Trouble with Arm-Slot/Put-Away Pitch


Hi, I’m a 14 (will be 15 in fall ball) in the Tri-State Elite league in PA, NJ, DE. I have had a lot of trouble with armslot. I work with Coach Tim Neiman of DeSales and Pitcher Stefano Curto going into his senior year at DeSales. Throwing off a raised 60’ 6" mound is harder for me, because i let alot of pitches up, and it puts my walk count up. I was told to use a 3/4’s armslot by Coach Neiman, because I also play outfield, While I pitch, my elbow keeps dropping, and my arm slot just isn’t quite getting up to 3/4’s more like 2/4’s. And it makes a lot of pitches stray away from the zone. Does anyone have some tips
And also, I stand around 5’9" 125 lbs.
4-seam 58-62 MPH
2-seam 55-60 MPH
Fork/Change-type pitch 48-50 MPH
I want to add a put away pitch but I can’t decide. Any help


I think that your problem is more than just the arm slot. I get the impression that you’re throwing with just your arm, when what you need to do is get your whole body into the action. In my playing days, long ago, I learned how to do this by watching the Yankees’ Big Three pitching rotation of the late 40s through mid-50s; I noticed that they were all doing the same thing—they were driving off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one continuous motion so they were generating the power behind their pitches. In so doing they took a lot of pressure off the arm and the shoulder, and they were able to throw harder with less effort (even Ed Lopat who was a finesse pitcher with not much speed). I made a note of what they were doing and began working on this on my own, and as I practiced this essential element of good mechanics I found myself doing the same thing—I could throw harder with less effort, even though I myself was not particularly fast. And not a sore arm or a sore elbow or a sore anything else in the bunch!
I think that if you do this you’ll be able to achieve the same result—and, incidentally, I also get the impression that you may just be a natural sidearmer. I was, and I used the crossfire extensively, and as far as keeping the ball down, I think you can do this by paying more attention to your release point. If you release the ball too early the pitch is likely to be low, and if you let the ball go too late the pitch will be high—so you might want to work on getting just the right release point so your pitches will not fly all the way back to the screen! So, unless something is radically wrong, I wouldn’t mess with the arm angle. You can use the 3/4 arm slot for playing the outfield, but for pitching you might be more comfortable with the sidearm. Try that and see if it helps.


Post some video. You could have some mechanical flaws that cause you to open up early leading to things you described.


You probably have too many pitches as is.

A put away pitch is just a ball. Something that might look like a strike out of the hand then finishes as a ball. Sometimes it’s important to be able to throw balls when you want to. Most pitchers are taught their whole life to just throw strikes, then they can’t throw a high fastball or a low breaking ball to save their arse!


Here’s a little-known secret I learned from Ed Lopat. He told me that he almost never threw strikes per se; he threw pitches that looked like strikes, and that used to confuse batters like crazy. So you shouldn’t worry about throwing strikes all the time; just get the ball close to the strike zone, and very often the umpire will call it a strike if it’s close enough—most major league umpires will do that. :slight_smile:


Gotta agree with Zita here, if one throws a fastball just a lil bit outside trying for the low outside corner, often times the umpire will call that a strike. If they don’t, do not give up, umpires will sometimes reward a pitcher that will hit that spot over and over again and start calling it, happens to me a lot