Toeing the Rubber


I played in the tournament and we won 1 game out of 4. We were in every game - one went into extra innings and we lost to the eventual champions 14 - 12 - they allowed just 2 runs in the rest of the 5 games they played combined (they run ruled everyone else), so we did well to score 12 against them. I pitched 2 innings in our last game because all of our other pitchers were spent. I pitched from the stretch and just stepped and threw. It didn’t hurt my shoulder to throw that way, but I had no velocity. We had a chance to win that one, but couldn’t score a run - down 2 with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 7th. It was a good time - just wished I could have contributed more.
I’m going to start back up at the gym tomorrow and get back to work on getting bigger, faster, stronger.


My baseball season is over. My shoulder is feeling a lot better. I think somewhere along the way, I lost my arm slot and was doing things that aggravated my shoulder. Once I got back to throwing the way I used to throw, my arm stopped bothering me. I don’t know if catching had something to do with it or not, because I threw with a different arm angle when I caught. In any event, I don’t plan on playing fall ball this year (there’s no league) so I guess I’ll just work on my own in the gym. For the last month, I’ve been going to the gym every morning for about 1 1/2 hours. I alternate leg/core work with arm/upper body work. I’ve gained 7 pounds in that same time frame. Do most pitchers stop throwing altogether and just concentrate on overall conditioning, this time of year?


I’m back! I couldn’t log on for some reason, so I started a new account. I haven’t thrown a baseball for a while now. I’m still working out at the gym every morning and trying to eat more, but I just can’t seem to force food down. I drink a power shake every morning and one before I go to bed at night, but I still can’t seem to add any weight. I look more muscular. I’m still not shaving, but I’m not growing any taller either. I’m still around 5’ 11 1/2" and weigh 144. I’m hoping I have another growth spurt in me. My dad grew 3 inches after high school. I hope I inherited that gene. I’ll check back later when I start throwing again.


It’s been a while since I posted. I just finished my baseball high school season. My shoulder was bothering me last summer so I took 6 months without throwing. When I started throwing prior to the season, I tried tweaking a few things. I pitched in about 7 games - and had one win. I pitched in 2 games in one week and overworked my shoulder again and had to sit out for about 10 days. Shoulder tendon strain. The therapist straightened me out. I was back on the mound and pitched fairly well. Our catcher can’t catch me, same as before, so I pretty much have to just keep throwing fast balls. I worked on my batting and I’m seeing the ball really well. I batted .435 for the season and hit my first high school home run. I also had ground rule double in another game and hit the warning track a few times. It’sjust a matter of a few more days in the gym before I start jacking them out on a regular basis. I only struck out twice for the season. I just got selected for the local American Legion team. I was able to throw pretty well at the tryout. The coach was impressed with my fastball movement and my knuckle curve. They clocked me at 84 on my fastball. I pitched one inning in a scrimmage game against a semi-pro team and had 2 ground outs and one K. I’m just over 6’ now and weigh 150 . . . and still not shaving. Lol. Hopefully, I continue to get taller. The coach already thinks I’m 6’2". He asked me how tall I was at the tryout. I said 6’ in bare feet. He said, “You look more like 6’2”. I said OK, that works for me, so I’m on the roster as 6’2". There is a guy on the team that’s 6’ 4" and my hips are the same height as his. He has a longer torso. So hopefully, my torso isn’t done growing. Lol
I’ll post more often as the Legion season moves along and try to get some videos.


As I said in an earlier post, I was selected to play on the local American Legion team, but I’m not sure why. I haven’t set foot on the field in 3 games that we played. The coach seems to think he’s coaching a major league team where he has 8 starters and a pitching staff. I guess my role was supposed to be a reliever or something, but that was never explained to me, nor was it something I wanted to do. I’m batting .600 in my local rec league against college age pitchers, but I can’t step on the field against 17 - 19 year olds? Well, tonight I told my Legion coach that I was turning in my uniform tomorrow. I’ll stick with the rec league and work in the gym. I told my dad that we face the Legion coach twice next year in high school (he coaches a local high school team) I want to make sure I’m the starting pitcher when we face them.


Drake, I would rethink and see if you can re-set. I understand your frustration but you don’t ever want to be known as a quitter. Have you approached your coach & asked why he’s not using you? I’d try to have a sit down & see if you can stay on the team & what your role will be. If you come to a mutual decision he oversigned and your not gonna play that’s fine. Wish him well & hopefully kick his ass in the future. Just don’t know at this point if how you leave can have an impact on your future.


Too late. I turned in my uniform today. I’ll go work on my own time with my rec league coach - who I think is a much better coach than the Legion coach, frankly. I wasn’t going to get any better sitting on a bench watching everyone else play. I’m planning on going to a couple of prospect camps this summer so I’ll have more time to prepare for that too. I’m not a quitter but sometimes the circumstances force your hand.


Well, I ended up playing rec league and for a semi-pro team, through most of the summer. The Legion team ended up forfeiting games because they had 2 kids that weren’t eligible. They were supposed to host the state championship and were disqualified from playing in their own tournament for not having their roster turned into the state in time. Talk about a blessing that I didn’t stick it out with those coaches. They were subsequently fired.
I’ve been working with a group of 4 pitchers and our rec league coach since the leagues ended. The coach suggested that I shortened my arm action - because my long arm motion was causing arm drag. Also, since I am a catcher too, and have a strong arm to second, he thought I might be able to pitch with a similar delivery. (I’ll include a brief video he took at practice). My velocity has increased by at least 10 mph. The coach has clocked me in the high 80s (I actually hit 90 once) - and my accuracy has improved as well. I’m just throwing from the stretch right now, but hope to develop a full windup. The group (we call ourselves The 100 MPH Club) works out 3 nights a week for around 2 1/2 - 3 hours - bullpens, fielding, batting, and conditioning. It’s been a good experience and I’m feeling better about my baseball future.