I’m not a fan of John Bagonzi’s book, but there are a few intersting things in it–one is his explanation of “the yellow hammer”.
First, as Bagonzi describes it, the yellow hammer is a 12-to-6 curveball that appears to break very sharply near the plate. It’s movement is straight down or nearly so–i.e., not much if any lateral movement.
Bagonzi says “yellow hammer” derives from the behaviour of a bird of the same name–apparently the yellow hammer bird flies along with a pretty normal-looking trajectory but can dive very suddenly when it sees a tasty-looking bug.
I believe, and I imagine this is not too controversial, that a true 12-to-6 curveball can only be thrown effectively by a pitcher with a very high functional arm-slot.
If you think about how the ball must roll forward–with 12-to-6 topspin–off of the index and middle fingers at release point it is clear: Only a pitcher with a very high functional arm-slot could release this type of pitch with forearm-wrist-hand kept firm in a linear relationship (i.e., think: karate-chop release).
On the other hand, if you are a RHP with a sidearm functional armslot, the exact same release of the ball will put 9-to-3 spin on the ball (from the batter’s perspective). A RHP with a pure 3/4 functional armslot releasing this pitch will put 10:30-to-4:30 topspin on the ball, and so on.
You theoretically might be able to achieve 12-to-6 rotation on a breaking ball from a low functional arm-slot by “wrapping your wrist” around–i.e., making a nearly right angle at the wrist of your throwing arm–but this is definitely not recommended. “Wrapping the wrist” during the stress of a typical pitchg release sounds to me like a formula for serious injury.
Changing your functional armslot by leaning your torso away from the throwing side might get you the type of release you want. But instead of asking you to change your functional armslot to achieve a certain type of breaking ball–as Bagonzi and many others would have pitchers do–there is a much more straightforward approach pitchers can take:
Optimize the type of breaking pitch that is most optimal for your functional armslot as it currently exists. If your functional armslot is sidearm, but you don’t like the movement caused by side-to-side rotation of your breaking ball, do what many other sidearmers do: Throw a slider.
Changing your functional armslot in order to achieve a certain type of spin on the ball is the tail wagging the dog, in my opinion. Most good pitchers seem to spend their entire career perfecting, fine tuning, and maintaining an optimized mechanical delivery that works for them. Many good pitchers experiment with different types of pitches–but you don’t often see huge adjustments in functional arm-slot as a part of these experiments. More often, pitchers seem to play around with new pitches that are a good fit with their existing mechanics. An exception to this idea might be guys like Jim Bouton, who was a power FB pitcher with the Yankees but suffered injury and became a knuckleballer to prolong his career.