Short arming the baseball

I’ve heard the term “short arming” the baseball numerous times by the baseball population. What does it mean to short arm the ball?

It just means having a shorter throwing motion, I don’t like to say it like this but not making a full circle. You see catchers and middle infielders do it all the time, some pitchers sort of do it, like Brian Fuentes. Nolan Ryan also had a pretty short motion, in my opinion it’s not really a bad thing and can help you hide the ball but some may disagree.

i think when someone tells you he’s shortarmming, most of the time it is a timing issue. they break out of the glove and get the ball up behind their ear too quick, and their body never catches up. they release the ball before the body unwinds releasing energy.

there are a few that do get the ball in way too close to their head but i have found that they are rare. most guys that people say shortarm are doing it right. nolan ryan and greg maddux do what many consider shortarmming. i’ll stick with those guys. you can call me whatever you want if i’m doing what those guys are doing with arm action.

When Ed Lopat was with the Chicago White Sox he learned both the long-arm and the short-arm deliveries from manager Ted Lyons who was himself no slouch as a pitcher. It gave Lopat twice as many pitches. One day he showed me how to adapt the short-arm motion to my sidearm delivery, and he told me something very important: that using the short-arm motion will make the ball go up in the strike zone, and that can be very useful if one is facing a very good low-ball hitter who has trouble with the high pitches. So I had both the long-arm and the short-arm motions.

Compare Freddy Garcia/Jason Motte to Roy Oswalt, you’ll see what short-arming and long-arming looks like.

Agreed. Not a good or bad thing. It’s more a question of timing and rhythm. I think larger pitchers tend to short arm the ball because it allows them to get to the famous 90 degree arm angle more efficiently. Skinnier pitchers have less mass to move, so I think because of that, it’s easier for them to keep everything in time. After all, pitching is not a matter of strength; it’s about how well can you move mass in order to create energy.