Watching snap pitching in the majors

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Watching snap pitching in the majors

Postby Bradley Walker » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:50 pm

There appear to be a crop of pitchers in baseball that are becoming prevalent that use tremendous snap acceleration late in the throw.

Verlander from Detroit uses that elbow forward late forearm "pushover" I call it. His throw is relatively slow as he sets his elbow forward but the pushover of the forearm is nearly twice as fast. It is very apparent in slow mo that his pushover snap us tied to his lead hip. The wrinkles in his jersey show the linkage.

Apparently this is being taught now? Snap pitching??? I see several of these young kids doing it...

Heck Aaron Rodgers does it in football...
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Re: Watching snap pitching in the majors

Postby Blake_T » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:09 pm

yeah. There's a crop of pitchers that have snap throwing mechanics much closer to a 3rd baseman or shortstop than traditional pitchers.

imo, in actual pitching, this is partly why no one can throw 250 innings anymore and if a pitcher throws 120+ pitches in a game his elbow will randomly burst into flames. actually, i blame it mostly on a change in the training regimen that has led to snap pitching. in the olden days guys would spend all of training camp playing long catch, building up the slow-twitch fibers and a crapload of endurance. the result was a less explosive fastball but a 20 year career of 300 innings per season. nowadays guys burst more efficiently as a whole but have a 7 year career at 190 innings per season.

interesting that you should mention rodgers. i think much of his snap throwing is based upon having a terrible line for years and being forced to throw off-balance a lot of the time. whenever i think of snap throwing in football though i generally first think of dan marino, then jeff george, and to a slightly lesser extent (although moreso when he was younger) dan fouts. the funniest part of it now is that according to modern football fundamental standards, fouts and marino have "terrible" mechanics. if you watch film of them, they both had a really interesting way of moving their shoulder on a tilted axis that let them get their arms through waaaaaay faster than traditional over the top throwing.
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Re: Watching snap pitching in the majors

Postby seabas22 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:30 pm

Found some interesting reading:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/st ... ing/100421
"- I learned ... that some readers were just as skeptical as I was (before starting my research) that throwing a football was actually all that complicated or difficult. Bill Franklin from Denver wrote: "[You wrote:] "The most complex motor skill in all of sports -- the forward pass. Wow. There is no way you can be serious. Stunning."

Most exercise scientists and kinesiologists agree, however, that throwing a football at an elite level is, in fact, the most complex motor skill in all of sports. For the excruciating details of throwing mechanics -- stuff like pronating the palm and keeping the elbow at 90 degrees -- you should check out the story in The Mag. But here's the short version: Throwing the football well is not about doing one or two big things great. Instead, it's about perfecting a thousand different parts of an intricate, complicated kinetic chain that starts in the toes and ends at the finger tips. And it's not just about mechanics, angles and alignment, it's about timing, about getting each part of the throwing motion to fire at the correct moment. "Throwing the football is not static like a push-up; it's a complex chain of events where timing, technique, alignment and even aerodynamics are all critical, " says Dr. Larry McDaniel, a former college coach and now a professor at Dakota State University who has written about throwing motions. "That's what makes the overhead throwing motion the toughest motor skill to learn."

Like Bill from Denver, I was still skeptical. Doc McDaniel said sure, throwing a baseball is complicated, as is hitting a golf ball. Now, imagine a pitcher or a golfer trying to hit his target while it moves 18 mph and 120 feet downfield just as some crazed linebacker like James Harrison is about to drive his helmet into your sternum -- and now you understand why there are only 10 or so elite QBs walking the planet at any given moment. Because throwing a football involves hitting a moving target under such pressure, it is the most complex motor skill in sports.


- I learned ... from QB guru Steve Clarkson that if you want to teach your kid to throw the ball the right way, find some old film of John Elway and copy him. Drew Brees also has annoyingly perfect throwing mechanics. Other coaches singled out Dan Marino and Sammy Baugh for their explosive, but fluid, fundamentals. Makes perfect sense. But how about this: "Terry Bradshaw had one of the greatest throwing motions of all time," Clarkson told me. "His arm and hand looked like a hammer." Who knew?"



I've seen Sports Science cover Drew Brees before but hadn't seen this article before and found a few points quite interesting.
http://insider.espn.go.com/insider/notebook?id=5064748

From the Drew Brees analysis...one thing I've noticed before with Avery and Bratten is it looks like they snap in their non-throwing arm wrists at the same time as the hit. I don't notice as much off arm wrist snap in other players, but some appear to do a little punch with the non-throwing hand.
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Re: Watching snap pitching in the majors

Postby Blake_T » Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:05 am

it's odd how they rate QB's coming out of college now. throwing mechanics are everything unless they're a freakish athlete that played in a pro-style passing offense in college (no spread or option offenses). it kind of bugs me because heart and the ability to lead a team rarely come into play anymore. they treat most of them as replaceable players that need 2-3 years of grooming to be ready to play and if they fail they can be replaced by the next guy being groomed. I remember Carson Palmer was heralded for his throwing mechanics even though he had a crap record in college. an over the top delivery = higher potential completion percentage.

the best snap thrower right now i can think of in the NFL is probably Rivers. it's funny though. when you get to a lot of these guys like rivers, marino, fouts, etc. they all have very similar deliveries but they're never cited as mechanics to emulate.
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Re: Watching snap pitching in the majors

Postby Pwingles » Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:02 pm

Blake_T wrote:it's odd how they rate QB's coming out of college now. throwing mechanics are everything unless they're a freakish athlete that played in a pro-style passing offense in college (no spread or option offenses). it kind of bugs me because heart and the ability to lead a team rarely come into play anymore. they treat most of them as replaceable players that need 2-3 years of grooming to be ready to play and if they fail they can be replaced by the next guy being groomed. I remember Carson Palmer was heralded for his throwing mechanics even though he had a crap record in college. an over the top delivery = higher potential completion percentage.

the best snap thrower right now i can think of in the NFL is probably Rivers. it's funny though. when you get to a lot of these guys like rivers, marino, fouts, etc. they all have very similar deliveries but they're never cited as mechanics to emulate.


As far as football goes in this discussion, what are you calling "snap throwing"? It sounds like the opposite of what you describe when speaking in terms of baseball.
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Re: Watching snap pitching in the majors

Postby Blake_T » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:04 am

a quick shoulder twitch that triggers a strong acceleration in the arm. basically, quarterbacks that are known for having a "quick release," which contrasts greatly from the "better" mechanics of someone like peyton manning or carson palmer.

aaron rodgers is an example of someone that developed snap throwing out of necessity, and he doesn't use it on all throws.

with baseball, the complaint is more about the training regimen than the throwing style. pitchers are trained like sprinters. in the olden days they trained from early in spring training to be long-distance runners. basically, nowadays they work their fast twitch fibers and ignore the slow twitch that provide stability, stamina, and injury prevention.

quarterbacks generally throw a lot and are never limited to a pitch count equivalent. if a guy gets in the habit of throwing 200+ passes a day, his arm will be strong and stable.

if you throw 30 light to medium throws a day, 100 hard throws a different day, 2 days off, 30 light throws, etc. you won't develop the same kind of balanced muscle strength. spring training for pitchers used to be 150+ throws a day of long catch and then they would often still pitch later that day.
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Re: Watching snap pitching in the majors

Postby JHern » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:20 am

Eric Gagné comes to mind. Here is a guy who had wicked snap, but was bound to blow out his arm eventually. Saito, with the Brewers, who pitched 2 nice innings tonight (1 more than usual), is the same kind of pitcher. The ball just explodes out of the hand like a laser beam coming out of the palm. Pitchers like Gagné could come out and throw nine 101 MPH strikes to end a game. But teams that are otherwise struggling in the bullpen will over-use these guys eventually, and they'll blow out their elbow, wrist, or something else.
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