Sinker?


#1

My coach said that I should try a sinker because my two seam hasn’t been breaking, so I have been trying to find a good one on the internet for a while and all my results are different. If someone could link me to a good tutorial or explain yourself how to throw a good sinker that would be great! Thanks


#2

Years ago I attempted to invent a drill to increase pronation and my arm health. What I started to do in the backyard or just throwing around was getting into a two seam grip, lifting my index finger a hair off the ball and when I came through I would pull the finger down into the inside part of the lace thus in theory forcing pronation (who knows if it worked or not). I had never thrown a two seamer before then but I began to dabble with it and I found I was getting ridiculous movement from it and I realized it was from my drill. I went a few months with the new pitch then tried throwing it like I had done with the drill, my finger just a hair off it and pulling it down right before throwing, and my sinker was born, it was about 10 mph slower than my four seamer and the movement like a lefty slider. I realize this is pretty confusing and probably tough to grasp but its something that worked incredibly well for me and helped me get into college, hopefully you can get it too.


#3

What is ur arm slot and how does ur fastball spin?


#4

[quote=“plaz”]What is ur arm slot and how does ur fastball spin?[/quote] I throw a little above 3/4 an I can almost see the center of rotation on the left side of the ball(righty), so a little bit off center.


#5

Since you are high 3/4 , your 2 seam FB will have minimal break even if thrown perfectly. Your present 2sfb is probably pretty good for back spin. But learning a sinker quit difficult to do on purpose and is just sort of accidental. A 2sfb sinker will spin like a slider, or like a football, or like a bullet. A 2sfb will spin less then a slider so it will just sink and not slide to the right/left.


#6

[quote=“plaz”]Since you are high 3/4 , your 2 seam FB will have minimal break even if thrown perfectly. Your present 2sfb is probably pretty good for back spin. But learning a sinker quit difficult to do on purpose and is just sort of accidental. A 2sfb sinker will spin like a slider, or like a football, or like a bullet. A 2sfb will spin less then a slider so it will just sink and not slide to the right/left.[/quote] What kind of spin does a sinker have! And can j throw one at all with my arm slot?


#7

A sinker spins like a slider. Looks almost the same. A sinker is a good pitch to throw from a high 3/4 slot.


#8

[quote=“plaz”]A sinker spins like a slider. Looks almost the same. A sinker is a good pitch to throw from a high 3/4 slot.[/quote] would you mind linking me to a good way to throw it or explain it?


#9

Throw side arm sliders softly then harder after warming up. And just throw them frequently every week and hopefully it will carry over. You should color the baseball half black so u can see the spin easier


#10

[quote=“Throwin_smoke79”][quote=“plaz”]Since you are high 3/4 , your 2 seam FB will have minimal break even if thrown perfectly. Your present 2sfb is probably pretty good for back spin. But learning a sinker quit difficult to do on purpose and is just sort of accidental. A 2sfb sinker will spin like a slider, or like a football, or like a bullet. A 2sfb will spin less then a slider so it will just sink and not slide to the right/left.[/quote] What kind of spin does a sinker have! And can j throw one at all with my arm slot?[/quote]I’m his son(i don’t know how to use this website) you can try moving your fingers around to see if the ball will spin more like a sinker or less like a sinker. I naturally throw a sinker and can’t throw a straight fastball so this never was my problem. If your not happy about not being able to throw a sinker you can try moving your arm slot lower.


#11

[quote=“Throwin_smoke79”][quote=“plaz”]Since you are high 3/4 , your 2 seam FB will have minimal break even if thrown perfectly. Your present 2sfb is probably pretty good for back spin. But learning a sinker quit difficult to do on purpose and is just sort of accidental. A 2sfb sinker will spin like a slider, or like a football, or like a bullet. A 2sfb will spin less then a slider so it will just sink and not slide to the right/left.[/quote] What kind of spin does a sinker have! And can j throw one at all with my arm slot?[/quote]I’m his son(i don’t know how to use this website) you can try moving your fingers around to see if the ball will spin more like a sinker or less like a sinker. I naturally throw a sinker and can’t throw a straight fastball so this never was my problem. If your not happy about not being able to throw a sinker you can try moving your arm slot lower.


#12

A sinker is a very difficult pitch to perfect, and if that wasn’t enough, yoiur coaching staff is going to expect a high percentage of effectiveness when and why it’s called for.

That last part - when and why it’s called for, can be a rough road for you, especially when you’re looking for positive reinforcement of that pitch’s effectiveness. In that regard, there are so many factors that influence your feedback, that in the amateur game you’re lucky … and I mean lucky, if you have at least 50% of those factors that prompt calling for that pitch.

What factors?

  • Your backstop being in the right distance from the batter to give you the proper perspective with respect to depth perception and location.
  • Your pitching surface is of such quality that it promotes and reinforces your entire body to compliment your pitching cycle in its entirety, especially the follow-through part for a solid sinker.
  • You’re rested and prepared physically and mentality to command that pitch, in addition to being witness to the temperament of that pitch’s location and movement … or lack there of, and then making adjustments that work.
  • Adjustments are your biggest concerns, given 90% of all that comes before that is in order. (* below I’ll focus on one of the biggest*)
  • There’s a right time for a sinker, then there is a wrong time for a sinker. If someone else is calling the signs and they’re not aware of the when and when not… you’re in for a rough outing.
  • Always remember that your bullpen session is your first inning of work. That is the time to determine what your effectiveness is of your pitch selection that you’re bringing into the game that day/night. If you are still in the work-in-process phase of the sinker, be mindful of your selections - you must advise your coaching staff of what’s working and to what degree.

Some pitchers are just natural sinker guys. In my book, Orel Hershiser was one of the best, a real artist with the sinker. On the other hand, if a batter can recognize the pitch patterns of a sinker … he avoids lunging at the last second, thus taking away a lot of your effectiveness. Again, like I mentioned earlier, a sinker is either good/effective, or a sure bet hit served on a plate.

Now to address your question(s) more directly. Take a look below at the two seam fastball grip. It’s your foundation for developing and “feeling” the formation of your sinker.

http://s216.photobucket.com/user/CoachBaker/media/2sean-b-r-1_zps13bc4477.png.html][img]http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc90/CoachBaker/2sean-b-r-1_zps13bc4477.png[/img

With a sinker, the grip is only a small portion of that pitch’s attitude to the batter. Your follow through - during and after release is critical. This media is a poor substitute for showing you that, even video by someone other than yourself is marginal help at best. On the other hand, some say a picture is worth a thousand words… so, lets see if this can help you… WHY a sinker won’t work.

The statement that I made above, about your follow through is very important, and here’s why:
Your follow through the release phase of your sinker pitch, MUST be somewhat the same design of your intentions when you first gripped the ball. See the picture above to the two seam fastball grip, well if you release your grip too early, without a fluid follow-through … here’s the way your release is going to look…

http://s216.photobucket.com/user/CoachBaker/media/slot-pitch-B_zps7625f0f5.jpg.html][img]http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc90/CoachBaker/slot-pitch-B_zps7625f0f5.jpg[/img

Notice how dramatically different this release grip looks compared to the picture illustrated in the two seam fastball picture. Your arm slot has a lot to do with this temperament also. A slingshot arm posture, from my experience anyway, is extremely difficult to manage, with respect to getting a sinker … not impossible mind you, just very difficult. Again, this is my experiences only. So, that notation that I made above - adjustments, this is one adjustment that’s very hard to recognize.

With respect to adjustments, sometimes … and sparingly, a small adjustment to your grip may be the only manageable thing that you can muster at the time. Below is a pattern of movements of the fingers and thumb on the ball that you can practice with many pitches that involve some sort of movement. This exercise is called “dialing” the ball.

http://s216.photobucket.com/user/CoachBaker/media/dialtheball_zps3f3943a7.png.html][img]http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc90/CoachBaker/dialtheball_zps3f3943a7.png[/img

Now depending on a lot of other factors - too much to go into here, you may be able to work out a happy medium with your pitch, doing what you want it to do. Just be aware that his kind of fine tuning is not meant to correct problems with a bad form and the lack of preparation.

A good start to learning the fundamentals of this pitch - the sinker, can be found by watching this video by Jim Corsi.


#13

Coach baker would you mind explaining that last part there about the dialing?


#14

First, a little explanation - briefly, of the dynamics of a baseball’s design.

A baseball is a really neat thing. It has seams on it that go through the atmosphere when thrown, and depending on the attitude and rotation of those seams in flight through the atmosphere causes the baseball to do certain things. Adding to this cause-n-effect, is the baseball’s velocity. Combine all of those factors and we get a very simple ID for the baseball called - A PITCH.

Now comes the interesting part. We as human beings are as different as two snow flakes. We posture and move ourselves in such variable ways that customization of this simple, yet demanding and unnatural act - pitching, requires some rather unique ways of getting what we want from a baseball.

So, here’s a simple introduction to influencing a baseball.
** Find a baseball in good shape, one that you can mark up with a marker**

  • Find a flat surface to stand on, like in the outfield of baseball field, or a any open field for that matter.
  • Take a baseball and place your fingers on it so that you have a textbook four seam fastball grip.*KEEP CONSTANT PRESSURE WITH BOTH FINGERS.
  • Now have a simple game of catch, say about 100 feet away. Throw the baseball back and forth deliberately with the intent of accuracy, within reasonable means. Notice the flight of the ball as it leaves your hand and travels to your partner. Remember to use the same arm slot motion that you use when pitching.
  • Now move your index finger your middle finger slightly to the left, for a RH pitchers and to the right for a LH pitcher, on the surface of the top of the ball, and your thumb should follow the bottom seam as your two top fingers move.
  • Take a pen, or other marker, and outline the outer edges of your index finger and your middle finger of your ball. Throw the ball repeatedly and watch for any variation in flight and movement as the ball gets closer to the ballplayer who is catching your throws.
    -Now here’s there interesting part … first throw at 1/3 game speed, then 2/3rds game speed and take note of the influence that velocity has on your throws.

WE’RE NOT PITCHING HERE. WE’RE ONLY WITNESSING THE SEAMS INFLUENCE ON THE FLIGHT OF THE BASEBALL AS IT GOES THROUGH THE AIR.


  • Repeat moving your fingers, a little at a time, to the left (for a HR pitcher, to the right for a LH pitcher.)
  • Go completely around the baseball’s top surface with the index finger and the middle finger. *REMEMBER KEEPING CONSTANT PRESSURE WITH BOTH FINGERS.

Now go back and start over, only thing time change the pressure points of the middle finger as you go around the baseball. Again, notice any variation in attitude and movement.

Now go back and start over, only this time take your thumb off the seams and rest the thumb on the smooth portion of the baseball. The first thing that you’ll notice is a dramatic change in confidence with your grip - it’s not so solid now. Be mindful of your tendency to hold the baseball deeper in the palm of your hand. This can be a change in your grip that you may not be aware of - so deliberately focus on keeping your thumb where you want it to be. Get use to this discipline. At first you don’t want to bury the ball into the hand.

The cause and effect of moving your thumb to the smooth part of the ball, away from the palm, is to establish a certain attention to release speed that you place on each pitch. The tighter you grip the seams, OR, the closer you hold the ball into the hand/palm the greater you REDUCE the velocity of your pitch … all pitches.

Once you get a pretty good idea of what your looking at and how your changing finger positions does what, go to a well groomed pitchers mound and run though the same routine(s). Take your time to get your mound in good shape for your learning curve here. It’s so important.

Now, will your experience be the same as someone else doing what appears to be the exact same exercise - NO. Each of us has unique tendencies that require observations and coaching by those experienced in that line of work. So, unfortunately, your attention to detail and purpose will be your best bet for perfecting this exercise and getting the most out of it.

DID I ANSWER YOUR QUESTION? I have my limitation typing and sometimes my typing lags my thoughts.

Take any pitch that you want to refine or add to your inventory and notice the grip that your using for that pitch.

Start with a good pitch that you feel very comfortable with, one that gives you the greatest amount of confidence. You know, that ole standby that you can depend on. Then move your index finger and middle finger in the manner that I mentioned above- based on your witness of what you saw while playing catch and while practicing on the mound. When you pitch your “go-to” pitch, you at lease have a benchmark of what to expect BEFORE any grip variations. Varying your grip with that “go-to” pitch can give you indications of what’s what every time you have a bullpen session prior to an appearance.


#15

Thanks! I will b sure to try this when the weather warms up. Final question, people have said that you need to pronate your so your palm faces third. Is this true and is your wrist action a flick or a gentle pronation over. And how should a sinker spin?


#16

I’m going to answer your question by addressing a mature individual who has no issues with growth plates, growth spurts, nutritional or health related matters. He is fully developed physically and has the purpose of mind and facilities to practice and perform.

First question:people have said that you need to pronate your so your palm faces third…
Answer:
I am not a big believer in forcing any kind of arm or hand movement involving a pitching cycle. Allow me to explain a pitching cycle just briefly… a pitching cycle is made up of phases. Each phase is a standard, or platform, for the next phase. The phase that you’re alluding to, the release, is a phase that has a smooth and fluid motion to. Although rather quick when watching a release of a baseball, nevertheless, this release is a phase that when done naturally (by most) the pitching arm comes down and out with the pitching hand releasing the ball THROUGH a motion - not at one point. Hence, this natural motion through the baseball’s release for many pitches, has the pitching hand palm turn slightly. In that regard, if we look at all the pressure from, and makeup of the physical attributes of the human hand, we can see that a right-handed pitcher has all his fingers slightly weighted towards third, with the thumb positioned UNDER the baseball for many pitches. So, this tendency to … pronate… as it’s called, is just a natural cause-n-effect of the human hand’s function. (I’m not very good at explaining this stuff) I have, however, experienced the majority of pitchers that I’ve worked with down and out with their pitching arm, full hand release with a deliberate movement of the thumb under the ball moving towards the third baseline. On the other hand, I’ve had pitchers who after release, swing the pitching arm right across their belt line and end up almost pointing back towards second. (go figure)

Question two:Is this true and is your wrist action a flick or a gentle pronation over
Answer:
I’ve worked with pitchers who do all kinds of things at the end of their release when tossing the sinker, and any other pitch for that matter. Some will twist, snap, flick, and some simply bring the pitching hand down to their shin and hang it there. With respect to that last portion of your question … “or a gentle pronation over”… the natural movement of the hand upon release of a baseball for most pitches I tried to narrate during the answering of your first question.

Question three:And how should a sinker spin?
The sinker, in my opinion, should be the easiest pitch to pickup by a batter. Ball/pitch recognition is usually accompanied by two seams in somewhat of two posts arrangements. The backward influence of the grip has this impact. However, a sinker that’s coming in like a bullet, to bottom of the order can look all they want, but it’s difficult to pick up. Also I might add, environmental conditions can play visual games with a batter. Pitching out of the sun and into a shadow at home plate can play visual conflicts with a batter. If I had this condition for the beginning of a game, a sinker guy would be my first choice in the rotation.

Did I answer your questions?


#17

Yes you did thank you


#18

That’s some great explanation by Coach B


#19

I should have mentioned this before in my narration.

From my experiences, I’ve seen a sinker used more often that ends up as a pitch-n-hit grounder. Most, not all, batters that I’ve seen literally top the ball, some even chop at the pitch. Those that chop the pitch down, did it a high percentage of the time and even some did it and got a jump on the fielding unit because of the time of possession. Don’t forget, most talent in highly competitive baseball can make it to first in 4 seconds or less after making contact with a pitch. So, an air Jordan in the wind usually takes its sweet time coming down, all the while the fielder who’s taking possession has to make up his mind whether to bare hand the ball or not.

A chopped ball hit on a hard packed skin is noting but trouble - not impossible to field, just a pain in the casaba!

On the other hand, some batters with a certain batting posture with the arms and hands will actually pop the sinker straight up in front of the entire infield. An infield not properly coached in “calling” for the ball is like a demolition derby just waiting to happen.