Thumb

Hi,

My pitching coach has asked me to try to move my tumb (left or right) on my fastball to create some movement. I’m wondering if anybody has ever tried this. I have practice tonight and will try it against live hitters. I’ll report back with results. Thank you for your replies.

I tried it out and im getting Maddux like movement. Once you move your thumb to one side of the ball it puts more pressure on the finger its closest to.

Congrats. Thats great to hear that your discovered a new way to throw your fastball.I don’t think kids are taught to do this enough.I mean look at Mariano Rivera. He throws 3 different variations of his fastball and hes been succesful.Never stop experimenting with grips and how the ball comes out your hand and so forth.

I’m not sure how old you are but, even though moving the thumb can generate some movement (a good thing), it also has a tendencyt to impart a “slider” spin as a result of the hand rotating (supinating) into release. This happened to my son 4 years ago, when he was 11. His thumb was up at 5:00 , or 7:00, depending on how you look at it. The resulting motion caused a repetitive strain injury on the tendon that attaches to the medial epicondyle (the bony protrusion on the inside of the elbow). After a month of not pitching and physio, I finally noticed what he was doing. After fixing this, he’s had no recurrance of the issue.

I’m not saying don’t do it. Just that you should be aware that this has the potential to cause a slider like motion in the hand and that should be taken into account. At early ages, this should be limited and/or monitored.

[quote=“dm59”]I’m not sure how old you are but, even though moving the thumb can generate some movement (a good thing), it also has a tendencyt to impart a “slider” spin as a result of the hand rotating (supinating) into release. This happened to my son 4 years ago, when he was 11. His thumb was up at 5:00 , or 7:00, depending on how you look at it. The resulting motion caused a repetitive strain injury on the tendon that attaches to the medial epicondyle (the bony protrusion on the inside of the elbow). After a month of not pitching and physio, I finally noticed what he was doing. After fixing this, he’s had no recurrance of the issue.

I’m not saying don’t do it. Just that you should be aware that this has the potential to cause a slider like motion in the hand and that should be taken into account. At early ages, this should be limited and/or monitored.[/quote]

I’m 11 and sometimes when it comes off of my hand (5/10 times) it creates my wrist to kind of spin. Is this bad, or just part of the thumb moving?

That’s exactly what I wrote about. Like I said, it may cause some movement that you like, but it may also put too much strain on the spot where the forearm muscle attaches to the inside of the elbow joint. That little bump on the inside of your elbow isn’t completely fused in an 11 year old. Repetitive strain on it over time CAN delay or deform it’s formation. It can even pull away from the bone. That tendon that attaches to it can become inflamed or tear right off.

I would advise you to be very, very careful of moving the thumb up the side of the ball at your age.

2 seam and 4 seam FB along with a good changeup is really all you should be working on right now. Spend your time on location and good mechanics that will serve you well in the years to come. Location and changing speeds. The time you spend trying to get tricky movement is time NOT spent on locating your fastballs.

More power to you if you can change speeds and have movement by simply experimenting with grips. IF you can do this and keep your fastball motion with no door knob action then props to you!

[quote=“baseballbum”]… by simply experimenting with grips. IF you can do this and keep your fastball motion with no door knob action then props to you![/quote]That’s a big “IF”. Just be aware of the risks. I wouldn’t go there. He’s only 11. There’s lots of time to work on movement later. Location and mechanics will take him farther but I do understand that it’s all about managing risk. As long as one is completely informed about those risks.

My opinion only is to NOT go there. Location, changing speed and mechanics.

It’s not just your opinion, DM. It’s also Tom House’s opinion. In his video on throwing change-ups he discusses the splitter and he addresses the claim that the splitter is hard on the arm. He says that the only time the splitter is hard on the arm is when you allow the thumb to creep up the side of the ball towards the index finger instead of keeping it centered below the “V” formed by the index and middle fingers. Allowing the thumb to creep creates a tendancy to twist the wrist and that is what’s actually hard on the arm. This whole issue really applies to any pitch - not just the splitter. Any pitch thrown with a grip that entices you to twist your wrist will be hard on the arm.

[quote=“dm59”]That’s exactly what I wrote about. Like I said, it may cause some movement that you like, but it may also put too much strain on the spot where the forearm muscle attaches to the inside of the elbow joint. That little bump on the inside of your elbow isn’t completely fused in an 11 year old. Repetitive strain on it over time CAN delay or deform it’s formation. It can even pull away from the bone. That tendon that attaches to it can become inflamed or tear right off.

I would advise you to be very, very careful of moving the thumb up the side of the ball at your age.

2 seam and 4 seam FB along with a good changeup is really all you should be working on right now. Spend your time on location and good mechanics that will serve you well in the years to come. Location and changing speeds. The time you spend trying to get tricky movement is time NOT spent on locating your fastballs.[/quote][b]

Ok thank you.

[/b]

I also agree that this is questionable advice.

By moving the thumb around, what you are doing is throwing a cutter, and throwing a cutter can be potentially problematic if you end up supinating the forearm.

I’ve tried moving my thumb up the side of the ball, and I just don’t like it … Brandon Web throws his sinker with the thmb centered on the bottom and his ball drops just fine.

[quote=“SchillingBeckett”]Hi,

My pitching coach has asked me to try to move my tumb (left or right) on my fastball to create some movement. I’m wondering if anybody has ever tried this. I have practice tonight and will try it against live hitters. I’ll report back with results. Thank you for your replies.[/quote]i think it help you or hurt you, because it could throw off how you throw the ball and where you release it, i think it would benefit movement, but i think you should do it with caution if your still in your season, if your in the offseason, go for it

[quote=“Tanner Lorenz”][quote=“SchillingBeckett”]Hi,

My pitching coach has asked me to try to move my tumb (left or right) on my fastball to create some movement. I’m wondering if anybody has ever tried this. I have practice tonight and will try it against live hitters. I’ll report back with results. Thank you for your replies.[/quote]i think it help you or hurt you, because it could throw off how you throw the ball and where you release it, i think it would benefit movement, but i think you should do it with caution if your still in your season, if your in the offseason, go for it[/quote]

Season starts in like 2 weeks