SwitchPitch39 Back in the Game

Hello, wanted to introduce myself here. My name is Matthew Berish and I was formerly known here as futureKazmir. I know I wasn’t the most liked person on this site but that was during my “cocky” period of my life. A lot has happened to me in the years I’ve been off here so I’ll give a quick run-down on whats gone on.

-Was my schools #1 Varsity Starter as a junior
-Recruited by 3-4 small D3 Colleges
-Had surgery to repair a torn labrum in my right shoulder in November of 2010
-Recovered in time to play my senior year (saw limited time on the mound in relief: 3IP 6Ks 2BB 1ER)
-Enlisted in the New York Army National Guard the 26th of May 2011
-Went to Fort Sill, Oklahoma July 19th 2011 for Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training as a 13B Field Artillery Cannon Crewmember
-Began messing around with left handed throwing during Basic Training
-Attending MCLA (D3) for Athletic Training starting Spring semester 2012 and playing on the baseball team next season (possibly this season)

Well now that all the boring catchup stuff is over we can get down to the reason were all here…PITCHING!!!

Height: 5’11"
Weight: 180lbs
Body Fat: 17%
Throws with: Left/Right
Bats with: Right
Pitches thrown:
Right Side;4-seam, 2-seam, Knuckle-Curve, Three Finger Change
Left Side; 4-seam, 2-seam, Three Finger Change
Fastball Velocity: Right Side 82-84mph Left Side 63-65mph
Goals: Gain more velocity on the left-side, since I’m relatively new to throwing a baseball left-handed, I have plenty of room for improvement. Develop a breaking pitch for the left-side. Lose some body fat and gain more solid muscle.

I look forward to improving as a pitcher and honing my craft so that one day I can play professionally. Ill keep you all updated as I go and eventually post a video of my throwing form from both sides. Ill be posting in the other areas of this site and look forward to learning and teaching.

Have a good one!!!

Alright so one thing the Army forces you to develop (non-voluntarily) is the ability to run off of little sleep. I got a solid 4 hours and now I’m wide awake and ready to go. My workouts will be based off of the Army PRT (which helped me gain 25 lbs in Basic Training) so it may seem easy, but don’t bash it until you try :wink:

Bend and Reach 1x5
Rear Lunge 1x5
High Jumper 1x5
Rower 1x5
Squat Bender 1x5
Windmill 1x5
Forward Lunge 1x5
Prone Row 1x5
Bent Leg Body Twist 1x5
4-count Pushup 1x5

Todays Routine:4 for the Core/Pushup Situp Drill/Climbing Drill
Bent Leg Raise x60 sec
Side Bridge x60 sec
Back Bridge x60 sec
Quadraplex 5x10 sec

Pushups x60 sec
Situps x60 sec
Pushups x45 sec
Situps x45 sec
Pushups x30 sec
Situps x30 sec
Pushups x15 sec
Situps x15 sec

Flexed Arm Hang 2x5
Heel Hook 2x5
Pull-up 2x5
Leg Tuck 2x5
Alternate Grip Pull-up 2x5

Cool Down:
Overhead Arm Pull x25 sec
Forward Lunge x25 sec
Extend and Flex x25 sec
Thigh Stretch x25 sec
Single Leg Over x25 sec

Throwing for today will consist of 30 throws each arm at about 75% followed by Rotator Cuff Routine.

Running for today will be a mile at about a 7:15 pace

Took the weekend off because I’m reporting to my unit for monthly training. I report to training in the Bronx, New York City, NY (about a 3 hour drive from my house) for Bravo Battery 1st Battalion 258th Field Artillery part of the 27th Combat Infantry Brigade. I spend my weekend loading a firing a M119A2 Light Towed Howitzer and those things pack a punch. We have a rate of fire of 8 rounds per minute but we normally get fire missions of about 30-40 rounds so lifting those 60lbs rounds gets tiring.

Haven’t posted here in awhile.

Basically I got screwed over by the Army. Too get free tuition at MCLA I had to switch to the Massachusetts National Guard, so I was told they had a 13B opening in a unit so i called and they told me there is no openings in any unit, so I would have to pay for college up front.

So today I found out I was accepted into University of Hartford (D1) as a Physical Therapy major. So I again switched to the Connecticut National Guard, but once again no 13B openings, but I was luck enough that an opening in a Infantry unit opened up so now I had my Army MOS (job) changed from 13B Field Artillery Cannon Crewmember to 11B Infantryman. I get sent to Fort Benning, Georgia this summer for training in that field of expertise.

Alright, haven’t even paid attention to this site with all the nonstop action in my first semester of college.

I tried out (and made) the University of Hartford’s 2013 baseball team as a walk-on, but only as a right handed sidearm pitcher, the coach said I was throwing anywhere from 79-84 mph righty and 70-74 left-handed. I’ll see how much I can improve left handed by fall season next year and hopefully I won’t get cut and can play a season of some D1 baseball!!!

Really working on packing on some weight in the weight room. This whole week I went everyday for about 45 minutes just to work on some basic muscle groups to get me primed up for the heavy routine ill start tomorrow.

How come you’re not playing the 2012 season?

I’m not playing this 2012 season because I didn’t go to college until the spring semester because i was in army training, and I was originally supposed to play for a small D3 school, but I changed my major and school last minute.

So are you redshirting or do you lose a year of eligibility?

I’m not exactly sure, because I’m technically part of the team until next fall. I;ll have to ask the coach about that one.

Hopefully you’re Red Shirting and not losing any eligibility. So are you practicing with the team and just not traveling with them or just doing your own thing?

Wales, I am not doing anything with the team, that way I don’t have to redshirt or anything. Just supporting them from the bleachers at there home games and close by away games.

Sorry I haven’t posted here in awhile, I’ve been busy with classes and all the other fun stuff college offers.

I talked with the baseball coach and he expressed it would be better for me to focus on my right arm because he feels I can gain a lot of velocity quickly if I use my right arm.

Basically I’ve been hitting the gym hard. Focusing mainly on upper body strength. My lower body has always been strong and explosive. I’ve been using the same routine Kris Benson used to gain 10 mph in one off-season at Clemson.

As for throwing, finding someone to brave to cold and windy weather of West Hartford, CT is hard. I found some lacrosse balls the lacrosse team left on the field so I snatched those up and I throw then against a concrete wall near the school’s tennis courts. I also use a 9oz weighted baseball and a 4 oz for overload and underload training.

My delivery was decent, I did get a lot out of my body but I felt I could get more velocity while putting less stress on my elbow and shoulder (which I had surgery on). I tore my delivery down to nothing and began looking at video of pitchers throwing at high velocity (93+) that are around my size (5’11" 175lbs). The main ones I’ve been focusing one are Drew Storen of the Washington Nationals, Trevor Bauer of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants, Scott Kazmir (during his high school and early career with the Tampa Bay (then) Devil Rays) and Tim Collins of the Kansas City Royals . Also I’ve been looking at some larger pitchers who throw 98+, just because of the ways they gas it up to the higher velocities. This list consist of Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals and Aroldis Chapman of the Cincinnati Reds.

You’re still losing eligibility. As soon as you enroll and attend classes your clock starts ticking you have 5 years to compete in 4 years in sporting activities.

How come if your at the school and are on the team for the following year you’re not practicing with the team currently?

Good idea to look at pitchers with similar size as you, I think Bauer did the same thing when he was in HS. Hopefully you can pick somethings up from them and apply it to yourself. I always looked at guys like Clemens, Ryan and Pettite myself when I was younger.

So are you completely giving up on the left arm now?

Can’t you throw inside at the schools gym?

I guess I still am losing eligibility then. But i’ll deff get my 4 years of playing time in.

I’m not practicing with the team because the coach already has his roster set and he wants to make sure all his guys playing this year get in the right amount of practice time, which I can’t complain with considering most of my practice routines are different then what he does. And I haven’t completely given up the left arm just yet, I plan on using it during my summer ball team, I’m just cutting back on the frequency I use it now.

And unfortunately our school’s gym is reserved for the basketball players (really nice court, best in the America East Conference if you ask me) but they have an intramural gym, but they have struck rules against baseballs being thrown in there because of all the pickup basketball games being played in there and all the foreign students playing indoor soccer. I personally like throwing in bad weather, it get me prepared for it in case I have to do it in a game. This school is focused mainly around basketball, soccer, and lacrosse. The baseball team hasn’t had a winning season in awhile, as of now they are 0-6, dropping 3 to #15 Oklahoma, 2 to Virginia Military Academy, and 1 to our in state rival Central Connecticut. They are in Kansas now taking on the Jay Hawks, hopefully they can pull a game or two out of that series to get them going.

EDIT: Scratch that, they beat Central Connecticut and dropped 2 against Kansas State today, record is now at 1-9.

That’s tough to swallow, my freshmen year we went 7-43, sophmore year we went 37-21 and then my Junior year we went 32-21. Hang in there things can change for the team especially if the Coach is newer to the program. That’s what happend to us. My freshmen year was Coaches first year so aside from me and a guy who transferred he was dealing with guys he didn’t want in the program, then once he started bringing in his guys the culture changed.

My College Coach is actually doing it again at Baldwin-Wallace currently as we speak, he took over last year and they improved by I think 7 wins in 2011 to finish at 16-16 and this year he’s already at 9-2 and winning BIG they beat one team 23-0 recently

Same thing I know has happened at VT and also is going on at SHU currently.

That sucks that you can’t use the intramural gym.

So when you do start practicing and working out with the team how much of what you currently are doing will be stopped so that you can “fit” into their program?

Personally I don’t mind playing on a losing team, I’m just grateful for the opportunity to play D1 baseball.

The main thing that will be stopped is how I do long toss and other throwing. I like to do Jeager’s routine but the pitching coach here only likes to stretch it out to 120ft and have his guys do a lot of running, which I feel forward running for distance has no effect on how I pitch. I like to stretch my long toss out to as far as possible and I love to run sprints or 60/120s. Also I love to throw weighted baseballs (especially my 9oz) as hard as possible (similar to Trevor Bauer), i feel it works out kinks in my arm action and teaches me to apply more direct force to the back of the baseball.

Ah yes… the allure of playing DI Baseball… Just to be able to say you played DI I remember being like that at one point in my life as well. Good luck with that hopefully playing on a perennial losing team doesn’t cause you to lose interest and hinder your development as a Pitcher.

Welcome to pitching for an old school College Pitching Coach, good luck man get as much work in on the side as you can without having it impact how your pen sessions, scrimmages or outings go in College. It’s going to be tough but if the stuff you are doing now works keep working at it on the side to make yourself better.

Yes the old school pitching coaches, my enemy, but yet my superior… I was surprised when I found out he pitched 3-4 years in the Rangers system (never getting past A+ ball) but he retired before Nolan Ryan took over and got his pitcher on the new way of coaching.

Heres a video I filmed in my apartment common room. I wanted to throw outside but the tennis team has a home match today so the courts are closed. Instead I threw a balled up pair of socks against our door. The angle isn’t very good, and neither is the lighting but it’s better then nothing. If the weather is nice tomorrow I’ll try to get a video of me outside.

Throwing with a ball of socks is going to completely change your arm motion…

Hopefully you can get some better video outside with a ball and at a better angle like you said.

Didn’t get any throwing in today. Walked and got another tattoo (2nd in past week and 3rd total) on my right forearm, so it was a little sore and didn’t wanna mess around with throwing. Tomorrow I’ll give it another go.