Working on pitches in bulllpen


#1

When your working on a you pitches other than your fastball in the bullpen do you have a certian routine you go through or do you just throw 15 curveballs in a row?


#2

When working on the CB have a rule of no more than 3 before mixing in at least one fastball. Usually it’s only 2 though and we won’t repeat this very many times before moving to CU’s for awhile.


#3

When you’re learning a new pitch/grip, I think it’s ok to throw more of them consecutively. But after that, I’m with JP about mixing it up. In fact, you should also consider throwing simulated at bats in which you would mix up your pitches just like in a game.


#4

Ed Lopat would often get to the ballpark early so he could get into the bullpen—or on the mound before the groundskeepers showed up to manicure the field—so he could work on something, either a new pitch (he was constantly adding to his repertoire), or refining an existing one, or working on some aspect of his mechanics. He had done this during his tenure with the Chicago White Sox, and he continued to do this as a Yankee. He told me about this, and I started doing it as well.
I would go to a seldom-used playing field, get on the mound while my catcher got behind the plate, and work on things like control or a new pitch. Before games, while I was getting warmed up, I would throw all my pitches just to see how they were working, and if one of them was misbehaving I would put it back on the shelf for the time being and schedule some time during a bullpen session when I would address the problem. Since I did not have a fast ball I could devote ample time to my rapidly expanding connection of breaking stuff, experiment with a different grip or work on my crossfire.
I would mix up pitches the way I did during a game. One thing I avoided like the plague was falling into a predictable pattern—remember what happened with Cleveland Indians pitcher Mike Garcia? He had this way of starting out every batter with a fast ball down and in, and one night he made that mistake with Johnny Mize—BLAM, into the right-field stands for a three-run homer! 8)


#5

I agree with Roger and JP.

I’d also note that if this bullpen is on game day, you should be focusing more on simulating game situations (mixing pitches up). If this is during practice, it’s OK to use that time to focus on certain aspects of your game.

Stu


#6

Completely agree, you want to make sure all of your off speed works off of your fastball. If you really want to work on getting a ‘feel’ for your curve/slider (which are feel pitches) you should throw flat ground and not a bull pen. Stand 45-60 feet away w/ your partner squatting and you can throw curve after curve at about 50-60%. This will help you get a feel for the grip, and release point. Once you have the feel step on the mound and now you should be ready to go.

When it comes to change ups you want to long toss with it. This will teach you to get extension , movement, and maintain the same arm speed.


#7

I agree with Roger and JP.

I’d also note that if this bullpen is on game day, you should be focusing more on simulating game situations (mixing pitches up). If this is during practice, it’s OK to use that time to focus on certain aspects of your game.

Stu[/quote]

Not sure I get those resonses, perhaps it’s personal preferance…but pre-game bullpen I might want to throw several hooks consecutively, as the rotation of each will tell me something (good or bad) about my grip, arm slot, release point, etc. Same would be for any other pitch.


#8

Excellent point, terprhp. As I said, you want to see how—or whether—this pitch or that pitch is working, so you’ll get a good sense of how to proceed when you take the mound. And if one pitch isn’t behaving itself, you have other stuff you can use, and in a subsequent bullpen session you can address the problem of the pitch that wasn’t.
Also, you can get a good sense of how you’re locating your pitches, and if something isn’t right you can work on that too in that subsequent bullpen session. Again I refer to Jim Brosnan, a very good relief pitcher with the Cincinnati Reds of the 1960s. In his fascinating book “Pennant Race” he tells of a time when he had to come into a game, and he uncorked, as he put it, an assortment of the lousiest pitches one could have—the slider was flat, the curve was hanging, everything was high!
And he was getting the batters out. Apparently his manager, Fred Hutchinson, himself no slouch as a pitcher in his playing days, must have known something. 8)