Sinker trouble


ive been trying to throw a sinker for a few weeks but it just isnt breaking as much as i thought it would… can anyone give sum advise…like different ways to throw the sinker…


To begin with, make sure the mound you’re throwing from is high enough. I know a lot of folks advocate working from flat ground when you’re working on a pitch, but with a sinker that just doesn’t cut it. I’ve seen a couple of ballparks where the mound is lower and flatter than anywhere else, and for a sinkerballer that can spell disaster, so make sure you’re throwing from a sufficient height so you can get that downward plane that is so essential to that pitch.
Second, what arm angle are you using? You might want to try throwing 3/4—that seems to be the optimum—and be sure you’re getting a good wrist snap on that pitch, something similar to a curve ball. Experiment a bit, see what’s comfortable for you and what’s going to work for you. And don’t forget to complete your follow-through—I’ve seen pitchers who pull back as they deliver the pitch and don’t complete it, often with horrendous results.
Jim Brosnan, a very good relief pitcher in the National League in the late 50s and the 60s, tells of the time when he was with the St. Louis Cardinals. One day, in a meeting with pitching coach Clyde King, Brosnan was complaining about his two fast balls, a two-seamer and a four-seamer, neither of which was working right. So King called in a catcher and had Brosnan throw for ten minutes or so, using both pitches—and then he told him to drop the four-seamer because his two-seamer (a sinker) was working much better for him. Brosnan became a sinker-slider pitcher and was very successful when he went to Cincinnati.
Q.E.D. 8)


The sinker, or the way I throw it is like a 2 seamer but with my fingers together inside the seams. I put my finger directly underneath the ball, and when throwing it make sure it rolls from the tips of your fingers. I tuck the ball deep, and sometimes if im not getting the action I want I will do short arm follow through drills to remind myself how I want to finish the pitch, and make sure it rolls from the tips. Experiment with what works for you. You may not like to hold it deeper, and may get better action another way.

This is how I throw it, and it has good action. anyway i hope this helps.


I would like to qualify myself before offering advice or my slant on anything in youth game - I’m out of my element here. However, if some suggestions from my experience can help you, I’d like to suggest this:

A sinking fast ball is a “wrist” pitch that’s released out in front of your stride knee. The release is the very end of a long release “phase” that you go through while taking a very long lazy stretch with your stride leg forward.

Don’t do anything different from your normal motion, but concentrate on releasing the ball with a “crisp” wrist motion - down, and release the ball over your stride knee, while deliberately planting that stride leg down in the ground “FLAT” - but as if you were sinking a tent stake in the ground. Under no circumstances, “stomp” you leg down - that’ll have you in a more upright position at release.

So, try and release this way and see if your results are better. Also, spread your two top fingers along the wide portion of the seams as they run up-n-down. But note, your not pitching a split finger fastball here. You’re pitching a sinker - different pitch all together.

See how this works for you and get back to us. Best wishes with your practice sessions.

Coach B.


maybe you should try it off a mound. practice different pronating release points


Right you are! when working with a pitch like that, you need to throw off a mound. :slight_smile: