split finger fastball

I’ve read some of the posts about split finger fastballs, i’m thirteen and I throw one and my arm sometimes hurts,I thought itwas just normal sorness, but now i think maybe its because i throw that pitch. Is it from the split finger fastball,if so why because im not snapping it off im just changing the grip so why would it hurt my arm.

maybe it is maybe its not but unless you are way bigger than an average 13 year old you probably cant throw an effective splitter, you might be getting some changeup action a little and thats what makes it seem to work but a real splitter needs more developped hands. the reason why this pitch hurts your arm is that you put stress in your forearm and elbow by stretching those small fingers around the baseball and throwing it hard. even big fingers will be an issue sometimes. this pitch isnt for everyone and right now at your caliber of play a well placed fastball is all you need really. learn a change up quickly and develop those more advanced pitches later on if you find out you need an other pitch. you probably know about trevor hoffman? he is the save all-time leader and that is mostly due to this change up pitch right here

this is a pitch anyone with any size of hand can pitch but takes a lot of work to get it to be very VERY nasty like trevor hoffman. an other thing about that pitch is that unlike a splitter which is a pitch mostly thrown by guys with hard fastballs this pitch can be thrown by either flamethrowers or slower pitchers with exact same effectiveness so you can evolve into any kind of pitcher you want and you’ll still have that great weapon to back you up.

to throw this pitch you have to keep your index middle ring and pinky fingers very light on the ball, the thumb is holding the ball right on your palm and you keep your hand light the entire time you throw it though you keep the arm speed of your fastball. work on that, it wont come first try but i can garantee you anyone can learn this pitch though not everyone is whilling to put effort into it and at your age you have all the time you want to learn such a great pitch and become a superstar in your league and who knows where else!!


Describe your grip and your hand position at release.

If you take a two seam grip and spread the fingers out untl both the index and the middle fingers are both touching the logos on each side of the ball. For instance on a rawlings ball one would be touching the rawlings logo and the other would be touching where it says the weight and inches of the ball. Thats how I grip it , and I’d throw it just like im throwing a fastball, same release point.

also same arm speed for the most part, maybe a little bit slower but pretty much the same

I’ve often wondered why more people don’t use the Hoffman changeup–it certainly looks like it would be an easier grip to master than, say, a circle change.

My guess from looking at the grip…you get some backspin on the ball, but perhaps quite a bit slower backspin than on the fastball…?

There are some good pictures of Hoffman using this grip at Getty Images. That, and the fastball that he uses to set it up.

Ok, that all sounds good. But you didn’t say where you place you thumb. Make sure the thumb is centered under the “V” formed by index and middle fingers. If you place your thumb up the side of he ball towards the index finger you may have a tendency to twist into release and that can cause pain.

So do you think it will hurt my arm? Oh btw my thumb is on the bottom of the ball where you described it should be.

Count me among the people who would tell you, “no, a properly thrown splitter is not any more risky than other properly thrown pitch types”.

Here is my n = 1 example: My kid is almost 15 yo now, he’s been throwing the splitter as his change-up pitch for 5 years. His pitching coach taught him the pitch when he was 10 yo and told us that the lurid accounts of the “dangerous splitter” that showed up in the popular press for awhile in the 80s/90s were just puff-pieces designed to sell scary stories to the public. It’s no surprise that people will repeat the scary stories they’ve heard until sometimes they finally come to believe that the stories are really factual.

After 5 years of pitching (sinking FB, splitter, slider) the boy has never experienced elbow or shoulder pain–not even soreness. He also does a lot of year-round conditioning work and he is not over-used.

The caveat here, of course, is this is just an anecdotal bit of evidence and only involves my experience with my son, like I said…n = 1.

Take it for what it’s worth to you:

6 split-finger fastballs - YouTube