Sunday, December 17th, 2017

Pitching without your best stuff

June 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Pitching

The more you play the game, the more you begin to realize that rarely will you be at full strength.  The long season,

No matter how good your mechanics are, your arm was not built to do this over and over

the heat, the physical nature of the game, and the stressful mental side all conspire against baseball players.  The first step in dealing with all this is to accept it and realize that you will not be perfect all the time.

It is said that in major leagues baseball, every team will win 50 games and lose 50 games.  It’s the other 62 that really matter.  The same prinicple is true with pitching as well.

Throwing a baseball overhand is not the natural motion of the arm.  The shoulder and elbow just were not built to move in the overhead position over and over.  That’s why people in occupations like drywall hangers, painters, and construction frequently develop shoulder injuries due to lots of overhead work.  Of course, we see a lot of those injuries in pitchers as well.

A major league starter might be able to get  35 starts a season if all goes well.  Similar to the principle above, a pitcher will have 5 starts where everything goes right and 5 starts where everything goes wrong.  It’s the other 25 that really count.  Much of those 25 important starts will occur when the pitcher is less than 100% physically or mentally.  The better pitchers are the ones that do not panic when they realize they don’t have their best stuff on a given day.  They’ve accepted the fact that after their first start of the season there will always be some stiffness and soreness to the throwing process.  A good pre-hab and re-hap program before and after starts can help alleviate some of it but it never fully goes away once the season progresses.

It’s just the nature of pitching and something all pitchers must simply accept if they want to keep playing.

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