Screwball


#1

I am a freshman at my high school in North Carolina. I know the obvious risks of throwing the screwball, but i have a question about it. I have been throwing around 60 or so of these a week for the last three months, and i haven’t felt any real arm or elbow pain. So, if a pitch is destroying my arm, would it be noticeable over time, or take effect one day. I have not been clocked recently, but this pitch breaks from 1 to 5 inches depending on the pressure i use. Am i okay to throw this in moderation, or am I taking a risk.


#2

The idea that the screwball will destroy your arm is a myth.

While some people who have thrown the screwball have had arm problems, others like Mike Marshall haven’t. What is likely going on is that the screwball is being scapegoated; that it’s being blamed for causing problems that were actually caused by something else (e.g. curveballs).

A screwball is actually a very safe pitch to throw.


#3

That clears alot up, because curves have always hurt my arm more than screwballs; and i can see where people would get that idea. It would hurt if your wrist turn was incorrect, but it has never had ill effects on me.
Thank you for clearing that up.s


#4

Screwball is thrown twisting the wrist inward right??


#5

Yes which is an unnatural direction for the wrist to be going. I guess that it varies from person to person. Sure, Mike Marshall never had any problems, but he’s a league above all the rest so he may be more conditioned to withstand the strains of that pitch. It’s usually high recommended that pitchers at the high school level do not throw irregular pitches such as the sinker or screwball. But if you’re having no problems, then keep going along until it starts hurting and stop for a while.


#6

Have you ever poured out a half-empty can of soda? Have you ever turned a door knob? If so, then you’ve pronated your forearm.

Pronating the forearm is hardly unnatural.

Also, anybody can throw a sinker (aka a 2-Seamer) at any age. It’s thrown just like a 4-Seamer but you grip it with the seams rather than across them.


#7

While I agree that turning a door knob is using the same motion, that does not mean that you necessarily snap your wrist while turning it nor are your trying to throw the door knob with any sort of velocity. More muscles are forced to work harder in the arm when you’re throwing a screwball rather than turning a door knob. And it is your opinion that the two-seamer and the sinker are the same, I can’t change that. But the sinker is considered to have more of a curve than thrown into the fastball column. A split fingered fastball is what I think when I hear about a fastball with break. But the two seamer has a drastically smaller tail to it depending on how good a curve the sinker you’re comparing it to has. I agree that you’re entitled to your own opinion, I just wanted to let you know mine just as I have considered your’s.


#8

A sinker is just a fastball that sinks. Nothing special. Most guys throw it with a 2 seam grip, and you can actually throw a sinker with a 4 seam grip. It has to do more with the pronation of the wrist at release.

I agree that turning the doorknob is a bad correlation for throwing a screwball. When I turn a doorknob I actually supinate my forearm rather than pronating it.


#9

thing u’ve gotta realize is it MAY vary on the person, but in less than a year if you are throwing it fine and still no problems most likely that is good. but you dont realize that if u have a future in baseball a lot of stuff tears at your arm slowely, and i dont see the point of not throwing a pitch you can do well with. i throw a split-finger fastball and im told not to push my thumb through… i continue to do it because thats just how it naturaly happens, but if i mess up my arm so be it. Some pitches like this may get you noticed (considering you mix and max and keep your hitters off balance still) but hell why not throw a pitch unless you go to a college/minor/major league program and they make you stop.

sorry for my lazy typing, bad punctuations, and just general bad gramatical skills.


#10

When we talk about pronating, we’re not talking about snapping the wrist. Instead, it’s a smooth movement.

Maybe, but since they are muscles they can be conditioned to deal with the load. The same thing is not true of a supination curve or slider since they put the load on ligaments.

This isn’t just my opinion, it’s a standard in baseball.

A 2-Seamer is described as a sinker because it doesn’t stay up as much as a 4-Seamer does.

If a ball sinks due to topspin, then it falls into the category or a splitter.

Maybe, but my definition fits with the definitions of most baseball people. You are free to use the word “up” when most people use the word “down”, but you’re going against the generally accepted usage of the term.


#11

Though I agree that a sinker is held like a two seamer with the index and middle finger running along the seams, it is the thumb position that makes the pitch successful. When thrown correctly, the pitcher should run their thumb along the index finger side of the ball. This vital positon is what gives the pitch “run” to right-handed hitters.

When thrown correctly, the sinker can be an awesome pitch, especially in the HS setting. Although, I think you can see by the pitch’s popularity it is successful at all levels as well.


#12

Chris is correct when he says that the pronation is not a twisting but a subtle movement. It’s just the angle of the hand at release.

Coach Kreber, I don’t think thumb position makes a pitch a sinker. While it can help to make the ball sink, it is not what defines a sinker. Every pitcher is completely different, and sink can be achieved with 2 seamers and 4 seamers. I throw all four seamers, but if you saw me pitch you would say that when my ball is down it has good sink and run, but when it stays up it only runs. You would probably guess that I throw 2 seamers.


#13

I along with most everybody else generally supinate when I turn a doorknob since that is the way most doorknobs are made to work and it is a very natural motion. Of course they make doorknobs that way because supinating feels more natural. When you reach out to grasp the doorknob your hand is either pronated (palm down) or neutral (handshaking position) and then you supinate (toward palm up) to turn it. Any additional pronation past palm down, i.e. pronating to turn a doorknob would certainly be unnatural.

So Chris other than your not know what you are talking about what does turning a doorknob have to do with pitching?


#14

Not to be argumentative, but I’m a contractor and every lockset I’ve ever installed that uses a knob works in either direction. I’m righthanded and when I open a door I pronate my forearm.


#15

Don’t think it’s been mentioned yet but throwing a screwball causes all rotation of the hand and forearm to be in the same direction that the hand and forearm rotate after release of the ball. The hand and forearm almost always pronate after release regardless of which pitch was thrown. Breaking pitches that involve supination require an abrupt change of direction from a position of supination to a position of pronation. This is part of what is hard on the elbow when throwing curves and sliders. With the screwball, there is only pronation so the change of direction is eliminated.


#16

[quote=“CADad”]I along with most everybody else generally supinate when I turn a doorknob since that is the way most doorknobs are made to work and it is a very natural motion. Of course they make doorknobs that way because supinating feels more natural. When you reach out to grasp the doorknob your hand is either pronated (palm down) or neutral (handshaking position) and then you supinate (toward palm up) to turn it. Any additional pronation past palm down, i.e. pronating to turn a doorknob would certainly be unnatural.

So Chris other than your not know what you are talking about what does turning a doorknob have to do with pitching?[/quote]

Coach 45 is right.
All the doors in my house can be turned either way, but i always pronate my wrist to open then. When i throw pitches that require me to supinate my wrist, my wrist ends up as it would be when im done throwing a screwball, in fact, thats the way my hand naturally comes to rest.


#17

Just go to the door without thinking about it and turn the doorknob. I guarantee you’ll turn the knob clockwise.


#18

Me too.


#19

Good point.


#20

For me, it depends in the door. Which side of the door the knob is on and how close the knob is to a well.

But I generally pronate.