I am currently in my senior year at an NAIA college and had a successful year last season. I am right-handed and pretty much made my living on my sinker. Its normally between about 87-91 with good depth. Typical movement is 2-6 inches. Other than getting my slider consistent and making myself throw my change-up and split, my biggest problem is getting the same movement on the outside corner that I get on the inside corner. I have no problem locating, its just that the ball moves about 25% of the time and its about 90% on the inside corner. This makes for a problem if I am facing a opposite-field lefty because they can track my fastball and take it the other way. If anyone could give me some advice it would be greatly appreciated.
Do you throw all your pitches from the same spot on the rubber?
[quote]Senior Pitcher at Auburn University of Montgomery (NAIA)
Last season: 6-2, 6 no decisions, 2.2era[/quote]
If you are using the same arm action for both pitches, then I’d agree with Hose that it may be an orientation issue. Nice movement for the right side, sounds like you’ve put in the roadwork to be successful!
I’m not so sure the internet is really going to help you answer the specific question that you asked…maybe, but why aren’t you working with a good pitching coach who can see the whole picture and help you devise a practice plan for exactly what you are trying to accomplish?
Given what you said about the movement of your current pitches and your ability to locate them, I guess I’d take a shot at suggesting a strategy for LHHs who go to the opposite field that uses your current pitches “as-is”. Oppo-LHHs want the ball on the outside half of the plate, right? So, if your command is really good maybe you could adopt a strategy of showing them your FB outside-off and coming back in with the splitter low in the zone. If you don’t like to start out with a ball–and who could blame you?–then start 'em with the splitter low-in and come back with the FB away-off. Maybe some others here have other specific strategies they could suggest, keeping in mind the descriptions you gave of your pitches and your command.
I realize this strategy idea does not answer your question, and it also may not even work for you; however, a knowledgeable hands-on coach who understands exactly how you grip and release your sinker is probably necessary to help you get the opposite movement of your current version of this pitch.
When you orginally said “outside” and “inside” corner I wasn’t sure whether you were talking RHB or LHB. Since you talked about a lefty later, I will assume you meant to a LHB.
I’ve seen what you are talking about. My experience with video I have done is that we have a tendency to rotate our shoulders “open” sooner to the outside corner (RHP to a LHB). Let me say that a better way, we have a tendency to open sooner when the location is to the throwing hand side of the plate. When that happens we don’t tend to pronate the sinker as much as when we rotate later. I would try focusing on staying closed longer if you find your movement is inconsistent.
That said, laflippin is absolutely right, none of us are going to be able to help you fully in this capacity. You’re going to need someone on hand to help you with these types of adjustments.
Thanks for all the responses! The first thing I am going to try is the most obvious, standing on the first base side of the rubber instead of the thrid base side. All these years in baseball and couldn’t come up with that lol. As far as the strategy for the LHH’s. I completely agree with the set-up of split low and in and fastballs off the plate. The most success I have had is slider in and fastball away. The main reason I was talking about the sinker is because even on days that my breaking stuff is off, it still works.
Also, we just started practice this week and my coach is supposed to come to the pin and watch next week. He really has just been busy with all the walk-ons and trying to give them a fair shot. I will let you all know how it goes because I throw two innings of intersquad tomorrow.
After intersquad, the sinker is definately better with standing on the other side of the rubber. Thanks again
Good call with changing sides of the rubber guys! Especially with a sinkerballer to open up the plate. A lot of people think of expanding the zone with breaking balls down, or fastballs off the plate. For a sinkerballer, I’d recommend expanding down and outta the strike zone with your sinker. Your main focus should be to just keep this pitch down and in between the catchers knees. If you can do that, and with the type of sink you say you have is true, then you should have no trouble against LHH.
No better feeling than to help…keep tearin them up 8)
Sometimes it’s the most simple things…Always try to break it down to basics when you self correct.