Thinking About Adding A Pitch

So since my coaches basically want me to do away with my knuckleball I’m considering adding another pitch (I still use the knuck as sort of a once or twice per game thing).

I’ve been able to shut down weaker competition with just my fastball, cutter and curve. But our conference and state tourneys are coming up soon and I we have big division games coming up soon so with stiffer competition looming I want to maybe add something to my bag of tricks.

So basically what I have right now is the three pitches I mentioned and from time to time I drop my fastball or curve to the side or make a pause during my leg kick since I don’t have any other real pitches.

I tried a splitter but no matter how much work I put into it I can’t get it and the same is true of the changeup.

Quite honestly I’m thinking about a screwball (4pie if you’re here I could use some tips), I used to have a pretty decent one before I stopped throwing it.

Anybody have any input? Should I even bother adding a pitch? If so what should I work on?

We have a doubleheader on Saturday that I’ll probably pitch in and it’s against a team that hasn’t even won a game on the field yet (they have 2 forfeit wins) so I think if I work in the pen on a whichever pitch I decide on and then give it a go on saturday to get used to throwing it in a game.

Pustulio—don’t lose that knuckleball.
As far as a changeup goes—a long time ago, Ed Lopat told me that just about any pitch can be turned into a nice changeup, and he demonstrated a few for me. Here are a few suggestions for you to play around with: there’s the palm ball (my very first changeup, and a very effective one it was)—the circle change—the knuckle-curve, which can be thrown either as a changeup or as a much faster pitch (I used to do it both ways)—or, if you’re thinking about the splitter, you can use a modified one in which you grip the ball as for a two-seamer but with the index and middle fingers just off the seams. You can alter the grip on any pitch, hold the ball further forward or further back in your hand, loosen or tighten the grip—any one of these things will give you a good changeup. Just remember, you have to throw it with the same arm motion and the same arm speed as a fast ball for it to work.
You might even try a slow curve or an eephus pitch. And if you’re looking for tips on throwing a screwball, 4pie is certainly around and you can ask him. 8)

I already have a pretty good eephus, I just know I’ll get my face knocked upside down if I do throw it in a game. These guys basically think if it’s not conventional it’s not any good.

I’m still throwing the knuck when I can, it’s still nasty. I worked with the screwball a little bit and I couldn’t really see it and the person catching me said he couldn’t really tell if it was breaking or not, he just said it was doing something and it was weird because he had a tough time catching it. I may be on to something with it, if it can’t be caught how will it be hit?

I throw that modified splitter zitan mentioned…just a two seam but with those two fingers outside the seams as wide as you feel comfortable…should take off that 5-8 mph you’re looking for. Keep it low!!

One of my varsity pitchers throws this, too… it’s actually a good pitch for him.

Give it a try and see if you can develop some comfort with it!

It has been stated before, but a change up would really be great. I would recommend a nice circle change myself, but thats just me.

Isom, you’re not the only one. A lot of pitchers use the circle change with good results. 8)

I threw some screwballs in the bullpen today (didn’t have time to try that split variation) and they were breaking…ALOT actually. I just need to work on trying to hit my spots because I kept missing to my throwing side.

My catcher told me there’s no way a lefty will ever hit that pitch, because it’s breaking so sharp and late.

The best part is, my arm feels great, it didn’t feel any rougher on my arm than anything else.

If the screwball is really working for you, then try to get to where you can control it really well. Once the control comes, see how it goes in a few games. If it all goes as planned, then there ya go!

Oh yeah, I know. the Circle Change is probably my favorite pitch. But along with a few good fastballs,(like what Pustulio throws) the change up can be a really effective pitch. Thats why I recommended it

I reccomend a change up to a lot of people as well, it’s a really effective pitch. For some reason though, every grip I’ve tried, every approach I take to learning one always fails. I got so attatched to my knuckleball that I never had a use for one.

The knuckleball was my bread-and-butter and my fastball was the change of pace. For me throwing a slow pitch that didn’t break was pointless when every pitch I threw was slow and already did break.

Now that I’m not allowed to throw a knuck a changeup would be useful but either I can’t slow it down enough, my arm slows, i can’t control it and etc. etc. so I’m going to give this scrooge a whirl and see what happens.

Those coaches of yours seem to think that any pitch other than a fastball and a changeup is “unconventional”, “out of the box”, and lots of other synonyms thereof, some of which might be classified as unmentionable. I don’t know what they’re trying to do, but if I were like that Leroy Jethro Gibbs of “NCIS” I would give each and every one of them a good resounding head slap. They have some nerve, trying to tell you what to throw and how to throw it, when what they should be doing is just give you the ball and let you pitch the way you’ve been doing, which seems to work for you. My guess is they’re just throwing their weight around, and that can only lead to disaster.
As I said, don’t lose that knuckleball. That is indeed your bread-and- butter pitch, and if you’re consistently getting the batters out with it you must continue to use it and let your fast ball be a changeup. Add another pitch if you want to, but keep that knuckler! 8)

Oh trust me I’m keeping it, just holding off on using it in the games so I can please the coaches. When I go off to U.Wyo and play on the club team I’ll go back to using it and this scrooge will be just another thing in my bag of tricks in case I have one of those bad days with the knuck.