Splitter movement

I throw a nice hard splitter instead of a straight change-up but it comes out of my hand with little to no spin and doesn’t have the characteristic late drop I should be seeing; my catcher sometimes asks me if I just threw a knuckleball :shock:

Anyone have any advice on release or arm action that can help me get this pitch working? Back when I didn’t throw hard it would just float and drop like a rock in front of the plate but now that I’ve added some velocity its flattened out a bit.

As I understand it, the splitter is a first cousin to the forkball but is a lot easier to throw because it doesn’t require the extreme grip one has to use for a forkball. It’s also much closer to a fastball. Maybe it’s the grip you’re using that is affecting the way the ball breaks or doesn’t break.
You grip the ball like a two-seamer, but with the index and middle fingers off the seams. You might try an offcenter grip, something like what you would do for a slider, and throw it exactly the way you would a fast ball—and see what happens. A reminder—you have to throw all your pitches with the same arm motion and the same arm speed!

well an offcenter pitch would probably result in a cutter, (if your using a slider grip) because I have been throwing both a slider and a cutter, and they are the same grips, it’s just how you throw it.

One of our relif pitchers throws a very good splitter, he has hands of a sloth :slight_smile: , but he moves his fingers down further away from the seams. so I’m wondering if it is how far away from the seams your fingers are. I’m not fond of that pitch so that might not be it. Zita probably knows more about it than me.

The grip might have something to do with it. You could grip the ball with the index and middle fingers just off the seams, or a little farther apart—but one thing you don’t want to do is get into forkball territory where you actually grip the ball between those two fingers—this would put a tremendous strain on the hand and arm!
If you ask me, you might not even need a splitter. You say you’re not particularly fond of that pitch, so there’s really no need for you to mess with it. You might want to experiment with using a knuckleball grip for
several other pitches. The knuckle-curve, which you probably already have in your repertoire—that one can behave like a splitter, inasmuch as it comes in there looking for all the world like a fast ball and then just drops like a glass hitting the floor. And here’s one of my favorites, which I learned from Ed Lopat and screwed up the hitters’ timing and thinking with—the so-called “slip pitch”, which in effect is a slider thrown with a knuckleball grip—or a knuckleball thrown like a slider, take your
pick. I used to crossfire that one all the time. 8)