I’ve decided to transfer to a lower arm-slot and have to decide between sidearm or submarine. I’d LOVE to hear your guys opinions about which is harder to face (sidearm or submarine) and any advantages one has over the other. Any advice from pitchers or even hitters who have faced both is greatly appreciated as I attempt to change my arm slot.
All other things being equal, I would say go with the sidearm. With this delivery you have an advantage other pitchers don’t have, and that’s the crossfire—a beautiful and lethal move that works only with the sidearm and that will work with any pitch, even the obstreperous knuckleball. Also, the sidearm delivery is the easiest on the arm and shoulder, the most natural, and certain pitches (such as the slider) will be virtually unhittable. I remember when I was eleven years old, playing catch in the schoolyard during recess—remember how we used to have that?—and I discovered that I had a natural sidearm delivery, plus a nice little curveball that came attached to it. I brought that pitch along slowly, acquired a knuckle-curve and a nasty palmball, and figured out how to change speeds—and then, at age 16, I learned the slider which became my strikeout pitch. And not a sore arm or a sore shoulder or a sore elbow or a sore anything else; throwing sidearm you can avoid all those problems. Oh yeah—I used to get the biggest kick out of watching what happened to opposing batters as they tried to get a piece of that slider and lost their balance and fell over on the rear end with arms and legs—and bats—up in the air as the umpire rang them up. So go to it, and happy sidearming.
Honestly I would just say hinge at the waist when you start your mechanics and see where your body naturally throws it from. You are looking for the slot that feels comfortable and provides late sink. I won’t prescribe a specific arm angle, but I’ll bet you end up closer to sidearm than submarine. Be conscious of the spin your new arm angle imparts on the ball. If the ball stays high and rides up and in, keep tinkering. You want a flat ball flight that dips DOWN and in at the last minute. You are looking for tight rotation and arm slot that doesn’t make you “scoop” under the ball. Think of the middle finger dominating the middle of the baseball. If you can master that, the sink will occur.
Also, don’t give up on the new angle if your accuracy goes to s*** right away. When I first dropped down, I was aiming at the left handed batter to get it closed to the plate. Slowly adjust, and it will become second nature. Don’t expect game results right away, and give it time.
Submariners are generally spot pitchers who may work up to an inning or two. I think a level shouldered sidearmer is a more versatile style.