SCREWBALL

today I found a grip for a screwball and was able to throw it 2 of the 4 times I tried it

  1. should I continue to work on and attempt the screwball?
  2. is it bad for my arm?
  3. would it be a necessary addition to my arsenal?

to be honest its more of just a slow 2 seamer but I like to call it a screw

No stick with the curve, change, and location of fastball.

  1. First of all, it needs to compliment your other pitches. For one thing, it has to appear as if you’re throwing your fastball, your curveball, your slider, or whatever you throw. If it looks at all different, then hitters are going to know what’s coming, and let me tell you, that’s not good. Secondly, if your delivery looks consistent, then what does that pitch do that your other pitches don’t? Different pitches are used to frustrate and unsettle a hitter’s mindset and timing. For instance, if in the back of a hitter’s mind they know a wicked curveball is coming, then it has already affected their mindset. Your job is not, as many pitchers assume incorrectly, to make the hitter look like an idiot, but rather to get him out. Very few pitchers have the ability to do the former, but when they do coughcoughBRANDONWEBBcough it’s that much more intimidating. So if you know that it does throw off the hitter, then use it and work on improving it.

  2. I think it’s safe to say that no pitch is safe for your arm. There is no black and white answer, but I would say that increased pronation or “thumb turning down” motion is unsafe. This pronation, in itself however, is not bad- don’t get me wrong. I would say that if it is not comfortable to throw, or increasing soreness succeeds pitching, then your body is telling you that its probably not the thing for you.

  3. Refer to number 1, as these questions are essentially related.

extreemly bad for yourarm

I believe Tom House would tell you that the screwball is fine to throw because the rotation is in the same direction your hand rotates after release. In other words, it’s all pronation. However, he would also tell you to pronate only to tolerance and to limit the number you throw to no more than about 20-25% of your total pitches.

[quote=“adamsmith44”]extreemly bad for yourarm[/quote]What evidence is there that this is bad for the arm? There are those out there who believe that active, intentional pronation is the key to reducing arm injuries.

“Those out there”? I think I know whom you’re referring to.
I don’t know whether you have ever seen Carl Hubbell. He threw the screwball almost exclusively, and believe me—no pun intended—that’s a sure way to screw up your arm! He used it so much and so often that when he would just stand with his arms at his sides the palm of his left hand faced out. The same thing happened to Fernando Valenzuela. And it could be happening to a lot of pitchers nowadays who use it too much and too often.
I was talking to Ed Lopat (my incredible pitching coach) one day, and the subject came up. He asked me if I threw the screwball, and when I told him I didn’t, he said “Good for you. You don’t need it.” And indeed I didn’t—I knew how to throw one, but I just didn’t, because I had enough breaking pitches of various kinds, including one or two that behaved like one. I would say that if you used a screwball just occasionally you might not injure your arm, but day-in-and-day-out—You might try a change-up screwball, what Joey Jay used to call a “slopslider”—just turn it over a little.

My arsenal, so to speak:
Curve ball (the one that came attached to my sidearm delivery)
Knuckle curve
Palm ball
Slider (my strikeout pitch)
The “slip” pitch (a slider thrown with a knuckleball grip)
Circle change
Slow curve
The “whoops” pitch—I never realized I had it, but it was a fast ball that came in there at 81 0r 82 MPH, and for a finesse pitcher such as I was, that was a fast ball.
And I could change speeds on quite a few of those pitches. It was to laugh, watching those batters who would be waiting for a fast ball—and waiting—and waiting, never realizing they were going to get everything but. :slight_smile: :wink:

First of all how old are you. I wouldnt be throwing one if ur younger then 15

Ive played with it but found it hard to control. As in the break changes each time. But yeah i agree with Bower. Focus on the basics. :slight_smile:

A MESSAGE TO BOOMA—
I’m 73, and I don’t care who knows it. My playing days are way behind me. I got into playing when I was 14, and I was 16 when I learned to throw the slider. It quickly became my strikeout pitch. I picked up a few other pitches (see list) along the way, and I was in my early thirties when I had to stop playing because my work schedule got so heavy I lost my free weekends. But it was great fun—I did kind of an Allie Reynolds thing, starting regularly and often relieving between starts.
A lot of pitchers, including Lopat and Johnny Sain (I wish I could have met him too), believed in throwing every day, and I guess my relief appearances counted as that. I never had a sore arm or shoulder—and, surprisingly enough, I never lost a game.
I even pitched several no-hitters and one perfect game. Those are great memories, which I will hold onto forever. :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Are you left handed? How old are you? I can see adding a screwball if you are:

  1. Left handed
  2. Your throwing from 3/4’s or low 3/4s
  3. Your change up is very straight-you realize a circle change can have screwball action right?
  4. Late highschool ball going into college

Please reply and I will try to give you a better answer, Ian.

I don’t know to whom you’re addressing this inquiry, but I’ll put in my two cents’ worth: I’m righthanded, and I was a true sidearmer who didn’t have much in the way of speed but who could throw pretty hard, and I used a slide-step. We didn’t have any sports programs to speak of either in high school or in college, so I played high-level organized sandlot ball (it could almost have been called semipro but no one got paid). As for a changeup—Ed Lopat told me that just about any pitch I had could be turned into a changeup, so I did that. No problem. 8)

is it me or every single post you make turns into a poetic, inspirational story of your life, yet you talk about it to the past like you don’t play anymore, if that lopat dude was that good and you threw pretty hard, why aren’t you playing anymore? seems like everything wasn’t all that great.

I like Zita’s stories, and 73 is kind of old to be still playin’, don’t you think?

I think I mentioned that when I reached my thirties my work schedule caught up with me, I lost my free weekends, and I had to stop playing. And as a result, I got out of shape, and now I’m contending with the world’s lousiest right knee. And don’t forget, I am now 73—not that I care who knows it. But for those sixteen, seventeen years that I did play baseball, I enjoyed every last slider and knuckle-curve of it, and I have never forgotten the things that I learned from Mr. Lopat—priceless. And my brain is still functioning at warp speed. So—I’m still enjoying every last slider and knuckle-curve, and now that I’m retired I’m more heavily involved with the game than at any time other than when I was playing. And if I can help in any way, I do it. (That’s what comes of doing things the major-league way.)

didnt know he was that old, is posts are pretty repetitive though.

Hey, 4pie. Take a look at Zita’s signature line. :wink:

It’s true, every post he writes is around the length of a novel. Also, you really don’t need ten thousand pitches Zita.

My questions were for the OP, Ian.