Which side of the rubber to pitch from?


#1

I’m a lefty pitcher and I’ve been pitching from the left side of the rubber.

After watching the College World Series and some MLB pitchers i saw that the majority of the left handed pitchers pitch on the right side of the rubber.

I was wondering whats the difference from pitching from the left side and right side of the rubber as a lefty. Also if I should switch to the right side.


#2

from what I’ve heard, i believe the reason for pitching from the right side of the rubber if you are left handed,(or the opposite for rightys) is to avoid throwing across your body by lining up your arm with the plate as much as possible.

For example, i believe it was Scott kazmir(LHP), who was having problems at hitting the inside part of the plate, and he switched from the left side of the rubber to the right side.


#3

It depends to some degree on your arm slot. My son is a righty with a low 3/4 arm slot and he tends to be more effective throwing from the left side of the rubber because he gets a bit more tail on his fastball that way. If he tended to cut the ball or had a higher arm slot he’d probably be better off starting from the right side of the rubber. Eventually it all comes down to whatever works best for you. There isn’t one right answer. Try it and see what works.

If you are seeing the clips or Rivera, Weaver and Johnson that show up for me take a look at Rivera. He cuts the ball and he’s throwing from the right side of the rubber. Then take a look at Weaver. He tends to throw a tailing fastball and he throws from the left side of the rubber.


#4

Yeah, those are both very good points, it can be any number of determining factors that make up the best position on the rubber. As with most of pitching, its what is comfortable and what works.


#5

I work from the 1B side of the rubber. I throw right, overhand with occasional sidearm.


#6

Guys like Rivera pitch from the right side so that right handed batters get the feeling that these pitchers’s cutters and sliders are traveling right at them. If you are a pitcher who relies on alot of laterally breaking pitches, move to the side of the rubber that is the same side of which arm you throw with. This gives your breaking pitches more illusion that they are coming at the batter (R/R, L/L), and more deception when facing the opposite side batter (R/L, L/R). And while it is generally harder to hit the outside corner from this side of the rubber, your pitches will be breaking that way anyway so it is easy to peg the outside.

If you are a guy like me though, who relies on a rising 4 Seam fastball, hard 12-6 curveball, and sinking changeup, or pitches whose action is mainly vertical, then move to the opposite side of the rubber than which ever arm you pitch with. This makes it easier to throw to the outside corner without having pitches that neccesarily break that way.

Or if you want to be really crafty, do what Trevor Hoffman does and switch sides by batter. He throws on the right side to righties, and the left to lefties. This is becuase he uses alot of middle in/off the plate in fastballs to righties to compensate for his low velocity, and his changeup just needs to be thrown low in the strikezone to be effective. Against lefties however, he tries to pound the outside corner with fastballs and backdoor sliders before using changeups over the plate or in to get them to either K or ground out weakly to the right side.


#7

Im right handed and when im facing a righty batter i pitch from da right side and vice versa to the lefty batter… it helps me stay inside the batters and makes my curve loopy :x


#8

Thanks for the info guys. The pitches I throw are 2 seem fastball, 4 seem fastball, 12-6 curve, and a change up. My 2 seem is nice cause it cuts to the left and my 4 seem cuts to the right. By throwing these pitches what side do you think I’ll have most success on?


#9

It depends on what is more comfortable for you. You can’t really pick a side for a right or left handed pitcher that everyone would do better on but its more of how you do on one side. I’m a righty and I like pitching on the 1B side of the rubber. For me it’s just more comfortable.


#10

Yeah, I would try the left side first because it is generally easier for a righty to pitch from there.

I think you only see a pitcher doing the same side of their throwing arm when they really have some wicked laterally breaking pitches. Take a guy like Mo Rivera for example. If hes throwing from the right side(He does), then his trademark cutter looks like its coming at the batter that much more because of the angle hes starting off at.


#11

i think throwing from the left side would make your 2 seam effective against lefties


#12

[quote=“FSTBLLTHRWER”]Yeah, I would try the left side first because it is generally easier for a righty to pitch from there.

I think you only see a pitcher doing the same side of their throwing arm when they really have some wicked laterally breaking pitches. Take a guy like Mo Rivera for example. If hes throwing from the right side(He does), then his trademark cutter looks like its coming at the batter that much more because of the angle hes starting off at.[/quote]

Im a lefty by the way.

And YoungMarianO was ur comment thinking if i was a lefty or right?


#13

Probably guessing u were a righty, but if ur a lefty, and have a good 2 seamer, try the right side first. Make your two seamer wicked!


#14

Thanks for the replies guys. I was also wondering if when pitching from the right side as a lefty should my landing foot be landing on the center of the mound or just straight ahead from the rubber?


#15

Straight ahead, preferably. Starting on the right and planting on the center means you’re striding off line from the target and that is less than ideal.


#16

Yea but wouldn’t starting on the right and striding stright make it so you’re lined up throwing to the right of the plate. Instead of landing on the middle and throwing more towards the center of the plate?


#17

Last year when I pitched on varsity as a junior I started on the left side of the mound and I would stride straight foward. My coach told me that I should open up more and land on the center of the mound to make it so im not throwing across my body, as a result increasing veloicity. Is this a good idea or not and is he correct?


#18

Well, what alot of people don’t realise is that striding closed a little bit is a great idea. It gives the best potential for rotational leverage, and you will notice alot of people in the majors land closed by a mere 2-3 inches. It becomse damaging to your arm when you land closed by 10+ inches, and Kerry Wood does. THen it gets classified as throwing across your body. But a little bit is not only fine, its beneficial, and will usually result in more velocity and movement.


#19

Yea but wouldn’t starting on the right and striding stright make it so you’re lined up throwing to the right of the plate. Instead of landing on the middle and throwing more towards the center of the plate?[/quote]
It’s not so much about getting lined up - it’s about getting the hips and shoulders squared up to the target at release. As soon as you stride off-line from the target then your body has to start doing funky things to get squared up. This hips will normally rotate to the point they are squared up with the direction of your stride - not necessarily with the direction of the target. Striding to the closed side prevents the hips from rotating all the way to the being squared up with the target and that decreases separation since the shoulder will still (try to) square up to the target.

BTW, when I said “straight ahead” above, I meant “straight toward the target”.


#20

Sounds like a good idea to me.

Another way to make this adjustment is to look at where your back foot drag line ends relative to the center of the mound. If it ends, say, 3" to one side of center, move your starting position over by 3" so that the drag line ends on the centerline of the mound.