Query: Stretch vs. Wind-up


Hi, all…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Thought I would throw a question out to the group. The question is why use the wind-up? Is there a velocity drop between wind-up and stretch? If not, why ever use the wind-up? Also, is there a drop off in velocity between a “normal” stretch approach versus a slide-step approach? Again, if not, why not use the slide-step in all instances? It seems more efficient. Very interested in your thoughts.


I don’t see that there’s very much difference—full windup, stretch, slide step, lots of velocity, not much velocity, this one has spinach in his teeth, you name it. The whole point is to get the ball over the plate and make the batter hit it. There’s even the no-windup delivery, popularized by Don Larsen. You experiment and find out which one is comfortable and right for you and take it from there. The one thing you need to remember is that with runners on base you have to come to a full stop when pitching from the stretch. :slight_smile:


In my sons case there is a drop off in velocity using slide step. Told to use sparingly in cases such as a pitch out or trying to keep runner close. Don’t notice much of a difference in stretch vs wind up. Pitching coach tells him to use wind up unless he wants to work exclusively out of the bullpen. Says it doesn’t matter much but some coaches think a starter has to know how to pitch from windup. Not saying I agree or disagree but that is what we were told a couple of years ago when my son wanted to go from the stretch exclusively.


For some pitchers, the slide step is too quick resulting in hip and shoulder rotation overlapping which means a reduction in separation and, correspondingly, velocity.


I think it’s more that the mentality vs fast runners usually forces pitchers as well as coaches to think of rushing all aspects pitching in from the stretch. which means muscling the stride to try and get it through faster. when I think about it like that I can see how velocity would drop for most people


Roger pointed out ."

There’s a lot in that sentence. For pitchers with little or no strength in their core muscles - especially in the youth game, and definitely those pitchers coming off an injury (any injury), one style is usually dominate.

In the amateur game, what should come to the surface is asking a youngster “WHY” do you use that style all the time? Taking away the obvious - the set motion with runners on (generally), a coach should be far more sensitive to a “cause” more than an a “reason”.

Another thing that I constantly see in orbit is this infatuation with velocity, in the youth game, and that includes high school varsity. In this regard, I think Zita has hit the nail on the head, sort of speak. A youngster that can control himself/herself with tossing strikes, from whatever comfort zone works, - “works”.

I know there are issues with my posting here - not being of the amateur game, and that being said, more from the outside looking in. But, if a coach was to reason out why a youngster does what he does, as a benchmark of “reason” then perhaps, just perhaps, reasoning will give way to a “leave well enough alone”, or, like Roger pointed out, a cause-n-effect approach to real coaching instead of “just do it this way.”


If we look at potentials for velocity based upon the speed of movement of the pitcher, then the more speed a pitcher can generate during a proper throwing motion, the more velocity he may impart upon the baseball at release.

I think most of this question has to do with the efficiency of the pitcher with respect to each delivery style: wind-up, stretch, slide step.

In a vacuum, yes, it’s logical to posit that a pitcher having an ideal wind-up would be able to generate more speed and therefore velocity than he would from his ideal stretch, and that his ideal slide step would generate the least.

Each pitcher is different and it’s possible that he may be more efficient in the stretch than the wind-up. I don’t think we can look at a specific pitcher and say that because his velocity from the stretch is X, then his velocity from the wind-up should be X+Y or that his velocity from the slide step should be X-Z. It’s all about the differences in the efficiency of movement and how that speed gets translated into velocity throughout the delivery as a whole and not just one aspect of it.


I personally believe the slide step results in less velocity than generated from the stretch position, and there is little difference from the stretch and the windup. In the slide step a pitcher relies too much on his arm and has
reduced froward momentum of is body because of a lack of drive from his
back leg.
We are seeing more and more major league pitchers using the stretch to throw from exclusively. I think it is easier to throw strikes, the pitchers has to throw from the stretch maybe 40% of the time because someone is on base, and in critical situations a pitchers as to throw from the stretch.
So why not throw from the stretch all the time to really get comfortable
doing it,and also learn to quicken up his delivery to the plate?


Windup, stretch, slide step—there’s one thing pitchers of whatever persuasion need to do, and that is learn “The Secret”. I learned it many moons ago from watching how the Yankees’ Big Three rotation did it; they all drove off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one continuous motion and thus generating more power behind their pitches AND taking a lot of pressure off the arm and shoulder in the process. You do this, and it makes no difference which windup or lack of it you use, you’ll get more power into your delivery. So—go thou and learn “The Secret”, and become a better pitcher for it. :slight_smile: 8)