The great Yordano Ventura

Ah…. the old mule kick.][img][/img

As demonstrated from the full windup no less.][img][/img

Here is another pitcher who shows a great deal of sole.][img][/img][img][/img

Which brings to mind Rodney’s hat. Some think it’s on crooked.][img][/img

Crooked compared to what you might ask?][img][/img

My theory… the hat is on perfectly straight.][img][/img

However after many years of excessive counter shoulder rotation and extreme rotational violence…][img][/img

The poor man has himself become permanently torqued.][img][/img

He didn’t start out this way…but with each passing year a little more torque was added. The perils of rotational throwing meticulously documented for all to see.][img][/img

The Rays first tried ear cups to try and straighten him out.][img][/img

Then came the sweatbands remedy…][img][/img

All to no avail, the muscle memory apparently too ingrained to be overcome.][img][/img

Oh well…there is always a price to be paid! Although if rotational mechanics leads to a 100mph fastball when fully torqued…][img][/img][img][/img

….not a bad way to go out indeed!

Cheers coachxj ! :drunkard:

I found the way he got ready very interesting

My apologies that it wouldn’t embed

Not seeing much beyond some less than max effort warm up throws in Rodney clips. What am I missing?

An instructional on Rodney using some familiar sounding language.

Tanaka and Darvish.

There are many ways to successfully throw a baseball but I’m not convinced the Japanese taught technique of kicking the stride leg straight before bending it really gets you anything mechanically. The commentator seems to feel it helps to keep their hips closed off while moving forward. Yes, perhaps when kicked downward and back with foot turned toward 2B while drifting forward. Hell they even have a Darvish doll striking the pose.][img][/img][img][/img

At any rate Tanaka and Darvish certainly go from the stride leg extended to a bent leg side kick position in a hurry. “Showing the sole” they don’t continue to sweep a straightened leg in a long wide arc….especially Tanaka.][img][/img

Yet when compared to the efficiency of Ventura doesn’t the initially extended leg of Tanaka and Darvish appear to be almost a tedious and unnecessary step? As we know the running game is very much back in at the amateur level with the BBCOR bat change, and well…weren’t the KC Royals last in HR’s and first in SB this year…going 4-0 against the more traditional “station to station” Orioles. Steroids and HR’s out…stolen bases back in?

With first movement to home plate times checked on a stopwatch by every 1B coach a “less is more” approach seems called for. Pitchers are being forced to pare down to the bare essentials to control the running game. Of course what those “essentials” are is debatable and we are certainly not talking mere slide step here, but rather getting fully loaded with a technique requiring minimal time and effort.

Rodney while not tall, is thick and very strong, likely enabling him to have nearly zero leg lift while throwing only 12 -15 pitches on most nights. Ventura however, being a starter and throwing many more pitches, may require some of the potential energy provided by the leg lift, which he likely converts very well. I think given his body type these lower body mechanics out of the stretch are close to optimal for Ventura and a great example for those of similar build.][img][/img

:smiley: …thats what I found interesting…more like just a bit of limbering up…for a guy who is seconds away from lighting up the gun (98, 99 for this last appearance prior to the 2013 season)…my expectation would be a more intense pen…he knows he’s only going an inning so the lacks-a-daisical approach was a bit startling…I had this feeling like he’d go out there and dislocate his spleen or something, instead…bullets and swings and misses.

I find darvish more interesting. His leg kick seems to lose him potential, (it being one of the three wolforth positions) but the foot is the slave of the hip not the other way around. I don’t see it having any mechanical benefit as I think it much more about comfort/timing.

Comfort and timing seem to be very important in japan, in regards to the kick but also the pause at the top.

Hideki Irabu][img][/img][img][/img

But that doesn’t mean they still don’t have good mechanical qualities][img][/img

If darvish picked up the tempo and loaded more he’d be consistent high 90 s. But he considers himself a breaking ball pitcher and hell , with his arsenal, why not

Thanks for the clips. I’ll comment later.

Below a link to an article concerning the changing nature of the game.

[quote]In the post-steroid era, the game is going through a remarkable transition. Power is out. Pitching, speed and defense are in. Home runs per game are at their lowest levels since 1992. Teams scored 4.07 runs per game during the 2014 regular season, according to stats site–the lowest total in 33 years. Runs-per-game are down 15% since 2007, and off 21% from their steroid-era high of 5.14 in 2000. Players are striking out 7.7 times per game, an all-time record, breaking the prior high of 7.55 set last season. In fact, in each of the past seven seasons, baseball set a new all-time high for strikeouts per game.

Let the big-market New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels overpay for aging sluggers who will inevitably depreciate at the back-end of their ludicrous contracts (Alex Rodriguez, Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols). Small-ball is cheap, and effective. This is where the game is heading. The Royals just do it best.[/quote]

“We shall see” as they say. For the record KC had 147 stolen bases, Baltimore a league worst 44, followed by guess who… San Francisco 56 and St.Louis 57. Going to be another match-up of contrasting styles in the World Series.

The big question mark for the Royals is the status of their young star and topic Ventura after leaving in game 2 with a sore shoulder.

Another warning sign was his diminished velocity, as Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs pointed out:

last time out, Yordano Ventura’s fastball averaged 98.2 miles per hour. this time, 95.0 miles per hour and removed by manager and trainer
6:50 PM - 11 Oct 2014

It doesn’t appear serious at this time but could be a tough call for Yost.

Switching to a brief look at the evolution of stride leg action I’ll pass on some old clips which I can’t redo right now for greater clarity. Download them yourselves for closer analysis.

There have been plenty of variations on extending the stride leg out and back through the years. A few examples among many….][img][/img

Gibson did everything up tempo including hardly coming set from the stretch much of the time… no ump dare call him on it.

Then along came Gooden who added a high leg lift. For sheer athleticism and artistry it was a thing of beauty.][img][/img

Of course there were problems holding runners at 1B forcing Gooden to alter his delivery once his Doctor K days were over and he couldn’t erase stealing runners with strikeouts.][img][/img

This was followed by a whole series of experiments and injuries…symmetry lost…no longer so pretty in the end.][img][/img

Interesting to note that both Gibson and Gooden led mostly with the bottom of the foot… Gibson coming more or less directly toward home plate.][img][/img

Jump ahead to Lincecum and we see something a little different. Rather than sliding forward leading mostly with the heel and a bent leg Lincecum takes off in a giant step “up and over”. You may have to download this to really see the differences in step over.][img][/img

Little doubt the giant step “up and over” is something that got the interest of young Trevor Bauer.][img][/img

Trevor is stepping over a beer keg of Oktoberfest proportions!][img][/img

Beauty in the eye of the beholder of course, but to my eye Bauer’s a little short on smoothness and fluidity when compared to the others… dare a say a bit herky jerky? Perhaps no surprise given a highly analytic approach?

Who cares what it looks like one could rightly claim? Afterall, it won the golden spikes award and the new and improved NEXUS 6 averaged 94 mph 14th best in the league in 2014.][img][/img

Quite an accomplishment… and needless to say a huge improvement over the 2013 performance.

Nonetheless aesthetic sensibilities do play a vital role in our judgments whether conscious or not. Hard wired for the most part they obviously have survival value from choosing a mate to discarding a rotten apple.

Ventura and Bauer are mostly coming at it from different directions making their contrasting approaches two of the more interesting pitchers to follow. As we learn more about them, so ourselves.

Hopefully we will get to see a little more symmetry in motion from Ventura this year. Might I add Yordano is many many years away from being referred to as “the great”. Out of respect for the very few that have truly earned it over long careers. :bowdown: :bowdown:


I think you’ve illustrated wolforth a three types of loads.
Bauer seems to dive into the philosophic/mechanical element of pitching. I noticed this when he talked about throwing diffrent pitches on the same plane and he practiced this by throwing through a tube.

I think he needs to work more on feel than all of the mechanical elements
In the Dominican they work on feel and positive/negative response. There is a documentary in Spanish somewhere in the vast internet which talked about this.
Start of with the fundamentals then work into the feel.

Justin verlander and Timmy lincecum can learn a lot from there more efficent and versatile Latino counterparts

Regarding the “THREE TYPES OF LOADS” I’m mostly ignorant. My only suggestion…watch your step…and check your shoes.

Wolforth’s three loads include:

Showing the cleat:][img][/img][img][/img][img][/img

The straight leg:][img][/img][img][/img

And the hybrid of straight leg/show cleat:][img][/img][img][/img][img][/img

To each his own, whatever is comfortable and you feel works then bu all means

You’d have to pay someone for all this info (sorry if I think mechanics shouldn’t be payed for). It’s still up to the kid to give hard work.

Thanks for the clarification. My focus would be more on feeling the power of the loading action and the subsequent power of rotation than the foot itself.

Anatomically feet often point in different directions…pigeon toed, duck footed, etc. For example I would like to see the feet turned in but for some this is impossible. I don’t ignore the feet it’s just not the point of departure.

My cues “knee to knee”, or “knee over knee” and “pinch”. Again I don’t see any mechanical advantage to extending the leg straight initially before bending it, and in most instances it adds time to the delivery out of the stretch. So why do it?

If you feel it adds “deception” out of the wind-up than by all means do it. Notice in the “stylish” Bronson Arroyo clip how he stops straightening the leg once in the stretch.

Also I can’t agree that doing what is “comfortable” is always the way to go. Comfort is mostly just habit, some harmless, some useless, some of them bad. Most players have developed their deliveries by watching others. If none of the current Japanese pitchers were straightening their stride leg how many in the next generation would be doing it?

I’ll close by pointing out the obvious. Prior to the professional level it’s about having the so called “tools” to get MLB hitters out. Once at the professional level it’s all about actually getting them out.

The “great” Pedro Martinez has had many a heir apparent over the years that have not fulfilled their promise.

The truly great make adjustments as things change. Felix Hernandez once one of the hardest throwers in the league now has the best change-up. Here is a link to a great article about it.

Indeed Darvish may be able to throw harder but if it compromised his ability to do this with accuracy would it be worth it?][img][/img

All things being equal more velocity will always help however at the end of the day it’s the professional hitters who will tell you how well you’re doing your job. Late movement, whether hard or soft, trumps everything else when it comes to getting hitters out on a consistent basis IMO.


You’ve just echoed a lot of my opinions/methods I previously mentioned.
So I’m a bit confused by your questions.

Sorry for the confusion, enjoyed this thread. Thanks.