From my blog…
"Fox analyst Tim McCarver showed how little even baseball insiders know about the actual act of pitching a baseball early in Friday night’s broadcast.
After Carlos Delgado went yak off Chris Carpenter in the first inning, McCarver kept going back to the fact that Carpenter was “leading with his elbow,” and how that’s bad, and that Carp needs to “get on top of the ball.”
The only thing is, that’s not possible.
Every pitcher “leads” with his elbow. The number of motions that, put together, make up the pitching delivery, is referred to as the “kinetic chain.” The rotation of the hips leads the rotation of the shoulders, which brings that arm around. At the moment of maximum shoulder rotation, the arm is at “full external rotation of the upper arm.” The elbow lays back flat, which stretches the muscles, ligaments and tendons of the elbow to the maximum. This is when a pitcher is “leading with his elbow.” At that stretch, the body, as a reflex, sharply contracts those muscles. This motion brings the hand forward and delivers the ball.
So, for all you young pitchers out there, don’t listen to Tim McCarver. If you try to throw and “not” lead with your elbow, 1) you will lose tons of velocity, and 2) open yourself up for injuries to the shoulder. “Leading with the elbow” is a natural occurrence of the proper kinetic chain.
The problem MIGHT be, is the LEVEL of the elbow. I didn’t notice, but if Carp’s elbow is LOWER than normal, that can lead to a loss of velocity and movement. THAT is the proper problem that McCarver should be referring to. "