I have alwasy been taught and have taught pitchers to have their plant leg pointed at home plate allowing most efficient us of legs and trunk to explode toward the plate. I have a left hander who’s father asked me what his son is missing out on by throwing accross his body, i.e. he is steping 4-6 inches to the left of center. Any suggestions to convience him to work on changing such as possible arm trouble, lower velocity, etc.
It may not be a problem that needs to be dealt with. There are successful pros (e.g. Glavine) who do this.
But can it lead to injury? I believe so for two reasons. First, it directs the arm closer to the end of the shoulder’s range of motion in the throwing direction. Second, it can limit hip rotation which means the pitcher might not be able to use his body as well and end up throwing with more arm.
One solution you can try is to look at his drag line and move him to the one side or the other so that his drag line ends on the centerline between the pitching rubber and home plate. So for your lefty, if he strides to the left (and his drag line goes to the left as well), have him start on the right side of the rubber. This reduces how big of a corner he must turn to get squared up to the rubber and, therefore, how much he throws across his body.
His father noticed that Wright did this pitching against the Red Sox the other night, I was too busy watching the Sox bats to notice the lefty pitching and I didnt catch his velocity but I do know Glavine doest throw int he 90’s consistently, It has got to hinder velocity
In Glavine’s case, he minimizes the effects of throwing across his body by starting on the right side of the rubber. Tom House showed us this via a series of overhead photos.
I can speak from personal experience that it does not hinder velocity. My natural stride is “across my body.” At one point I changed my stide because I held the same belief that you do. The results spoke for themselves. I did not throw any harder after changing my stide.
The one factor that I think it does affect with pitchers is control. I found it hard to throw fastballs away from a RHH when I was positioned on the right side of the rubber (I’m throw RH). I was fortunate enough to work with Tom House and he adjusted where I stood on the rubber based upon my drag line (just as Roger suggested). The adjustment moved me all the over to the other side of the rubber and centered me over the middle of home plate at release point. This has helped me with my control to both sides of the plate. So to make a long answer short, it doesn’t affect velo, it may affect control.