First, let me say that this is a reflection of Cardinal pitchers only because that’s my favorite team and the team that I see the most.
Now, on to the fun stuff.
Could it be that the “break your hands as soon as the leg starts down” theory is wrong?
In my own personal pitching experience, I have the bad habit of getting my hands going too early. My PAS forearm gets to a certain point, and since it’s too fast, just kinda chills there for a split second while my body catches up. This robs me of velocity since it is not a continuous motion.
Now, having watched the Cardinal pitchers lately, I’ve noticed something. Jeff Suppan does not seem to break his hands at the top of his leg kick. In fact, it looks like his kick leg is close to halfway down before he breaks his hands. Could this be to speed up the motion of his hands, so he throws “through” the high-cocked position, not “from” it?
Also, when both Chris Carpenter and Jeff Weaver throw from the windup, when they reach the top of the leg kick, they “pat” the glove with the ball, then break the hands. The result is that they break the hands with the kick leg on the way down, instead of at the top of the leg kick. Do you think this could be a timing mechanism to DELAY hand break and ensure the arm action is a smooth, fast, continuous motion?
Let me know your thoughts.