Sidearm from the stretch

How does a sidearm pitcher keep runners from stealing on him? Does he have to modify his pitching motion in order to not give a hugh advantage to the runner(s).

I think RHP side-armers should best keep runners from stealing on them by developing effective pick-off moves.

Other than pitching from the set position, I would never advocate changing the pitching motion in the hope of chopping a few milliseconds off a pitcher’s delivery. More than likely, any such changes may cause loss of command and/or even add time to the delivery.

The well-known slide (or glide) step has also been recently analyzed and shown to be ineffective in accomplishing its purpose. There may be a psychological boost from the slide step, but motion analysis shows pretty clearly that although a given pitcher can get into foot-strike earlier with a slide step, loss of momentum from this type of delivery means that his ball release (the important point) occurs no earlier than when the same pitcher uses a normal leg lift and generates higher momentum into stride.

And then my catcher can throw the runner out with his rocket.

“And then my catcher can throw the runner out with his rocket.”

—Well exactly, Spence…if you know you can rely on your catcher to handle his job, your job becomes a lot more fun.

Pick off moves are important no doubt.

I also would suggest holding the baseball. Don’t be afraid to hold the ball until someone calls timeout. It’s difficult to get a good jump when you hold the ball at different lengths on every pitch.

I’m not totally sold on the idea that the slide step is ineffective–I’ve discussed this with Roger in the past. I’ve tried and seen other guys try to pitch with a regular leg lift and very good momentum to the plate and we are unable to get the ball in the plate in the desired 1.3 seconds from first movement to the time the catcher catches the ball. I’ve been more in the 1.5 or 1.6 range with a regular kick.

On the other hand, I’m consistently in the 1.3 range from the slide step with no velocity loss. I’ve seen some pitchers throw harder with a slide step because the mentality is to be quick to the plate, therefore increasing momentum. Doesn’t happen with everyone, but I’ve seen it.
One way I like to teach better momentum with a regular leg lift is to use a slide step mentality with that full lift. Usually gets the point across of moving to the plate quickly.

I don’t have an answer but I have a suggestion for you.

Watch clips of Chad Bradford, he exclusively pitches from the stretch and see what he does.

Also watch clips of Byun-Hyung Kim from the full and the stretch and see what/if anything he does differently.

Chad Bradford is a low submariner, not a sidearmer.

Byung-hyun Kim is closer to sidearm, but he is also submarine by maybe 15-20 degrees.

My mistake flippin, I had submariner’s on the brain.

"I’m not totally sold on the idea that the slide step is ineffective–I’ve discussed this with Roger in the past. I’ve tried and seen other guys try to pitch with a regular leg lift and very good momentum to the plate and we are unable to get the ball in the plate in the desired 1.3 seconds from first movement to the time the catcher catches the ball. I’ve been more in the 1.5 or 1.6 range with a regular kick.

On the other hand, I’m consistently in the 1.3 range from the slide step with no velocity loss. "

--------Palo, I’m not sure I understand your numbers. My understanding is that 1st movement to foot-strike is somewhere between 0.9 - 1 second for just about everybody. A few guys might be faster than 0.9 second from 1st movement to footstrike, but not many. From foot-strike to release of the ball requires maybe 0.2 seconds more, I’m not sure that you can get that done any faster. A 90 mph FB requires about 0.4 sec to travel 54 feet (from average release point in front of the rubber to HP).

Using those numbers, 0.9 + 0.2 + 0.4 = 1.5 seconds. There might be pitchers who have faster overall delivery times than that, but I’d guess not many. (And even then, not very much faster)?

If you feel the numbers I used are questionable, I’m interested to correct them or at least understand your reasoning.

Sorry to bump off target,
La my son is 1.35 to the plate. He was told between 1.3 and 1.4 was MLB delivery speed…by an mlb catcher.

I’m talking about first movement to the time the ball hits the catcher’s glove. ML teams want this time to be approximately 1.3 seconds. This is because the average runner takes 3.3 seconds to steal from 1st to 2nd, and the average catcher throws about 1.9 to 2.0 to 2nd. Therefore 1.3 seconds gives the pitcher/catcher enough time to throw out a runner. These are basic understood numbers throughout baseball.

I’m familiar with the NPA’s ideas on the slide step and I think there are two schools of thought on this. In my case, I can’t get the ball to the plate at 1.3 seconds with a high leg kick, but I do it consistently from the slide step. I’ve talked to others who believe they can be just as quick with a regular leg kick because when they slide step, there arm doesn’t actually move quicker, it almost waits for the timing it’s used to (high leg kick). I think that makes sense.

jd and palo,

Thanks, that’s what I was asking about. I’m still curious as to where my numbers are off… I’d guess the 0.9 into foot-strike might really be 0.8 or 0.85 for very good pitchers and maybe the estimate of 0.2 seconds from foot-strike to ball release should be more like 0.1 second?

I don’t want to take any time off of the ~0.4 sec required for a 90 mph fastball. That is the time required for a FB that averages 90 mph over the entire 54 feet–so it’s velocity near release point would have to be even higher, something like 94 mph on the radar gun. If a pitcher’s radar reading is 80 mph, respectable for many HS players, his average speed over the 54 foot distance is going to be about 76 mph…and that would take 0.5 sec to reach the plate.

So, revised number for a very good MLB pitcher is: 0.8 + 0.1 + 0.4 = 1.3 second. Does everyone agree that that would be an outstanding time for first movement to ball crossing the plate?

Was that rhetorical? :wink:

Where are you heading on this here train wreck La?

“…rhetorical?”

No, no–the accepted numbers were just not clear in my mind.

But, what the heck, now I’ll blame you for keeping this discussion alive… :lol:

Now I wonder a little about the methods of measurement used to quantify the numbers. If it is generally by hand-held stopwatch then you’ve got human operator reaction time and/or human operator ‘anticipation’ time factored into the measurement errors somehow…even though stopwatches are obviously capable of 0.001 second increments of time, the human error–i.e., the time it takes to react to what you see, or the occasional tendency to react slightly early to what you think you will see, or even reactions to what you hope you’re going to see from a prospect you really like, must be a lot more than +/- 0.001 sec, no? Maybe +/- 0.1 sec?

oh sure lay it on the non-mech guy…

For all the inaccuracies and flaws, I think it’s just some guy with a stop watch…but it’s fairly consistant so I don’t suspect it is broken down via hundreths or less. Like the ubiquitous 1st base coach…no extra science there just how quick a thumb can mash a button. I don’t know if they get any more technical with catcher pop time. But somehow it works out.

Yes 1.3 is the magic number everyone is looking for as a pitcher.

Who is the quickest in MLB?