To Pronate or not to Pronate, Part 3

Here is Paul’s latest articleEnjoy!

I read through the article twice. I think that may be the most informative, clearest explanation of pronation and the how and why it naturally occurs that I’ve ever read.

I agree, that is a very well-written and compelling essay.

One point that Paul might usefully consider expanding on: In his brief discussion of ‘arm deceleration’ he did not really seem to differentiate between the idea of arm deceleration as another mechanics non-teach versus the idea of teaching specific conditioning/strength-training protocols for pitchers that are focused on strengthening the muscle groups that are active during deceleration.

Good points. I would like to hear his thoughts.

Nice to see Paul back at it. And of course, a stellar article naming all guilty parties.

It’s telling to me that since setpro has been inactive the people who basically plagiarized everything from Paul are entirely lost for new material on what is effective throwing instruction.

Wow, that was a well written plea.

The problem is he has so many Kinesiological and physiological misconceptions that it begs correction by some one better than me to explain them. I’ll give it a short shot knowing what is now coming.

First he uses Lincecum in video to explain his contentions when Lincecum’s drive mechanic (Forwards acceleration phase) is very close to Dr. Marshalls Latissimus Dorsi driven inwards rotation of the Humerus (Axipetal delivery) and shoulder girdle vertically angled that very few in baseball performs but him or them and everybody complained about when he was a Senior in College being evaluated for the draft. You can see the powerful inwards rotation (internal rotation of the shoulder) of Lincecum’s straight fastball because of his nominal pronation. Again we are not promoting only recovery pronation.

Then he uses a diagram of the conventionally and Pectoralis Major driven (centripetal delivery) mechanic, that shows exactly what Dr. Marshall contends, that there is no internal rotation of the Humerus in this drive mechanic. Look at the Humerus during the forwards acceleration phase, how it is static and not powerfully inwardly driven.

These are 2 completely different drive mechanics and shows exactly what Dr.Marshall has explained in detail. One built for voluntary pronation during drive and recovery and the other intuitively built for supination the elbow cruncher.

I guess in article 4 Paul will get into what muscles are involved to produce these movements, like the pronator terres or the Latissimus Dorsi that are actually the primary movers not connective tissues.
He also has Tendon and joint Ligament acting the same, Ligaments have no elastic properties or piezoelectric ones.

Coaches, Parents and Kids should follow the Lincecum model.

There will be a more thorough critique next Sunday.

I was expecting something entirely different, but I am pleased with his post.

He even uses a term I have been saying for quite some time (not accusing him of plagiarism, of course, Leibniz and Newton both discovered calculus anyway) - the long axis of rotation is what matters most.

Really well-written article even if I disagree with how he attacks Oates/Wolforth and that my views on re-organizating the long axis of rotation through weighted ball training and “pronation” exercises run counter to his implementation.

"After I have time to call Dr. Marshall. :lol:

As much as I have problems with Marshall’s pitching mechanics there are two things that I believe Marshall needs to be given great credit for:

  1. He did not treat the arm as if it were made out of glass. His arm conditioning and training programs are exceptional. A strong case could be made that it wasn’t his mechanics that saved the player’s arms it was his training programs.

  2. I give Marshall all the credit the world for not bowing to commercial pressure to change his views. He developed his theories of throwing based upon an anatomical perspective. He knows anatomy and that’s what he based his entire program on. In other words he truly believed in what he he was/is doing.

Unlike many of today’s so-called Pitching experts who are like chameleons in that they change their marketing “pitch” with “new” discoveries. Of course were supposed to forgive them that their old discoveries didn’t work but there “new” discoveries are going to change that. All of which is say is that they didn’t have a clue to begin with and have taken forever to get the first base…

As usual my not so humble opinions.

re: “I give Marshall all the credit the world for not bowing to commercial pressure to change his views. He developed his theories of throwing based upon an anatomical perspective. He knows anatomy and that’s what he based his entire program on. In other words he truly believed in what he he was/is doing.”

------xj, your thoughts on Marshall’s conditioning techniques…okay…his mechanics ideas do not produce competitive pitchers, but maybe his conditioning ideas are sound? It’s hard to buy that because his strength and conditioning ideas are so highly specific to his particular mechanics ideas; almost as though he wants his pitchers to shot-put the baseball…so he trains them specifically for that type of delivery.

If you honor Marshall for his distant accomplishments as a player I get that but I don’t see why Marshall should be praised for not bowing to commercial pressures that don’t really exist for him as a coach. If his coaching ideas were productive of the results pitchers want he would have a very, very long line of people who want to work with him. He could still refuse to accept remuneration from them–who cares? But if his mechanics ideas are unsound, how is it that he deserves special credit for dispensing free nonsense to people? (I guess that is a little better than charging $$ for nonsense, or cynically teaching nonsense that you don’t actually believe in, but in the end it’s still a commitment to nonsense).

Besides anatomy, Marshall’s ideas are also of course based greatly on his very naïve understanding of physics. Because Newton’s motion laws were originally derived for linear motion only, and because Marshall is very nearly illiterate in physics, it was a very long time before he was able to understand anything at all concerning rotational motion in a pitching delivery.

I fully understand why Marshall is bashed on a consistent basis. His mechanics go against everything that baseball has taught its pitchers over the years. His training is completely specific to his own mechanics that he preaches. However different they may be though, they are far superior to the traditional pitching motion. I am 23 years old and have a SLAP tear in labrum and had tommy john surgery 6 months ago (March 13th). I was introduced to Marshall as a 15 year old and tinkered with it, but never has the balls to fully adopt his mechanics because of the scrutiny from others. To make a long story short, I went to college in another sport and completely forgot everything that Marshall wanted me to do. Within four years, I had a labrum tear, impingement, torn ucl, not to mention tendonitis multiple times along with loss of range of motion in my elbow. My workout regime cannot to scrutinized because I won the hardest working pitcher award at my school. My injuries caused me to favor hurting parts, causing the walks to skyrocket, and the next thing I knew, I was a head case. Finally, I remembered what got me to where I was, and it was Marshall’s method. I agree no one will ever get signed to a contract adopting his full motion, but if a pitcher just fully buys into a very minimal leg lift, locking the humerus into place and driving straight through towards home while standing tall upon finish, he will be amazed as what he can do. My career is 100% done if I went back to traditional pitching. I can throw about 90 feet on a line throwing “normal” but I’m six months out of tommy john and I’m throwing full speed off a mound, everyday, 7 days a week, at 90 mph with no problem. Marshall can be his own worst enemy sometimes and is stubborn as hell because he is just incapable to trying anything other than his own method. He bashes people (the wrong people), pisses people off, and runs his mouth. This is a huge reason to why people hate him. Not only is his methods completely different in a way that it would change the baseball world, but his ways of fighting his cause are brash and irrational. I know where he is coming from though. Imagine believing in something with all your heart just to see it get bashed on a daily basis. I’d be a dick too. But you know what? The man is a genius. There are people that bash him and that are doctors. But not only is he a doctor, he is a former cy young award winner and used himself as a lab rat. I’m not saying everyone else is wrong. In fact, most people that write these posts are professionals and are smart individuals, but only in regards to the traditional pitching motion. Why in your opinion is the traditional pitching motion the only way to pitch? Why can’t people see that young pitchers arms and careers are being cut short on what seems a daily basis? Honestly, I KNOW for a fact it is because pitchers are becoming bigger and stronger and our arms haven’t evolved fast enough to deal with the pressure of throwing a ball 90 mph downhill with force. Just listen to what he is saying. Don’t be quick to bash him or judge him. His pitching motion is far superior to the traditional pitching motion. If it were not for these mechanics, I could never throw a baseball again. I have cro hopped a ball at 102 mph and threw 95 mph off a mound, and I will again do so because of Marshall. I’m six months out of tommy john and have a fully torn SLAP tear in my labrum and I am throwing wrist weights, iron balls, footballs, bucket lids, and a bullpen EVERY SINGLE DAY, with no pain. If I threw one 20 pitch bullpen at full force right now, I’d be in severe pain. What I’m doing right now is unheard of following a full ucl reconstruction. It’s only unheard of because I am one of the few people I WORLD to back Marshall. But hey, if me resuming my boyhood dream of pitching professionally comes at the cost of having my mechanics scrutinized by individuals that think they know what they’re talking about then that’s 100% fine with me. You watch me make it. A 102 mph arm doesn’t just hang em up. But that’s what I’d have to do if I was as close minded as you people. Give it a shot. Instead of bashing it, go try his 120 day program, then tell me what you think. You never know until you try something. Stop judging other methods because they are different. It doesn’t make them wrong, it makes them different. What’s wrong with that?

re: “Why in your opinion is the traditional pitching motion the only way to pitch?”

-------Your personal testimonial is obviously something you feel powerfully, Mr. Blaine, and I’ve also seen your recent letters to Marshall on his own Q & A site, which I look at frequently.

I don’t necessarily think the “traditional pitching motion” is the only possible way to pitch–like I tried to say, in the real world whatever works to allow pitchers to achieve their goals will always attract plenty of attention from other pitchers.

If “Marshall mechanics” can be clearly and visibly used by pitchers to simultaneously throw pain-free/injury-free and at a high competitive level, pitchers will flock to his methods. Nothing will keep them away.

But, and this is the “but” that is a huge hurdle for Marshall and his ideas…to gain any traction the proof of his ideas must be publicly visible, and clear to pitchers and pitching coaches.

I just don’t think that the vast majority of pitchers and pitching coaches are so stupid/stubborn/witless/blind/etc that they would ignore clear evidence of a method that would substantially help them to compete. Mr. Marshall apparently does believe that.

Dear sir,
I very much agree with your statement and where you are coming from. I understand that the majority believes that Marshall’s methods are strictly for injury prevention but fail to allow a pitcher to reach full potential. You stated that if a pitcher were to see that Marshall’s mechanics allowed a pitcher to never sustain an injury and compete at a high level then they would flock to it. You also say that the public needs to visibly see proof of this. My argument is this, nobody has been given a shot to prove to the public that this is the real deal. We saw a brief major league career by James Jeffrey Sparks get shut down just because he admitted to using Marshall’s mechanics despite dominating major league hitters. As someone that is 23 years old and around young and developing baseball players that are the future generation of ball players, I see that these players are scared to be different. The same way I was. They want “SWAG” they want to look dirty with a mullet and beard and pitch the way they are supposed to. Pitchers are scared to be different because they will be shunned. Dealing with failure so much in baseball, losing confidence is inevitable for a young and impressionable young man. Someone who’s confidence is down in the dumps at the very least seeks the approval of his pitching coach and manager. The problem is that even if you are aware of the plainly obvious facts, you will become brainwashed if you are surrounded by people that shoot it down. Even if a kid has huevos to try it in a game one time, all it takes is one failure and one bad outing before he runs back to the traditional pitching motion because people will point the finger and say “I told you so.” If you want proof, goto Marshall’s site and watch James Jeffrey Sparks’ video. It’s ten minutes straight of Marshall’s guy cutting up major league hitters like they’re children. If you want to see it with your own eyes and in person, I’d love to throw for you and have to tell me Ican’t pitch professionally. And yes, I do think the vast majority of pitchers and pitching coaches are stupid/stubborn/witless/blind/ etc, but mostly they are close minded.

“We saw a brief major league career by James Jeffrey Sparks get shut down just because he admitted to using Marshall’s mechanics despite dominating major league hitters.”

---------Blaine, you were probably a little too young to have really seen and understood this supposed cause-and-effect for yourself at the time.

“… you want proof, go to Marshall’s site and watch James Jeffrey Sparks’ video. It’s ten minutes straight of Marshall’s guy cutting up major league hitters like they’re children.”

----------Not quite straight, in the usual sense of the word. Instead, the video you are referring to is a highly edited set of clips, cherry-picked to show only good results.

Here are some issues to ponder further: Jeff Sparks’ MLB career consisted of a total of 30.1 innings pitched during the 1999 and 2000 seasons. In 30.1 innings he gave up 19 hits, 18 walks, and 14 earned runs while striking out 24 hitters. He was also using a delivery at the time that was not endorsed by Marshall. After his release from Tampa Bay, he worked with Marshall to develop “full Marshall mechanics”, from which he never recovered anything close to a career in pro baseball. Conspiracy? Well, no not really…the facts don’t bear that out:

In the mid-2000’s Sparks and another Marshall project, Joe Williams, were given a solid chance to prove the efficacy of full Marshall mechanics with an indy team, Bridgeport Bluefish, managed at the time by Marshall’s good friend Tommy John. Neither of them were able to make the pre-season cut to pitch competitively for the Bluefish.

Sparks, Williams, and two other Marshall pitchers (Farrenkopf and someone else) went to the ASMI lab for motion analysis–none of the four Marshall pitchers were able to throw faster than 78-79 mph from the lab mound, even though many other pitchers in ASMI’s database had thrown much faster than that from the same exact lab mound. What’s more, their accuracy was below-par compared with most other age-matched pitchers that had thrown off the same mound.

Then, Joe Williams also got a tryout at AA level with the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization. I believe that this was specially arranged for him by the very open-minded pitching coach, Brent Strom, who was a roving pitching coach with the Cardinals org at the time. By most measurable performance standards Williams was awful, and he was released after a few weeks.

What does all this mean? To me it means exactly what has been said many, many times before by many people who are watching closely: There is simply no clear and public evidence that Marshall’s mechanics do what he says they can do.

Several years ago I did a presentation for the Jack Graney chapter of SABR in Cleveland, which was very well received. While researching the paper I had occasion to drive out to Zephyrhills; I wanted to talk to Marshall and see for myself just where he was coming from. He gave me two hours of his time, and after those two hours I couldn’t wait to get out of there!
Flippin, you would have torn your hair out by the roots—assuming you have hair. First off, he wasn’t all that good a pitcher; he did have a career year with the Dodgers in 1974 but so what? He ended up losing more games than he won, and I think that his throwing the screwball so much and so often really screwed up not only his arm but also his head. Next: he has all those weird names for his pitches—“max” this and “torque” that, none of which mean a hill of beans; I remember how Satchel Paige had all sorts of names for his pitches, and they all told me something about how he threw them! Like the "bee"ball; he said it be where he wanted it to be—logical. And as for Marshall, all he did was sit on a bench and make all sorts of notes in a book and not once did he get up and go over to see what a couple of young pitchers were doing, how they were throwing…Worst of all, this self-styled Professeur Je-sais-tout was the most aggravating, infuriating loudmouth I had ever run across, and when I deigned to ask him a question about deliveries other than the straight overhand he espoused, he summarily dismissed them as silly. I mean, SILLY. That told me more than I wanted to know, and after those two hours had gone by I thanked him and got out of there as fast as my arthritic knees could take me, back to my car and back to Tampa.
And when I presented my paper—“about pitching coaches”—I did so in the form of a trip to the zoo. I had several categories, one through four, plus a separate one for oddballs—like him. It takes all kinds.

Hey Blaine, funny running into you here.

Hope you recover well as we talked about before. Keep on huckin’ it.

re: “In 30.1 innings he gave up 19 hits, 18 walks, and 14 earned runs…”

Oops, correction: In 30.1 innings he gave up 19 hits, 30 walks, and 14 earned runs…

Don’t want to change history with a typo…


Still hiding from those tough questions, totally expected.

I’ve never called Dr.Marshall, what for, I understand what he is actually saying unlike the rest of you who have created this false understanding of when pronation eliminates bone crash in the elbow that is during the acceleration phase and not at recovery. His other followers will dig these misleading articles out as they always do, especially the one you eliminated from speaking at your web site, typical.

It amazes me how this simple principle has been twisted into what you have all made it (recovery pronation) when it is explained in detail at Dr.Marshalls web site for what it really is. It is apropos that the layman Paul Nyman chose to throw other Lay people under the bus because like him do not understand the real information by his redirection of attack on said lay people instead of directing his articles to the originator of these theories who actually gets it right.

You have a lot to learn Think in order to protect your own.


They actually all work but like yours are highly injurious, this is the actual subject that needs to be discussed and by you not recognizing the 2 different mechanical models to make claims shows you don’t get it yet.

People reading this article need to understand there is a huge “Red Herring” involved here that confuses the issue of why pronation eliminates elbow injuries during the acceleration phase, not the deceleration phase as they are arguing!!!

If you would have noticed and explained what Dr.Marshall actually says pertaining to pronation would have shown you get it but you have not and shows you have got your jock tangled up with your shoes.


This is a false claim repeated by haters. I have shown repeatedly many competitive pitchers, how could Dr.Marshall himself still retain multiple MLB records if he was not competitive, how could Sparks have struck out over 600 MILB batters if he was not competitive or even make it to the MLB. How could Kubenka have made it to the MLB?

This is as moronic a statement that can be made, pronation snap has nothing to do with shot put mechanics. A ladies shot put (6 lb) is used because of it’s weight that causes great physiological adjustments when interval training.

They are and he does have a long line of people wanting to be trained by him. He is now retired, none are accepted.

“If “being used as a positive does not compute, his tenets all work and work well, if they did not I would have dropped them long ago, so there is no commitment to non-sense and you saying this implies that it does. You are wrong like all the haters who make up false assertions as if they were truth.

Quote one to be believed, I have found everything he says about physics to be spot on. I say this to all haters who say the same things but they never respond with a direct quote. Typical.

What a poor joke you play here on Dr.Marshall. Even Paul learned now that by using the correct words like “inertia” instead of momentum in his article to explain what is being conserved now gets it correct.

You can’t bare to speak the truth can you? It does not support your biased opinion.

Try the truth, he had 41 K’s in 30.1 innings, that’s an average of over 12 per 9, the same average he had every where he went like the next year in Albany (indy ball)(imagine that MLB to Indy ball in one year) with 85 innings and 136 K’s and 2.00 ERA, Oh that’s over14. K’s per 9.
In his MiLB career he had over 600 K’s, that’s competing at a high level.

Good try La, go back and again make some more changes. You might want to figure in his ERA before his last 2 outings where he was not allowed to throw his own pitch sequences abd get the K’s correct.

[quote] “Here are some issues to ponder further”
“He was also using a delivery at the time that was not endorsed by Marshall.” [/quote]

Ponder this? Are you kidding me!!! Dr.Marshall taught him this “Hybrid bump bottom half “ delivery to acquiesce so Sparks would be handed the ball!!! He was fully capable of using the superior “Drop out windup” crowstep delivery even at this time.
Can’t you just be honest one time?

He was never allowed to use the full motion anywhere in affiliated ball and this is what is being said and is the truth. He trained using the full version long before Tampa Bay… He was asked by Tampa coaches to quit performing with that approach or hit the highway.

It does not take a conspiracy to have every conventional coach decide he would not get the chance, so quit using words that make it look like we use them.

[quote] “In the mid-2000’s Sparks and another Marshall project, Joe Williams, were given a solid chance to prove the efficacy of full Marshall mechanics with an Indy team, Bridgeport Bluefish, managed at the time by Marshall’s good friend Tommy John.
Neither of them were able to make the pre-season cut to pitch competitively for the Bluefish.” [/quote]

Both used the full version Crowstep approach, Sparks did very well.
Williams in 9 games let up 0 earned runs and performed better than all the other pitchers picked to proceed, trying out, Hmmmmm, what happened? The brass had no nad, that’s what happened.
So, he could make a AA team that same year but couldn’t make an Indy team months before, come on main. Get it together.

All were at the end of their adult 280 day interval training (30lb. wrist weights and 15 LB. ball) sessions and all were in deep training regression. I know you have no clue what that means so lets not pretend you are comparing apples to oranges here. None of them had competed yet or even thrown to catchers where they could have come out of regression and started their maintenance programs and performed at their maximal outputs that always comes months later. All threw extreme tailing fastballs

All the ASMI elite pitchers were tested at the end of full competitive seasons and un-named and threw straight fastballs.

ASMI did not produce an overhead acceleration graph now did they, because they don’t even know what one is. Nor did they take “axis presentation” readings on the balls meaning their pitches were actually moving laterally, was this explained, no as usual.

Right the same mound that did not allow enough side room to emulate the actual delivery. They were not there to garner velocity reading or accuracy ones. With Fleisig leaving all this info out and carrying out his protocol showed his bias and efficacy with his procedures. Now you know why they were there!!!

The tryout was 2 weeks of extended Spring training where he proved himself against MilB batters and did very well so they signed him. They sent him straight to AA.

Nothing was arranged, he earned the right to be there by his previous performances and Brent wanted to give him a full season shot at it. So did most of the other development coaches. Unfortunately the upper brass were unaware of this at the time and when they found out the same thinking that Tampa Bay went through prevailed.

His first 2 outing were rocky but he got out of each 2 innings of the first 2 games. The second 2 games of 2 innings each were shut out ball. He was getting better and better with each outing, Uh Ohh, what, we can’t have that, said they upper brass with the
micro nads…

Oh, I know these are all excuses and not legitimate explanations, whatever!

So one short example of the full version and several extended examples of the pseudo version with ungodly strike out examples against MLB batters and to you this means there is no clear evidence, HA Ha Ha Ha, REALLY!?

The president of the Marshall haters club has spoken again.
Quit hating LaFlippin, it is bad for your health.

“…he had 41 K’s in 30.1 innings,”

-----That is quite correct, my bad.

[i]199. I think I found Sir Issac Newton. I had difficulty finding him. The secret was grabbing ahold of the pole. It all came together after that.

Congratulations. Using the inertia of the glove hand to pull the body forward ahead of the front foot is one of the many ways that Sir Isaac Newton tells us to apply force when throwing baseballs, but it is a good one.[/i]

-----------Woof! I’ve got to re-read the Principia.