One of the reasons for going into a windup … and even the stretch motion … was to get the batter into a tempo dictated by YOU…. the pitcher. And it (dictating a batter’s tempo) is as skillful of an art, as the pitch’s signature at the plate.
A batter’s timing is all eye – hand coordination… with a bit of timing/tempo sandwiched in the middle. Now I’m not a batting coach… nor do I profess how to explain the timing/tempo thing … but I do know, and have proven it, that a batter who watches a pitcher … who takes a lazy full windup…. can … and will…. have to make an adjustment to any pitch upon release that is usually an abrupt shifting in the action heretofore.
Quick windups and set motions can preempt a batter to “think…quick here it comes.” And basically what your doing is pitching to his/her expectations. On the other hand… shifting gears by observing one thing… that suddenly alters the visual witness, is to say the least … not good for any batter.
I use to instruct this technique by actually teaching the Box Step that’s used when couples dance. Usually, there’s a slow cadence like 1-2-3, 1-2-3,1-2-3. Now if in the process of performing a Box Step … all of sudden just after the second set of 1-2-3… the tempo was speeded up to a 1-2, 1-2, 1-2….any coordination by either party is disrupted so bad that it’s not unusual to see things come to a complete stop. And that’s what we as pitchers MUST do to the batter. In other words… we must use everything at our disposal to disrupt a batter’s coordination, =…timing / tempo.
But don’t take my word for it. The next time your tossing BP… give it a try. Start a nice slow lazy windup… the full thing now mind you…. then explode with a heater, slider, sinker, anything.
Now when talking about off-speeds/change-ups … that’s different. And more often then not, these pitches are deliberately delivered as a setup pitch and they’re usually not expected to get a strike call on. However, if close enough to an OUTSIDE corner… they will be chased. Just don’t miss 4 or 5 inches up or down… left or right.