Throwing Across The Body

I was watching Prime 9 this morning on MLB Network. It was a countdown of the 9 greatest pitching seasons of all time. Doc Gooden’s sophomore season was on the list. Being the mechanical guy I am, I used the benefits of my DVR and put his mechanics in slow motion. One of the things I noticed, other than he broke his hands with his elbow, Doc threw across his body. I know this can cause some movement, but people have advised me not to throw across my body.

Why is this bad?

Actually, if you’re a sidearmer you will be throwing across your body that way, and that’s all right, because you are finishing your pitches—following through. It’s a natural thing for sidearmers, and I remember how I used to do this all the time, and nobody complained except the hitters. My pitching coach saw no need to mess with it, because I had a consistent release point and I was getting the ball over for strikes! :slight_smile:

I’ve heard it can hurt velocity and also add some stress on your arm but you do see a lot of guys doing it in the pros. As Zita mentioned you have to do it if you throw side arm, I always considered Pedro a side arm pitcher and it always looked to me like he threw across his body and he still threw hard and had a pretty long career. So I’m not sure if its as bad as some people say or not.

Will it add movement though???

I know throwing side arm will. It puts spin on the ball and that will usually add movement.

This is right. Plus as I think mentioned previously, sidearmers for the most part throw across their bodys.

I was always told, that, if not a sidearmer, it also causes bad control of your pitches, which would be due to your body not being in a line to your target. You would also have some problems with keeping your eyes on the target if you do it extremely.

I think the loss of velocity is mostly created because of your hips being a little blocked if you want to rotate them to your target.

Generally speaking throwing across the body is frowned upon because typically a late posture change is required to “square up” with the target. This leads to inefficiencies in the delivery from potential under-rotation, inconsistent release point, etc. and also perhaps greater risk for injury since the posture change is happening at a high-energy point in the delivery.

As for some noticing added movement from this position it would make sense. The ineffeciencies inherant to the delivery could possibly reduce force behind the ball and redirect it around the ball, or to the sides, causing reduced velocity but greater spin.

Again this is “generally speaking” as there are many examples of successful pitchers that have thrown slightly across their body. Still it is not something I would teach a youth pitcher work on.

I agree with JP. What you have to consider is what you did to put yourself in a position where you have to throw across your body. Usually, it’s striding offline from the target - to the throwing arm side, specifically. The degree to which you do that dictates how much of an issue it is - if at all. The more offline you are, the greater your chances of altering something (most likely, posture as JP pointed out) and disrupting your kinematic sequence. And that generally impairs performance and exposes you to greater chances for injury.

Well I don’t throw across my body. My mechanics are actually pretty good now. My advanced glove side technique helps. :happyhappy: