The Split Finger Pitch


#1

Caution with the split finger pitch

The opinions express in this post are strictly mine and mine alone. These opinions are based on my observations, purely , and not any scientific analysis or sample testing.

There is a posting subject on the split finger fastball that may get the younger pitcher – 18 and under, to consider adding this pitch to their inventory.

Now the split finger fastball is a good pitch. In fact, it can be a real game changer for a guy. HOWEVER, to properly coach and develop this product as part of a youngster’s arsenal, is a risky thing to do, in my opinion.

Why? Because the fingers are spread apart to the point that stress is on the elbow. In effect, the pitch is “pushed” to a point, not pitched in the conventional sense. I know that doesn’t seem like the case, but a careful, patient observation of the learning curve while developing this pitch is enough to warrant a cautious approach, and use.
I researched this pitch some time ago after hearing about its drawbacks and hearing of the clubs (professional) that even discourage its (split finger) constant use.

So, when coaching the youth game – 18 and under, be careful of the implications and make a reasonable judgment on the impact to your pitching staff.


#2

Coach B., you’re not alone. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the splitter, or split-finger pitch, is a first cousin to the forkball, and we all know what that pitch is—big trouble, unless the pitcher has a King Kong-size paw and long fingers. A much better choice would be the knuckle-curve. I used to throw one of those, and it was my second-best pitch; a youngster under 18 would do well to pick one up.