Road to the Campus


#41

Well I threw 15 pitches to live batters today. My arm felt much more loose then last time and my velocity was there today. Each batter us pitchers faced had a 2-2 count on them before we even threw a pitch. I walked two or three guys but overall I felt like my location was there, as all my balls were within 5 or 6 inches of the plate. I also think I realized why my changeup hasn’t been working much since fall ball. I think my arm is dropping too low for me to get the proper spin on the ball to where it can move alot.
RM


#42

USF is coming to the town I live in to play the local university in three weeks or so. I have been meaning to go catch a game up at the college, might as well be that one. I will give a report on the USF pitchers and what I see out of them (for what that is worth).
Why the interest in USF anyway?


#43

Thanks for helping me out fearsomefour. To be honest, the first time i saw them was in last years WCC tournament and I noticed that their pitcher threw at a low 3 quarters arm slot and was a lefty like me. and that was basically it. I also like their home stadium and uniforms, but those are really not that important.
Also, I have a aunt that lives in Oakland, so it is always nice to be next to family


#44

after experiencing some tightness in my lower back, i searched the site and I learned that crunches and such can harm your back, so I am gonna start doing plank.
MAX: 3:09


#45

Planks can be great.
They can really point out imbalances. One thing to keep in mind while doing planks is posture. It is very common for people to use other muscles to compensate for an imbalance or weakness. Make sure you keep balance and posture…straight back ect. Make sure your hips are even. Very common for people to “dip” one side or the other at the hip (left hip lower than the right hip even though the back is straight). These sort of imbalances are very common with “one sided” sports like baseball or tennis.
Have someone who is observant watch you do the plank to make sure your posture is good.
If you YouTube Jose Reyes Core Workout you will find a good, quick but very challenging core workout that focuses on rotational core strength and is a little more geared toward baseball than crunches.
Keep working hard.


#46

Thanks fearsome, Ill loo up the video tommorow. I’m not sure if this is the kind of imbalances you are talking about, but about a little past the 2 minute mark, i started to have a pain in my right shoulder. Is this normal, since my right shoulder would be weaker then my throwing shoulder?


#47

I don’t know if shoulder irritation is an indication of that or not. It would depend how your doing the plank. May just be your right arm is weaker.
I will give you an example. I would watch my son dead lift, he would approach the bar, place his hands and get set…up to this point everything is in balance and good. As soon as resistance was applied (doing the lift) he would lift crooked. It wasn’t a massive difference but it would look like his butt/hips would shift to one side a bit.
He said it felt like he was lifting straight…in other words he could not feel what he was doing. He just knew dead lifts were hard for him to progress with. When he did planks the same imbalance would show up. His back would be flat but his hips would be uneven…left hip lower than right.
Basically he wasn’t firing the core muscles correctly. The lower back was compensating and doing the work.
He often had a stiff or sore lower back after lifting or even pitching sometimes, it all made sense once the issue was identified.
This is what makes most school lifting programs (or even working with a lot of trainers) bad, they give you a list of exercises and send you on your way. A trainer worth their salt will do an evaluation first and address pre existing imbalances/weaknesses before getting into heavy lifting.
I don’t know if you have any imbalances (most people do). I do know most people don’t pay much attention when they are working out. Music over headphones? No. You are there to workout…why distract yourself? If you need music to “motivate” you your not that into working out.
It is very important to pay attention to how your body moves and feels when doing workouts. Most people throw on music, talk and go through the motions. Much better to spend time really getting good technique and form down first.
As for the planks it will be hard to tell if you are straight and to fix that on your own. You might be perfectly fine. If you have a father, brother, uncle or someone who will pay attention if you ask them to observe your technique that would helpful.
I apologize. I have typed a bunch and haven’t said much. My advice would to have someone watch you do it and make sure your back is flat and hips are even. The trainer had to touch my son where he wasn’t firing his core (left side by the belly button) then he would fire those muscles and his hips would straighten right out. The time he could do the plank went way down as he was activating muscles that were not being used much.
The by product of getting this imbalance addressed is his technique in both dead lift and squat improved massively as did his ability to do those lifts.
Not sure this made all that much sense…


#48

That was really helpful, thanks a lot. My back also gets very tight sometimes, usually after I work out. The imbalance may be my problem. I will work out tonight and then film me doing some of the excercises to make sure I am not imbalanced.
Also, good news today. My coach told me to lay off the long toss today as I am pitching Wednesday. I’ll update you guys after the game. my arm felt did not feel very loose today, but that it probably because I didn’t throw yesterday.
-RM


#49

That was really helpful, thanks a lot. My back also gets very tight sometimes, usually after I work out. The imbalance may be my problem. I will work out tonight and then film me doing some of the excercises to make sure I am not imbalanced.
Also, good news today. My coach told me to lay off the long toss today as I am pitching Wednesday. I’ll update you guys after the game. my arm felt did not feel very loose today, but that it probably because I didn’t throw yesterday.
-RM


#50

Well the game today got rained out. I was suppose to start, but oh well. We did a bullpen session today and my arm felt great, the ball was really jumping out of my hand. I haven’t been working out the past two nights because I haven’t felt the best, but hopefully I will feel full strength tommorow and resume working out.
Also, has anyone just suddenly lost a pitch? Last year my changeup moved really well, but this year it has just stayed flat, and is overall not a great pitch anymore. Im wondering if someone would know how to fix this?
-RM


#51

Well, I pitched my first game of the year versus a very good SLUH team. The first innings was rough for me, but after that it was a rather clean outing until the fourth. I had control problems in the beginning, allowing 3 runs, 2 of those baserunners got on because of walks. Then the next inning I walked 1 but struck out two, and the inning after that i retired the side on 5 pitches. Then I started to get tired and had even more control problems, which eventually pushed me out of the game when it ws 6-2 with two outs in the fourth. My velocity was okay, still trying to get more power with my legs. We eventually tied up the game at 6, but ending up self-imploding in the seventh and lost 13-6.
Stats:
3 2/3 IP
3 K’s
4 BB’s
6 runs (4 ER?)


#52

Hey RM,
Good to get some innings in. The more work the better (within reason).
Do you usually start slowly? In other words does it normally take an inning or more for you to settle in? This is not uncommon. One thing I have seen with younger pitchers is they don’t take enough time to get warmed up. When I say warmed up I mean focusing the mind and just not getting the body warmed up. It can be a tricky thing to teach ones self to be both relaxed and focused. What kind of pre pitch routine do you do?
As for the change up I don’t have much to offer on that other than messing with the grip. Pitch movement can be affected by lots of things. Lefties tend to have a little easier time picking up new pitches and getting pitches to move in my experience, I have my own theory as to why. Mess with the grip and how deep you hold the ball in your hand. Shoot some video of yourself throwing it where you can see the flight of the ball and see how the ball is tracking. Without really seeing it you are going by what others are saying and how the pitch is feeling in determining if it is moving or not.
Keep working hard.


#53

Thanks fearsomefour. I don’t usually have a problem at the beginning of games, I think it was just my warm up routine. Here’s a warmup routine of what I did:
2:45 Out on field
2:50-3:05 Cone Work, Stretching, Jogging
3:10-3:25 Playing Catch
3:30-3:45 Rest
3:50-4:00 Play light catch to get my arm loose
4:00-4:05 Rest
4:05-4:15 Throw Bullpen
4:20 Game start
Also, I guess i forgot to mention but I think I figured out my change-up. While doing warmups before the first inning I messed with the grip slightly and found that i was putting the horseshoe of the ball to deep in the bottom of my hand. I brought the horseshoe out until it was resting on the tip of my thumb as opposed to my thumb. It worked pretty well, and helped me get a lot of weak groundballs. I might film me throwing the pitch to see which way I hold the ball brings the most moevement, so thanks for suggestion.
Our next game is tommorow, but it is doubtful I pitch. The next game I will pitch is probably wednesday, as that is against another very good team in seckman. I pitched against them last year and allowed 2 runs in 4 1/3 innings. Hopefully, i can repeat that success. We lost the game 3-2 though, so hopefully we will have a different result this year.
-RM


#54

Well I am pitching monday against a team that was pretty horrible last year. I pitched against them last year as well, and they scored 1 off me in 4 innings. To be a good pitcher I know I am gonna have to be the best I can be for every game, no matter the opponent. We 10-run ruled this team last year, so hopefully we can repeat this success.
-RM


#55

Well, our game got rained out monday, so i pitched against seckman today. I did absolutely horrible. My arm hasn’t been loose at all during the high school season. It has always felt tight. I don’t have any pain. it is almost like I have dead-arm, but with my velocity. I haven’t been able to throw any strikes in my two starts. Today, I felt like if i could’ve thrown it over the plate I could have done really well
4 IP
6 K’s
6 BB
7 ER


#56

Rough outting. It happens. Interesting stat line: 4 IP, 6 BB and 6 K.
Walks and Ks at that rate is frustrating. Control becomes a hitter to hitter battle. My son has had games with 9 K in six innings and given up 6 runs on on two hits. The walks will just kill ya. Murphy’s law of pitching seems to dictate that if only two balls are hit hard all day it will be after a couple guys are put on with walks or errors.
Trying to tweek mechanics right before the season can be tough to do also.
You had said before control was usually a strong suit. Gotta try to get the feel back. Keep working.


#57

Well, good news on my control. threw a little in our scrimmaige today, and while my offspeed control was a little shaky, i threw my fastball for a strike about 70% of the time. Might pitch Monday, as i won’t start but coach is using the game to try and get in all the pitchers.
-RM


#58

Hey, hope all is well…
I went to watch USF play University of Nevada in Reno today.
I didn’t stay the whole game as it was breezy and in the 40s.
I got to watch several pitchers. Three from USF.
The first was a LHP (6’ 1" 186lbs). He threw a total of 18 pitches, 11 strikes. He was sitting 84-86 touching 87 twice. He got through two innings on 18 very efficient pitches.
The next pitcher was a RHP (6’ 1" 175lbs). He was sitting 85-87.
He threw a total of 33 pitches 20 strikes.
The third pitcher was a big LHP (6’ 6" 240lbs). I only watched him face two batters before the cold got to me and I left…his FB was 81.
The first two pitchers from both teams were freshman which was unusual.
The first Nevada was a LHP (6’ 170lbs) he was 86-87. He struggled with control walking three and getting pulled in the first.
The second was a RHP who was 87-88. He threw 22 strikes and 15 balls.
The first four pitchers being freshman is unusual.
Basically this is what I saw (for what it is worth).

The emphasis really appeared (no surprise here) to be to work down and throw strikes. The two most effective guys were throwing strikes to all four areas of the zone. With the exception of the first Nevada pitcher the strike % was around 65%. The lowest velo was from the biggest dude (81), two guys hit 90 (both from Nevada) several times but no one was sitting there.
The velo were mostly 85-87 range. The righty from USF had a long arm action that was deceptive. He was very effective.
The first two USF pitchers, both freshman, combined to take a no hitter into the seventh inning. Not over powering but both very consistent. Good at jumping out front of hitters and they could throw their curveballs for strikes.
The first hit was a solo HR to tie the game at 1-1.
I don’t know if this was useful info or not.
If you have any questions feel free.


#59

Wow, thanks fearsomefour. Very helpful information. Interesting to see that both teams were using freshmen, though the game was midweek so it would make sense that they didn’t put out their aces. Interesting to see the strike % is only 65%. i would have thought it was much higher.
Good news today. Coach put me in in the seventh inning to help get me prepared for our game on friday. I will start friday, but he wanted me to get back my control. We were not playing a very good team today, but I felt like I had good control. i only threw fastballs because they had taken terrible swings at our starters fastball all day. I struck out two, and got a batter to weakly ground to shortstop. We ended up winning 8-4. The game I will start on friday is the first game of a jv-varsity double header, so hopefully the varsity coaches will attend enough of our game to see me pitch.

1 IP
2 K’s
0 BB
0 ER

-RM


#60

I have watched JC baseball this year, some small four year schools and the game from Tuesday with two D1 schools. The Nevada/USF game was similar to the others in that the 65% strike ratio is pretty consistent. You will have some guys struggle more or have a bad inning and some guys will throw 80% strikes. The thing that is really pushed most places is working down. The total number of balls that were high could be counted on both hands through 7 innings. Watch college baseball on TV track the strike percentage for a couple of innings…I don’t count foul balls in that once 2 strikes is reached.
As with all levels of baseball being able to locate down and on the corners is of great value as opposed to mid thigh middle of the plate…hitters are gonna jump on that. Most coaches (my opinion) want that low strike so that hitters put the ball in play. They want to trust their D and don’t want the pitcher throwing any more pitches than he has to. Most don’t trust their pens much. If you look at how innings are distributed most schools will have 3 or 4 horses eating up all the innings and everyone else getting scraps. This game was a one game series, mid week, non conference game in cold weather…this innings for freshman. Even with all that the pitching from both teams dominated the day.
Good luck on Friday. Good long warm up. Let us know how it goes.