Reply to "Updating the Windup vs. Stretch debate"

Chico Escuela posted:

Steve A., I respect that you said you’re done, but let me throw this out there:  I don’t think this is an issue of PCs “commanding” pitchers to change their deliveries.  Just looking at MLB relievers, it is clear that most do not use a windup, even with bases empty.  There is also no trend I can identify of relievers who are aging and losing velo switching to a windup to gain speed. Maybe Mariano Rivera never needed the extra mph from a wind; but what about all the marginal guys? To agree with you, don’t I have to conclude that the guys who are the best in the world at what they do, and who have access to the best coaches, don’t act on what seems obvious to you? No disrespect intended (and I am no pitching expert), but I can’t reconcile what I see in real life with your explanation.

 Nolan Ryan might be one of the best examples that what works for some won’t necessarily work for all.  The guy’s skill and longevity were incredible.  But even a really gifted P who copies Ryan’s delivery may not throw as hard as that P could using a different motion, and may end up injured. The more I read and study, the more mysterious pitching gets.  I’m reaching a point where I’m afraid to teach pitching to the 9-year-olds I coach, because I’m convinced I don’t know anything. 

Ha! Too funny. Hey, you know more than you think & these kids should be grateful to have your help.

I actually think we agree. For me, as I stated the choice was stretch only as a reliever. Over 50% of the time you are coming in with guys on base so just simplify your life, learn one delivery & go with it. I thought Stephen Strausburg had a good full delivery but he canned it & went 100% stretch last year & was lights out.

My main point is that if I were teaching a youth pitcher, which I have many, I would get him 100% straight from the stretch before I even contemplated the full. Some kids & even Pro pitchers simply can never add anything by going full so why complicate things? Totally agree. But for those few who can pull it off, or learn it the right way at a young age, it is a benefit in rhythm & added velo if you have a full, dynamic, fluid, directional windup.

Again, this is just my 2c. Hell, who would have thought 10 years ago that we would be talking about Launch Angles & Second Basemen swinging like ferris wheels trying to hit 40 bombs a year with an entirely new hitting philosophy.

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