I’ve been working on a splitter for a while now and i was wondering if its better to really choke it deep between your fingers or to just rest your fingers along the seams. i’d also like to know what the rotation looks like so i can tell if im at least getting the right rotation on the splitter. thanks!

It should tumble forward with a little overspin. The deeper you force it back, the more it becomes a forkball, Ian.

so should i choke it back and throw it like a fastball then?

it may seem weird but alot of the movement action that you get with a splitter depends on the size of your hands.

there’s no such things as a forward rotation while you throw a splitter. the split finger fastball is an exagerated 2-seam fastball. you hold it likme your 2-seam fastball and you spread your fingers apart as far as you can without choking it. that’s your splitter now you might want to choke it just a little. you want to reduce the backward spin of a regular fastball without actually loosing too much velocity like a knuckleball would do for instense. big thing is to throw it like your fastball and be careful not to supinate your wrist. the movemeent while come with practice. you might not even get mouvement for thwe couple first week but you will notice that when it starts to move it moves a lot.


My understanding is that the splitter does have forward top spin. Also, it is more of an offspeed pitch - an alternative to a change-up. The reason it’s call a split finger fastball is because you throw it like a fastball - not because its velocity is similar to a fastball.

Has forward rotation, otherwise its just a change up. I would go for no spin, but I will not believe backspin, Ian.

wouldn’t it just be a fork ball if it tumbled toward the plate with a little top spin then? I know one of the guys on my team throws a fork, and it almost looks like a bad knuckler comin in, but it drops like crazy. His fork has topspin like that, but i always thought splitters spun. from the little that i’ve seen, when clemens throws his splitter it looks like its really spinning. i could be wrong, but they are two different pitches, right?

Lol i was wondering this same question my friend was like hey try a forkball and i had no clue what it was so i kinda made something up of what i thought and i buried my fingers in it so the ball touched around both fingers and like the webbing of your fingers if that’s how i can describe it. I threw it with absolulty no spin it just glided in and had like a side and down dip it was nuts my friend was flipping out he’s like throw it again and i did and i have it going good but i wanna practice it and see what pitch im actually throwing and how to do it maby its a natural pitch for me.

I always get into this arguement when i talk about the splitterwhich i throw. Some say forward spin some say back spin. In either case you get the same effect so i don’t see the point in arguing anymore (altough some people say it makes a diff they are mostly the ones who never want to be proven wrong)

ah i see now. i knew i saw the tumbling splitter before. i guess it just comes down to what u call ur pitches and personal prefs on how to throw it, etc. but if they do the same thing then i guess it doesnt really matter. but what does rotation on the splitter that spins more look like? just backspin?

This might not be the exact question you guys are talking about but when I throw a Forkball everyone just assumes and calls it a Splitter so there ya go I know throw a Splitter. I wonder if that is sometimes the reason no one can decide what a Splitter actually is.

Baseballs that carry back spin can not drop unless it is for lack of power.
Sinkers dive becuase they carry some side spin and are thrown low,thats why over the top fastballers almost never have good sinking action on their fastball.

If some one can prove this wrong (sceintificially) I am willing to listen, but not from personal experience, Ian.

everyone says it’s a result of a SLOW backspin but that takes away from it looking like a fastball. If your throw a splitter hard with forward spin it will have enough so that it looks like a fastball.

“They” are wrong! I have long felt that web ball has done a dis service to pitchers by stating a splitter carried back spin. The new commercial has also has the splitter carrying back spin. If it is carrying back spin, it is a change up. Ian

there is no way you will get tighter spin on a splitter than on a curveball that being said why would the splitter be a sharper pitch? because it’s sinking like crazy, not breaking.

Sinking vs breaking how do you define it? Lets go old school for a second and talk about the spitter.

The spitter did not spin at all, yet it “rolled off the end of the table.” It was certainly thrown hard. So did it sink, or did it drop? Phil Niekro the old knuckleballer threw a “hard knuckler” that dropped straight down. Did it sink or drop. It certainly did not spin.

When I saw Bruce Sutter, his splitter certainly spun. I agree though that most guys get more spin from a curve than a splitter. I would really love to hear a true brainiac talk about the why of these pitches, Ian.

maybe my hands are just too small then, because i cannot get topspin with the splitter grip. i have gotten a weird screwball type spin when it rolls off of my middle finger more though…Maybe thats a start?

Here’s what I understand to be correct:

A forkball, thrown correctly, should have forward spin, and the harder its thrown the better. The ball will begin to spin on the middle knuckles of the hand before it is actually released! This is a true breaking ball, and normally is thrown with a bit higher trajectory than a change or fastball to accomodate the drop. The arm motion is very fastball-like, which helps disguise the fact that its a breaking ball. I’ve thrown a forkball and I can verify that it behaves this way when thrown correctly.

A splitter is thrown like a fastball, too, but the good splitter has very little spin. Its travels faster than a changeup because its not choked into the hand, but with little or no spin it will die at the plate. Like Roger says, its considered a changeup variant by most folks I know.

this topic wont ever die, splitter is like a change-up in some way, a forkball is thrown with no spin or very little.

a 4-seam fastball catches air with 4 rotating seams and gets more hang time, a 2-seam fastball catches air with 2 seams, giving it less bite, resulting in a pitch that isnt traveling in the same straight trajectory as a 4-seam fastball. giving the 2-seamer some sidespin to it will help it get tailling action and helps to get the ball to catch less air that causes lifting (the 12 to 6 rotation is what gives the ball lifting and please dont tell me theres no such thing as a rising fastball, i know it.). SO, reducing the spin of a 2-seam fastball while still throwing it hard results in EVEN LESS air catch from the seams and if you throw it with a little side spin, it’s deadly.