Zumaya, throwing across his body (clip)


#1

look at this clip

It looks to me like Zumaya’s lead foot lands off to the thrid base side, relatively to where he starts on the rubbder.

Look at the location of his back foot and his front foot at the point when he lands it. The guy is throwing across his body. This is frowned upon. And yet he’s gunning it in at 103 mph … go figure.

On a side not, look at that third pitch he throws. Look at the location and speed on that. It will make you sit back in your seat. Very exciting stuff.


#2

[quote=“andrew.ra.”]It looks to me like Zumaya’s lead foot lands off to the thrid base side, relatively to where he starts on the rubbder.

Look at the location of his back foot and his front foot at the point when he lands it. The guy is throwing across his body. This is frowned upon. And yet he’s gunning it in at 103 mph … go figure.[/quote]

I agree that Zumaya strides closed (and throws across his body). I also agree that he can really bring it.

However, I have serious doubts about whether he’ll be able to sustain this if he’s moved into the starting rotation.

I also saw him pitch in the WS against the Cardinals. He seemed like more of a thrower than a pitcher; he was completely obsessed with his velocity. I think the Cardinals knew that and messed with his head by turning down the gun.

In the WS he was relatively hittable; I don’t feel about him like I felt about Brad Lidge (before Pujols broke him).


#3

in the WS he had a sore forearm from playing that air guitar video game… i think it’s called guitar hero…

I hadn’t heard talk of making him a starter. I don’t that’d work out too well. He’s a closer all the way. They oughtta have him replace Todd Jones.

If I could throw that hard, I might be obsessed, or, rather, focuesed, on my velocity too.

But doesn’t this sort of prove the point that we can talk about mechanics all we want, but a lot of velocity comes down to an X factor.

Let’s say Zumaya didn’t throw across his body like that, and instead threw with “better” mechanics, would he then be throwing 106, 107?


#4

I don’t think so.

I think that Zumaya, like Billy Wagner and Aaron Heilman, is employing a trick that works to boost velocity in the short-term but has long-term negative consequences. Just look at all of Wagner’s arm problems.

There are no short-cuts if you want to have a long, injury-free career.

No, because there are limits to what the human body can tolerate. IMO, guys like Zumaya are running right up against those limits which is why they are more prone to injury.

It’s like running a car past the red line. It’s possible, but not for very long.


#5

a trick? You mean throwing over a straightened front leg?


#6

[quote=“andrew.ra.”]look at this clip

It looks to me like Zumaya’s lead foot lands off to the thrid base side, relatively to where he starts on the rubbder.

Look at the location of his back foot and his front foot at the point when he lands it. The guy is throwing across his body. This is frowned upon. And yet he’s gunning it in at 103 mph … go figure.
.[/quote]

Everyone is different. Generally, it’s a good plan to allow a pitcher use his own style unless 1) he’s hurting himself or 2) he’s unsuccessful.

As long as Zumaya is at the MLB level, throwing strikes in triple digits, and remaining healthy, he probably won’t be changed.

Also, Zumaya has very different genes from 99% of the population … . there has to be something given to you by God to get up in the 100-MPH range. So, the rest of us (that 99%) are given guidance and suggestions regarding mechanics that will hopefully help a pitcher to throw strikes for as many years as he wants to keep stepping on a mound.


#7

no way i would put this guy as my starter he really is a closer all the way …


#8

Yes.

In this case it has to do with his arm action (although he also seems to employ the stiffening the front knee trick).


#9

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]
IMO, guys like Zumaya are running right up against those limits which is why they are more prone to injury.
.[/quote]

Are you suggesting you’d rather have a guy throw low 90’s than 100?


#10

Stiffening of the front leg is commonly called “forced coupling”. The best analogy I’ve heard for forced coupling is to think of riding in a car. You are wearing the lap belt portion of your seat belt, but not the shoulder harness. Once you reach your top speed the brakes are slammed on. Your lower body stays put and your upper body is catapulted forward.

IMO this represents efficient energy transfer. I believe it allows a pitcher to rotate around the front hip through release. It is also a sign that the glutes were activated at the right time. This helps lessen the blow on the body after foot strike because the energy/force is redistributed back through the body and out the arm at release. I worry about pitcher’s that don’t atleast have a firm front leg because the knee, quad and back receive the bulk of the load at landing.

Forced coupling is a very similar concept to hitters hitting against a stiff front leg.
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#11

I don’t think so.

I think that Zumaya, like Billy Wagner and Aaron Heilman, is employing a trick that works to boost velocity in the short-term but has long-term negative consequences. Just look at all of Wagner’s arm problems.

What trick? There is NOT a pitcher in the major leagues that does not or would not employ every trick they had in there arsenal if it made them a better more successful pitcher. If there is name one that would purposely NOT use his best “tricks” all under the guise of “possibly not getting hurt”.

There are no short-cuts if you want to have a long, injury-free career.

No, because there are limits to what the human body can tolerate. IMO, guys like Zumaya are running right up against those limits which is why they are more prone to injury.

Are the limits the same for everybody? Is Zumayas limits the same as Wagner. Is Wagners the same as Hielmans?

It’s like running a car past the red line. It’s possible, but not for very long.[/quote]


#12

These must be some very TRICKY people. :wink: I only show 3 here. Go to the video library on this site and check out more.



It’s not a “trick” Chris. It’s effective use of the body to throw the ball. The force couple idea spoken of by slbb5 is correct. It’s transfer of energy. If that leg does not brace, then less energy is transferred up the kinetic chain. It’s a timing thing also.

On another note, that Kevin Brown clip (the middle one) is a favourite of mine. It’s a great example of the kinetic chain in action with impeccable, fluid timing of the parts. One can learn a lot from study of this clip, IMHO.


#13

I don’t have a problem with firming up the front side. What I don’t think is necessary is locking the front knee as some pitchers do.

Not every pitcher locks their front knee.

Look at the Ryan clip. His knee does seem to be fully extended for a second, but then he gets some flex back in it.

I think that helps the knee absorb some of the shock of the delivery.


#14

I don’t have a problem with firming up the front side. What I don’t think is necessary is locking the front knee as some pitchers do.

Not every pitcher locks their front knee.

Look at the Ryan clip. His knee does seem to be fully extended for a second, but then he gets some flex back in it.

I think that helps the knee absorb some of the shock of the delivery.[/quote]i have to agree, you shouldnt have a stiff knee when you land


#15

[quote=“Tanner Lorenz”]… you shouldnt have a stiff knee when you land[/quote]I think we’d all agree with that. Looking at the clips I posted shows that the knee is bent at landing and straightens out as you approach landing.

Actually, Ryan’s method just looks more dangerous than the others, the way it locks so suddenly, but that’s just my speculation. I wouldn’t teach it that way though.


#16

Pretty obvious with that tricky style Ryan wouldn’t have been able to last as a starter…no more than 20 years or so.

Then there’s Brown who did break down.

Where’s the correlation? It isn’t there.

The primary drivers relative to pitching longevity are conditioning and genetics. Mechanics that can produce high velocities are generally not the problem. The high velocities in and of themselves are a problem given that they create larger loads on the body but the mechanics seldom are.


#17

[quote=“CADad”]Pretty obvious with that tricky style Ryan wouldn’t have been able to last as a starter…no more than 20 years or so.

Then there’s Brown who did break down.

Where’s the correlation? It isn’t there.

The primary drivers relative to pitching longevity are conditioning and genetics. Mechanics that can produce high velocities are generally not the problem. The high velocities in and of themselves are a problem given that they create larger loads on the body but the mechanics seldom are.[/quote]

Good post cadad!


#18

[quote=“CADad”]The high velocities in and of themselves are a problem given that they create larger loads on the body but the mechanics seldom are.[/quote]Right on CADad!!