve seen plenty of major league pitcher do it. SO LET’S HEAR YOUR OPINION.

As a starter it is more understood to go from the wind-up but I’ve seen guys come up from the minors being releivers and asked to start going from the stretch.

It’s also nice to change it up and throw from full and windup during the course of a game. But what you say its easier to learn the stretch and become comfortable then adapt a windup IMO. I throw mostly from the stretch except when I started this summer I went from the full and didn’t see much of a change.

Im not a coach, but when i first started pitching i had some crappy mechs and was very wild from the windup. I noticed in bullpens id throw from the stretch and hit the glove no problem it wasnt later that i realized it was much easier to stay compact from the stretch and its less movement to go wrong with the mechaniques. i Generally close out games or relief so i came to be more comfortable from the stretch. Tim Alderson Giants first rounder from 07 was known for his great control pitching from the stretch. Hes a big guy 6’7 but i read he threw 173 Ks while having only 9 walks. Thats some control i would say lol

[quote=“nick nickason”]I’m interested in hearing from all coaches (but especially high school) about having their pitchers throwing entirerly from the stretch, if they do or don’t and why. I have for these reasons: little if any loss in velocity,
simpler to teach, less to go wrong mechanically, studies have shown pitchers throw more strikes from the stretch, most critical pitches come from the stretch (so the pitcher needs to be very comfortable from the stretch), I’ve seen plenty of major league pitcher do it. SO LET’S HEAR YOUR OPINION.[/quote]

I’ve done it both ways. Some kids are athletic and mature enough at 10 to learn the wind, others aren’t ready until High School if ever.

However, I disagree in that I think there is a velocity loss when throwing from the stretch for youth pitchers, and the younger they are the more velo they lose. Throwing from the stretch reduces the momentum that a pitcher can build. Older, more mature, more massive guys can overcome this with technique, strength, and size. Little guys have more trouble getting their momentum going from the stretch. That said, every kid is going to have to learn from to throw from the stretch, so the question becomes whether or not to teach them to throw from the wind as well.

I see no reason not to teach both if the pitcher is athletic enough to learn them. In short, I think it depends on the kid and the coach.

Hose

Well I’m in H.S. and I can’t stand the windup. Not that I can’t do it because I can go from a windup, I just don’t think it helps me enough that I want to go away from the stretch. My velo. might actually be better from the stretch. I think the stretch makes way for better timing with the arm and the hips and the legs, maybe it’s just me but that’s my two cents.

I always loved the wind up much more. Way better control, better posture, more velo. I have trouble getting momentum going from the stretch for sure and I hate having to slide step or rush myself and my catcher wasn’t good enough at picking runners off to just work from pickoff moves and changes in time and looks.

[quote=“nick nickason”]I’m interested in hearing from all coaches (but especially high school) about having their pitchers throwing entirerly from the stretch, if they do or don’t and why. I have for these reasons: little if any loss in velocity,
simpler to teach, less to go wrong mechanically, studies have shown pitchers throw more strikes from the stretch, most critical pitches come from the stretch (so the pitcher needs to be very comfortable from the stretch), I’ve seen plenty of major league pitcher do it. SO LET’S HEAR YOUR OPINION.[/quote]

That’s exactly why coaches have pitchers throw entirely out of the stretch … but I’m not sure I’d teach this at the high school levels or lower. I think it’s still important for younger pitchers to learn and be equally capable of pitching from the full AND stretch windups. In college and pro ball, it’s OK to specialize a little more, to pitch only from the stretch … but I wouldn’t implement this coaching philosophy with prep players. Just my opinion, of course :slight_smile: But it’s true that most pitchers don’t work on the stretch enough, or make enough pitches in the bullpen from the stretch, which can hinder performance on the mound and down the road.

It would be an interesting study to see - in the course of a season, what % of pitches are thrown with men on base ? My guess is that young and older pitchers alike dedicate far too little time working on mechanics from the stretch…

As I have said here many times, I have yet to see any valid evidence suggesting you lose velocity pitching from a stretch with no baserunners…no need to be quick to the plate, you can still generate adaquate momentum (imo) .

At the end of the day it comes down to what most effective for the individual pitcher, but for youngsters just getting introduced to pitching…I personally advocate the stretch for all the reasons previously stated.

Every time you see a pitcher resort to the wind-up when the baserunners are stacked up against 3B, well, there you have a pitcher who hasn’t adequately worked on pitching from the stretch. I just saw this tonight in an Arizona Collegiate Wood Bat League game. :roll:

You think it would be bad for my future from me only pitching from the stretch? Could i be missing out on some extra mph on the fastball?

Good point Roger, I have noticed same this Summer. And the sad thing is, I’m not sure many of these young pitchers understand WHY pitching from a stretch is important with a runner on 3rd … especially with less than 2 outs.

SOME reasons (it’s early, no coffee yet) :

  • minimize exposure to balking in a run (see at least 1 per season)
  • reduce walking lead on 3rd with less than 2 outs, at least give a chance for a play at the plate
  • same as above, help prevent squeeze attempt
  • keeps trail runners closer, so force play is possible
    AND
  • a single in the gap doesn’t drive in 3

Every pitcher is different, some may gain velocity from the windup and believe it or not, some lose velocity from the windup (I think Steve stated previously that he threw harder from the stretch).

One answer doesn’t address every pitcher…but all pitchers must know the game situation and pitch accordingly.

How do you balk from the wind?

[quote]* reduce walking lead on 3rd with less than 2 outs, at least give a chance for a play at the plate

  • same as above, help prevent squeeze attempt
  • keeps trail runners closer, so force play is possible [/quote]
    These make sense to me.

This is only true if the bases are juiced. A single to the gap is usually going to score the runner from second unless he’s very slow or the outfielder has a ++ arm, right?
I understand and agree with the majority of your points. In my opinion, there are more reasons than not to throw from the stretch in a bases loaded situation, maybe not when the runner is solo on third. What do you guys think?

Hose

Never seen a pitcher in a windup “flinch” when the runner on 3rd bluffs for home , or step to throw without properly stepping off ?

Either one of those examples can apply to a pitcher in the stretch as well, even more so since the pitcher in the wind isn’t paying attention to the runner on 3rd.

Hose

I hate pitching from the stretch.