Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Bullpen Mechanics > Discussion
Bullpen Mechanics
— A Scout's View

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Francisco Liriano—-Warning signs?

In light of recent developments, Bullpen Mechanics checks out Francisco Liriano

Here is a clip of Liriano that starts a few frames before getting to the top of the knee lift.

TEMPO

In a word, excellent.  Knee stats descending into footplant on frame 4. He’ll release on 26. He uses momentum well, as he picks up speed with an aggressive move towards the plate. Again, excellent. Controlled fury…..


ARM ACTION

Again, excellent. Quick, aggressive, short. Yes, yes, and yes. He starts “picking up” the ball at frame 15 and releases at 26. 11 frames from picking up the ball to release is friggin quick.

Frame 20

—Look at that position. You will see a still shot of this position later. WOW!! Look at the level of horizontal loading of the arm. In other words, he reaches back well. Not towards 2nd base, but towards 3rd base. Also note the elbow above the arm. Love it. It might actually be a little too high. I could be nitpicking, never mind.

POSTURE/BODY

Stop me if you’ve heard this one—-yeah, excellent. If you were to draw a straight vertical line through the outside of his butt, you would see that his butt moves to the right throughout his motion. What’s happening here? He’s “sitting down.” He’s engaging the hips, using his body as a unit to control his mass more efficiently.
Also, the more and more I look at it, the more and more I’m pleased with how seemingly quiet his front side is.

Frames 22-26

—He doesn’t have the separation between upper and lower body as a lot of power guys. His hips lead, but it seems like he rotates upper and lower body as a unit more than a lot of power pitchers. Also note how ridiculously quick frames 22 through 26 are. 

AT RELEASE

Powerful. At full speed it seems like he flails away. On video, he is very much under control. At release, which I’ll show with a side shot, his glove arm is firm and out front. This helps reduce shoulder injury risk. Frames 26-28 show the little extra oomph he has. Notice how his left shoulder seems to bow forward after release. Some pitchers do it better than this (Billy Wagner, for example), however, this is a good example of an aggressive finish.
I cut it out, however, after release, his left leg does the violent swing that Pedro was known for. It is indicative of aggressive, rotational fury.

SO WHAT’S UP WITH HIS ELBOW?

Sorry to say this, but I don’t know. I don’t know if anyone knows at this point how/if his mechanics contribute to elbow problems. He is certainly an “elbowy” thrower of the baseball. He has a short-armish motion which some believe lead to elbow issues. That said, his excellent arm action is a major factor in how well his arm does what it needs to do. He certainly loves to throw his slider. Some say the slider puts more stress on the arm if done incorrectly. Some say it doesn’t matter. I can be convinced either way, although I’m more inclined to believe that sliders do hurt the arm.

What do I think happened?

I have this theory. I believe that pitchers who pick up velocity in a short time span are more prone to elbow injury. Those ligaments probably aren’t ready (haven’t been trained enough) to throw the ball that hard and that often without repercussions. I honestly don’t know how long Liriano has been throwing at 93-97 mph, however, it seems like it is a contributing factor. The slider factor can’t help either.
Also, Liriano is young. It’s a young arm we’re talking about here.

So, what to do from here?

Leave the kid alone.

Note to the Twins:

Forget this ever happened. Change nothing. Don’t slow him down. Don’t have his arm action get longer. This is a fluke injury. His arm is getting used to the new stresses he is putting on it.  If anything, work on making the ligaments stronger. Train the elbow to handle those new loads and more.


SOME STILL SHOTS OF LIRIANO AT DIFFERENT POINTS IN HIS MOTION

ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: September 20, 2006 at 03:50 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: September 20, 2006 at 04:46 AM (#2182751)
Of course, questions/comments would be greatly appreciated....
   2. WillYoung Posted: September 20, 2006 at 04:53 AM (#2182757)
This just makes me giddy! I'm loving the fact that someone who knows a lot more about pitching mechanics than I thinks that Liriano's are great.
   3. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: September 20, 2006 at 05:42 AM (#2182787)
This is brilliant! Not to mention great news...I'm not qualified to ask any real questions.
   4. Bhaakon Posted: September 20, 2006 at 07:31 AM (#2182799)
Question:

What role do you think motion plays in injury prone-ness versus other factors (genetics, previous injury, body type etc)?
   5. "Andruw for HoF" sure died down Posted: September 20, 2006 at 08:09 AM (#2182805)
The gambling community in Las Vegas certainly had a lot of speculation that Liriano would break down the game he did... I was surrounded by a lot of guys who bet a lot of money on th A's that day. Just saying, there might have been something that somebody saw or knew.
   6. myst333 Posted: September 20, 2006 at 08:56 AM (#2182809)
Great stuff. Its good to see some teams teaching pitchers the correct way to pitch.

Being a cards fan we get to watch the opposite. We had the Mulder blowup. When he came to STL there was a lot of talk about changing his delivery to get more sink on the ball. Now we are watching and waiting for Anthony Reyes to have problems.
   7. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: September 20, 2006 at 11:49 AM (#2182822)
Very interesting stuff. A few questions:

1. How consistent are Liriano's mechanics?
2. When was this video of Liriano taken? Did his mechanics change in any way after this? It might be interesting to compare the way he's pitching in this clip to the way he was pitching on the day he broke down.
3. Noah Lowry (another lefty drafted by the Giants!) has been very up and down this season, and there's been a lot of talk about his mechanics. Could you do a profile on him one day (I know you have a lot of requests).
   8. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 20, 2006 at 12:27 PM (#2182833)
The gambling community in Las Vegas certainly had a lot of speculation that Liriano would break down the game he did... I was surrounded by a lot of guys who bet a lot of money on th A's that day. Just saying, there might have been something that somebody saw or knew.

Maybe so, but considering that this was Liriano's first start since his initial injury, that there had been fears that he was being rushed back into the rotattion, and that the A's are a top tier team, that 150 line that the game went off at doesn't exactly reflect much suspicion on the part of the oddsmakers. I've always thought that Vegas had its ear pretty close to the ground in situations like this, and took games off the board fairly quickly if it smelled something.

OTOH the only person I know who bet that game bet it with his local man here in Washington. (He bet Oakland because of the "value" he saw, and got lucky.) Were there any late moves in the line that would have indicated some sort of inside knowledge?
   9. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: September 20, 2006 at 12:36 PM (#2182840)
It would be interesting to see a breakdown of someone who has consistently "bad" mechanics, yet gets good results. If there is such a beast. (Vice versa as well.)
   10. Jimmy P Posted: September 20, 2006 at 12:43 PM (#2182844)
It would be interesting to see a breakdown of someone who has consistently "bad" mechanics, yet gets good results. If there is such a beast. (Vice versa as well.)

Doesn't Scott Kazmir have "bad mechanics"? I thought that was one of the reason the Mets were willing to trade him, they thought his elbow or shoulder would go. Also, I believe Ted Lilly and Joe Kennedy both throw across their bodies pretty badly. Neither is a star, but both have been effective.
   11. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 20, 2006 at 12:55 PM (#2182851)
Also, I believe Ted Lilly and Joe Kennedy both throw across their bodies pretty badly.

Exhibit A for me in that regard would have been Scott McGregor, at least based on what it looked like from the centerfield camera.
   12. AROM Posted: September 20, 2006 at 12:56 PM (#2182852)
It would be interesting to see a breakdown of someone who has consistently "bad" mechanics, yet gets good results. If there is such a beast. (Vice versa as well.)

That beast would be BJ Ryan.
   13. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: September 20, 2006 at 01:01 PM (#2182854)

What role do you think motion plays in injury prone-ness versus other factors (genetics, previous injury, body type etc)?


Good question. I'd say the motion plays a pretty significant role on injury prone-ness. As a quick personal note. Since my age 16 year, my sucky mechanics have a always had a long, straightish arm action which I've tried to correct for ever. Before I switched to sidearming/submarining, that (and how I pull my front side) lead to consistent shoulder ailments. That said, my most serious injury was an elbow injury as a 16-year old. I believe that all of a sudden I started throwing harder and poof, bad elbow, although no surgery.

Since then, my arm action changed to a longer, more "shouldery" action. I've always tried to get back into "elbowing" the ball. When I personally try to "elbow" the ball, my elbow the next few days becomes very sore. I believe that it is a result of me not really exposing the elbow to significant stresses.

So, the short answer is "yes, the motion/arm action plays a significant role."



1. How consistent are Liriano's mechanics?

That video, taken on July 23rd (IIRC), shows he's very consistent throughout. One note: The release point on his slider is much higher than on his fastball.



2. When was this video of Liriano taken? Did his mechanics change in any way after this? It might be interesting to compare the way he's pitching in this clip to the way he was pitching on the day he broke down.

7/23, and I will check it out. Although I suspect his motion will look similar.

3. Noah Lowry (another lefty drafted by the Giants!) has been very up and down this season, and there's been a lot of talk about his mechanics. Could you do a profile on him one day (I know you have a lot of requests).

I've watched him pitch a bit. Don't like him at all. He would be a guy who I could pencil in for a shoulder surgery sometime soon, unless he does something about his very aggressive front shoulder. I'll check him out in slow-mo in due time.
   14. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: September 20, 2006 at 01:09 PM (#2182855)
I don't know, Chad. It looks to me like he has a "snappy" delivery.

Yes, he does. And that's exactly what makes him successful. Well, his slider is sick too......

It would be interesting to see a breakdown of someone who has consistently "bad" mechanics, yet gets good results. If there is such a beast. (Vice versa as well.)

You guys beat me too it, but BJ Ryan is certainly the guy I had in mind. I mentioned him before in the Mulder thread. Freddy Garcia comes to mind too, if you consider him successful.
   15. bunyon Posted: September 20, 2006 at 01:10 PM (#2182856)
CBW, I like your theory. In my age 17 summer (a while ago, let's say) I went from a big kid with a slow motion and slow, straight fastball to a big kid with a slow motion and a snappy 85+ fastball with some movement. I had this lovely fastball for about two months. Two great months of Legion ball. Third week of fall ball and pop goes the elbow. I had a few friends with the same experience. I've never known what I did different to throw the way I did or why the elbow popped the way it did, just that I never threw that way again. It very much felt like part of my body grew up and blew out part of my body that didn't. I don't know if this theory would apply very well to guys who are already in the bigs but any of you out there with sons or who coach might watch young players who show sudden bursts of improvement closely. In fact, I'd argue you may rein them in a bunch.

These days it doesn't take days for my elbow to get sore when I try to elbow the ball. It takes about five seconds. Of course, I'm not young and in shape like you.
   16. villainx Posted: September 20, 2006 at 01:26 PM (#2182863)
When Santana was coming up, he spent much more time in the bullpen, working things out, then being lights out, before moving to the starting rotation. Liriano started out the same way, but was put in the rotation much more quickly.

I can't imagine Liriano's elbow didn't get proper work and ability to train while in the minors, but the majors is the major and the stress level is entirely different.
   17. Marcus Giles 2 Posted: September 20, 2006 at 01:51 PM (#2182873)
I have this theory. I believe that pitchers who pick up velocity in a short time span are more prone to elbow injury.


higher intensity = higher risk

ie. if you lift weights, the easiest way to not get injured is to not lift anything heavy or quickly. Then again, you'll never get stronger that way

risk-reward

it would be interesting to see how much volume of throwing at this intensity (95ish) as he progressed through teen years

This may just be an issue of his body not being prepared for the stress he is putting on it....the Twins should bring in Clemens next year for the sole purpose of forcing Liriano through his workout routine (bet he will love that)
   18. joker24 Posted: September 20, 2006 at 02:19 PM (#2182897)
I hope everyone knows that Liriano was converted from an outfielder to a pitcher basically as soon as he signed with the Giants at age 17. That has to play a role in this whole thing also considering he didn't really get a chance to properly stress his arm in the minors with his injury problems early in his career. He had 160 innings in his lifetime logged on his arm before 2004, then 156.2 and 167.2 innings back to back. It's not all that surprising a guy that is that explosive to the plate develops some sort of arm injury when pitching under the ball-of-stress known as the MLB. That said, given proper rest, there's no reason that he can't return to normal and be healthy looking at those mechanics unless his arm just isn't cut out for pitching for whatever reason.
   19. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: September 20, 2006 at 03:05 PM (#2182952)
his may just be an issue of his body not being prepared for the stress he is putting on it

Co-moderator and co-contributor of this blog, Marcus Giles 2, has basically summed it up as well as I could have.

Happy Ruston, Jeff.
   20. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: September 20, 2006 at 03:11 PM (#2182956)
It very much felt like part of my body grew up and blew out part of my body that didn't.

I like this quote quite a bit, Bunyon. Pretty much sums it up as well.


As an aside....I was watching a clip of Nolan Ryan yesterday. Not many of you know this, but Ryan was the first pitcher I idolized and copied (had the leg kick down and everything). I'll probably take that clip of Ryan and post it (with analysis) in the near future. One thing that stood out after all these years was how nice and short his arm action got over the years, and how explosive he was, even at age 44 (which is when I got this clip of him was).
   21. Daryn Posted: September 20, 2006 at 03:29 PM (#2182974)
It would be interesting to see a breakdown of someone who has consistently "bad" mechanics, yet gets good results. If there is such a beast. (Vice versa as well.)

That beast would be BJ Ryan.


Or Pat Neshek.
   22. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: September 20, 2006 at 03:38 PM (#2182981)
Or Pat Neshek.

Ah, yes. Pat Neshek. I am certainly going to do an analysis on Neshek for a few reasons. 1) HE is just freakin fun to watch 2) quirky sidearmer 3) a friend/ex-teammate of Marcus Giles 2.
   23. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: September 20, 2006 at 03:55 PM (#2183000)
CBW,

Great stuff as usual. Please check your e-mail for something I just sent you.
   24. Marcus Giles 2 Posted: September 20, 2006 at 03:55 PM (#2183001)
re: Neshek

Here is an exercise...

sit on the ground and try to touch your elbows togther behind your back

how close did you come?

well, I've seen Neshek actually touch his elbows togther behind his back. Straight up Gumby style

Neshek's mechanics may look weird or different, but his flexibility is huge in allowing him to throw as hard as he does from that angle. (B.Y. Kim looks quite flexible also to throw 90+ from the side) It rained one day when we were playing Indiana St. and we were throwing a baseball with notes on it back and forth between dugouts when one of their players wrote to ask if Neshek needed WD-40 for his elbow/shoulder

there are some pics, etc. on his website Pat Neshek

Neshek is a great guy too and cool to see him on the big screen
   25. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: September 20, 2006 at 04:58 PM (#2183066)
http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i161/jpkinney7/Liriano.jpg

Sometimes, I think mechanics need to be looked at from all angles. Personally, I don't think he uses his legs well enough.

Doesn't this look like a lot of pressure on one's arm/elbow? Ouch.
   26. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: September 20, 2006 at 05:06 PM (#2183081)
   27. Daryn Posted: September 20, 2006 at 05:10 PM (#2183085)
there are some pics, etc. on his website Pat Neshek

Neshek is a great guy too and cool to see him on the big screen


I went to that website when he first came up and he became my new favourite player. He is the most fun pitcher to watch in the majors right now, IMO.
   28. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: September 20, 2006 at 05:35 PM (#2183114)
Couldn't post picture - Here's a link, though.

http://www.athleticsnation.com/comments/2006/9/20/9216/48463/55#55

BTW: Great Analysis, ChadBradfordWannabe
   29. Benny Distefano's Mitt Posted: September 20, 2006 at 06:15 PM (#2183165)
It's reassuring that at least one "baseball guy" sees no glaring problems with Liriano's mechanics. In fact, like you said, overreacting may be the Twins' worst possible solution.

Liriano is an obviously electric pitcher who has absolutely sick stuff. It's pretty dang cool to read that his fantastic talent is augmented by mechanics, not destroyed by them.
   30. Jim Wisinski Posted: September 20, 2006 at 11:19 PM (#2183464)
Doesn't Scott Kazmir have "bad mechanics"? I thought that was one of the reason the Mets were willing to trade him, they thought his elbow or shoulder would go.

Supposedly, though I have yet to see someone actually explain why his mechanics are so bad or what is going to cause things to go wrong.
   31. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: September 20, 2006 at 11:23 PM (#2183471)
Didn't Mark Prior have picture-perfect mechanics, too?
   32. awsytn Posted: September 21, 2006 at 12:10 AM (#2183520)
ChadBradfordWannabe: Thanks for the great post. Will Carroll says Liriano and Santana have very similar mechanics--do you agree?
   33. MM1f Posted: September 21, 2006 at 12:32 AM (#2183548)
Bit of an off topic personal Q..

MG2 and CBW, didnt you guys both grow up in/play HS ball in Puerto Rico? How did yall make your way to Purdue and, esp, Butler? Did yall send tapes around or do those colleges (which i doubt) routinely scout PR? And how did yall decide to go all the way from PR to IN for college?
   34. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: September 21, 2006 at 01:04 AM (#2183596)
one of you went to purdue? scary considering i was a student there 3 years ago
   35. MM1f Posted: September 21, 2006 at 01:07 AM (#2183610)
"one of you went to purdue? scary considering i was a student there 3 years ago"

puck furdue
   36. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: September 21, 2006 at 04:13 AM (#2183825)
His bottom half is kind of immobile and consequently he put too much stress on his upper half.

Kevin, this is spot on, and to a certain degree what I think about Prior's mechanics.

RE: Kazmir

I really like how Kazmir goes after it. I'd have to check out everything else, but the way that little guy uses his body to throw the baseball is pure art.


I would be interested to hear what CHW has to say about Prior's mechanics.

The lineup right now is : Oliver Perez, then Mark Buehrle, then Prior. I have posted quite a bit on Prior already, however, I'd like to tidy it up and ad some more commentary to it.
I was also going to show a clip of Nolan Ryan, but I don't know how to fit that in.


Will Carroll says Liriano and Santana have very similar mechanics--do you agree?
I haven't slow-mo'd Santana, however at full speed they look pretty similar. However, Liriano does one thing better than Santana and vice versa. Liriano breaks his hands a little later and has a shorter arm action. Santana seems to use his lower body better than Liriano.


Oh, BTW, I'm the Boilermaker, graduated in '01. Actually got scouted in Puerto Rico, which is a rarity for that school, yes. I grew up in PR, MG2 in upstate NY. Purdue, for me, had the best package. Best education (Industrial Engineering) coupled with a decent D-1 baseball program. The schoalrship didn't hurt either.
   37. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: September 21, 2006 at 04:20 AM (#2183830)
its one fun school to be at too. there are a few other primates who were at purdue, and i think they were there when you were. no idea if you ever payed d3 teams but my brother pitched at wabash in 01, all of half an hour from you guys

boiler up
   38. MM1f Posted: September 21, 2006 at 09:03 AM (#2183894)
"its one fun school to be at too."

Not as fun as Bloomington :)

BTW, Joey Neizel, the kid that Will Carrol tried to teach a gyroball to in HS, pitches at Wabash now
   39. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: September 21, 2006 at 05:45 PM (#2184125)
willcarrollsux---

Sometimes, I think mechanics need to be looked at from all angles. Personally, I don't think he uses his legs well enough.

On the jpg you provided, I was able to see what you're talking about about. When I initially did the video, I mentioned that I don't see the separation between upper and lower body that I'd like to see. It's true. I'd like to see him land more "open". His mechanics are great. Are they perfect, no. Hey, I'd like to see Johan Santana break his hands later. Randy Johnson at his peak I thought didn't use his legs well enough.

If the Twins were so inclined to do so, we could get Liriano to do some minor mechanical changes that could lead to even better velocity, IMO. Would I do it? The way he's dominating right now? Let the kid be.

Good catch on that, BTW. thanks for the pic.
   40. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: September 23, 2006 at 08:47 AM (#2185859)
Great pitcher with horrible mechanics: Francisco Rodriguez.

BTW, just wanted to add great work CBW.
   41. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: September 23, 2006 at 01:11 PM (#2185892)
I actually like K-Rod's mechanics, LOL. Why? Well, again, here's a guy who uses his body REALLY well to throw a baseball, and his aggressiveness is off the charts.

Is it the safest way? No. I don't think he'll last as long as some hope he will b/c of injury. K-Rod...from a health POV--stay away. From a mechanical efficiency POV-- friggin phenomenal....of course I'd have to look into him in more detail to make a true determination...hmmmm
   42. joker24 Posted: September 25, 2006 at 04:57 AM (#2186857)
I don't know how I stumbled on this, but I thought it might be relevant. It's BA's Top 10 prospects report on Liriano from 2004:

"Background: The least known of the three players Minnesota received in last winter’s A.J. Pierzynski trade, Liriano could wind up as the jewel of the deal. Considering Joe Nathan was an all-star closer in 2004, that’s saying something. Liriano missed most of 2003, but Twins scout Sean Johnson recommended him after seeing him in instructional league.

Strengths: After two years of shoulder woes, Liriano stayed healthy in 2004 and flashed a package that made the Twins daydream about having another Johan Santana. Liriano pitches at 93-95 mph and has hit 97. He has a plus changeup and a big-breaking curveball. His makeup and work ethic are excellent.

Weaknesses: A former outfielder who converted to the mound shortly after signing with the Giants, Liriano is still raw, both in terms of experience and his build. He still must prove he can stay healthy over the long haul. He has trouble at times commanding his fastball, his curve can be inconsistent and his slider is a work in progress.

The Future: Added to the 40-man roster, Liriano should begin 2005 in Double-A and could help Minnesota by the end of the year."


So that means he probably didn't throw his slider with too much regularity as late as 2004 and just two years later is throwing it with regularity. That might explain having some elbow problems.

On another note, imagine if he ever brings back the "big breaking curveball" (I never saw him throw that this year, has anyone?). Wow.
   43. alskntwnsfn Posted: October 10, 2006 at 07:15 PM (#2205820)
I'd like to see a study that looks at the arm actions employed by pitchers to see, and if there is an injury correlation.

That sounds like it's probably been done, but I mean something different by arm action...

When a pitcher's foot lands, his arm is usually behind his head and behind his back shoulder somewhere. At this point, draw a straight line from the ball to home plate. Everything that happens next is acting to accelerate that ball to the plate. Next, overlap that line with actual video (top view) of the pitchers arm path. Some guys, like Kerry Wood and Francisco Liriano don't have a straight arm path. It veers out to the side, before they slingshot it back around towards home.

Finally, remember that one of Newton's laws of motion has to do with objects accelerating in a straight line. Deviating from that original straight line takes extra force (on the arm).

So, my question for someone who has access to some video, and some time to kill in the offseason is this:

Do pitchers with a straighter arm action (from a top view), after their front foot plant, have less injury trouble than pitchers, who generate the same velocity with different arm action?

There might be some answers hidden in there.

By the way, I love the analysis, but I think I think I disagree with Wannabe's conclusions. There is a lot of strain on that elbow there, in that it's not a linear path to home plate after the front foot lands.

Maybe even more on a slider where the twisting action of the wrist causes the ulna and radius to stretch the ligament even further.

Also, you mention that they should focus on strengthening the ligament, but isn't that impossible? Muscles can get stronger, but I don't think ligaments can, unless you relace them. I could be wrong, I'm no doctor, but I thought I think I read that somewhere. Makes sense though.
   44. TakeandRake Posted: August 01, 2007 at 07:37 PM (#2465855)
Francisco Lirano= plain bad luck.
   45. Dick Mills Posted: March 17, 2008 at 03:53 PM (#2714136)
Injuries can have multiple causes. It seems we always look at mechanics first but seem to miss the importance of being "fit to pitch" by conditioning the body to throw high volume of game pitches at game speed from the mound more often in order to allow the body and the arm to adapt to those 100-120 pitch games. This also assumes the pitcher has started the season being conditioned to pitch using a general but explosive exercise routine...instead of focusing almost solely on getting strong from weight training.

How does a 40-50 pitch side-day bullpen at less than game intensity prepare a pitcher to throw 100 plus pitches at full game intensity? It doesn't. No other sport besides baseball has this type of training regimen to get ready for competition. Certainly not pro tennis or track and field or hockey or cricket.

Protecting young but fully mature pitchers like Liranio by having them throw, low volume of less than game intensity bullpens may be the biggest mistake today in baseball. Or putting energy into long toss when time would be more wisely spent throwing from a mound.

It seems the Japanese understand this in Japan but as soon as they get here like Matsuzaka, they become Americanized and begin to doubt what made them successful and start to move downhill on the skill ladder and closer to injury.

Did the four-man rotation or 350 innings per season lead to mass arm injuries? How about skill levels then as opposed to now?

I would want to know what Liriano does in the off-season and what his weekly routine is to prepare for games.

I think that is where you will find his problem.

Also I recently heard that Rick Anderson, the Twins pitching coach slowed down his delivery. If true that could get him another arm problem (maybe shoulder this time) because there will be less energy produced by the body and more from the arm.

Dick Mills
www.pitching.com
   46. villageidiom Posted: March 17, 2008 at 04:20 PM (#2714156)
It seems the Japanese understand this in Japan but as soon as they get here like Matsuzaka, they become Americanized and begin to doubt what made them successful and start to move downhill on the skill ladder and closer to injury.
IIRC Matsuzaka maintained the same routine here as he did in Japan, save for pitching more frequently and over a longer duration, and the external differences (long travel across time zones, food, etc.). Same goes for Okajima, though reportedly he's abandoning all that this year because he moved closer to injury last year.

How does a 40-50 pitch side-day bullpen at less than game intensity prepare a pitcher to throw 100 plus pitches at full game intensity?
Dunno. It could be that pitchers get injured during games because they're not prepared for game intensity. It could also be that pitchers throwing at game intensity in side sessions would injure themselves during side sessions more frequently than they do. I think it's more true that different pitchers have different health needs on account of having different bodies, and that we shouldn't look at the success stories of the few who have no injuries in System X and extrapolate that System X works for everyone.

No other sport besides baseball has this type of training regimen to get ready for competition.
What about football? They spend the better part of their week watching TV. Or is football not a sport?
   47. XV84 Posted: March 19, 2008 at 08:04 AM (#2715234)
Hard to throw a high volume bullpen when your mechanics are as poor as Liriano's.
   48. uclabruin100 Posted: October 13, 2008 at 07:18 PM (#2980604)
there are plenty of warning signs with liriano.
most importantly, when he comes to weight bearing foot plant, his arm is not in a good postition. i agree with everything said about scapular loading towards third base. he is excelent at that. however, theres a slight disconnect between his body and his arm. at weight bearing footplant his arm should be moving through what is typically known as the "high cocked position" i hate using the term but thats an easy way to describe it. his arm is a little late getting to there with respect to his body. that causes a lot of elbow tension at release.

secondly. the inverted w position displayed in the pictures is not healthy at all. when the foot lands, the elbow and shoulder experience a bouncing effect that. that is to say, when a baseball is thrown, the elbow is slightly below the shoulder. to get to that point from the inverted w he is in, the elbow must drow slightly. thats the bouncing effect im talking about.

lastly, and this relates to the bouncing effect, as he is coming into release, his arm appears to straighten. ideally, the arm should be as close to 90 degrees at release as possible until final extension towards the plate and the internal rotation of the arm. lirianos arm is way outside of 90 degrees way before release. as physics tells us, the weight of the ball on the end of his arm puts a lot of torque on his elbow. thats where the elbow problems really come from.
   49. The Pitching Academy Posted: March 30, 2010 at 07:47 AM (#3488518)
Thank you for sharing this clip! To me it looks like all of his momentum is going where it needs to (toward home plate) I like how he explodes to foot strike creating sufficient momentum that allows him to throw harder. His stride also looks like it is at least 100% of his height. Hard to tell from the angle, but assuming he is doing that it creates more velocity.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Randy Jones
for his generous support.

Page rendered in 0.4081 seconds
71 querie(s) executed

Page rendered in 0.4081 seconds
71 querie(s) executed