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Bullpen Mechanics
— A Scout's View

Thursday, April 12, 2007

THT- Mark Redman-Today’s Worst Arm Action in the World

I give you Mark Redman

ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: April 12, 2007 at 12:53 PM | 12 comment(s)
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   1. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: April 12, 2007 at 01:01 PM (#2333221)
I cringed several times while writing this article.....
   2. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: April 12, 2007 at 01:33 PM (#2333236)
CBW: you have mentioned that many pitching coaches (most?) actually teach the Tall-and-Fall mechanics that you denigrate. What, exactly, is the supposed benefit of that style? Are there pitching coaches that would or could "fix" Redman, assuming that he could change at this point? Because as we all know, he isn't good and could use some help.

He was pretty damn good in 2003, though, and his K rate was much higher. I wonder why. It seems like more than luck.
   3. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: April 12, 2007 at 01:35 PM (#2333237)
Oh, and by the way, CBW: thanks! This is awesome stuff, as always. I seem to learn something every time you post.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 12, 2007 at 01:39 PM (#2333243)
His correct title is "Royals Pitcher of the Year Mark Redman" or "All-Star Pitcher Mark Redman"
   5. More Indecisive than Lonnie Smith on 2nd... Posted: April 12, 2007 at 02:12 PM (#2333265)
CBW, thanks for an interesting comparison. Would it be possible to do a comparison of Redman with someone more comparable in build than Perez? If I'm not mistaken, Redman is ~3" taller.

On a side note, about a decade ago I had the pleasure of shadowing the team orthopedist for the Atlanta Braves (Dr. Joe Chandler), who later was forced into a consulting role by a freak injury that destroyed his right index finger, a death nell for his surgical career. Dr. Chandler was welcoming to my questions about some of the athletes who came through his office, even letting me hang out with a Jason Marquis during an office visit (which was oddly funny, with us being the same age but me being in near awe of him; he makes more money that I do now, if my calcuations are correct).

The long and short of it was that one day, Dr. Chandler and I sat down and discussed what makes a "good arm." He explained that much of the promise of a pitcher lies in the laxity of the shoulder joint; his Exhibit A was John Smoltz, whom Chandler said the Braves always figured to be one pitch away from injury (he also related how they hadn't anticipated his elbow being the problem it had already become). Shoulder laxity, in his opinion, is key to throwing hard and good arm action...with that in mind, I'd point out that looking at Perez v. Redman, in spite of their jerseys, you can see more posterior rotation of Perez's shoulder that gives his elbow room to load.

I hope you provide more of these as the season goes on--they are most enjoyable.
   6. Suff Posted: April 12, 2007 at 02:42 PM (#2333287)
I'm glad someone else noticed that Gabe Kapler had the worst swing in the history of professional baseball.
   7. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: April 12, 2007 at 03:26 PM (#2333318)
What, exactly, is the supposed benefit of that style? Are there pitching coaches that would or could "fix" Redman, assuming that he could change at this point?


I guess you can gather yourself better and not "rush." It keeps your weight back by being more controlled towards the plate. I think mostly it was about preventing someone from rushing.

I'm sure someone could "fix" Redman. However, Redman, at his age and with THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of throws with his current arm action....well, it gets difficult to undo years of that. I would almost advise him to not change at this point.

Shoulder laxity, in his opinion, is key to throwing hard and good arm action...with that in mind, I'd point out that looking at Perez v. Redman, in spite of their jerseys, you can see more posterior rotation of Perez's shoulder that gives his elbow room to load.


I'm glad I'm not the only crackpot that thinks this way.LOL......I work doing pitching lessons. I always do a test where I see if the kid I get can touch their elbows behind their backs in order to test their shoulder laxity. If a kid can easily load his shoulder horizontally (scap load) almost to the point of touching the other arm's elbow, my stock answer always is "that's disgusting, you can throw hard, REALLY hard." Some of these kids can actually touch their elbows. Are kids made of cartilage?
When I wrote the Neshek article, I was in awe of his shoulder laxity. I just call it "scap load."

I'm glad someone else noticed that Gabe Kapler had the worst swing in the history of professional baseball.

I have a hard time coming up with a #2 or the worst swing list, although Damon might be close. BTW, there is a clip out there of Kapler homering off Mark Redman, I kid you not.
   8. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: April 12, 2007 at 03:38 PM (#2333327)
Would it be possible to do a comparison of Redman with

I don't think my stomach can handle watching Redman throw much more. Funny thing is I live in Atlanta. I just know that the first chance I get to go to a game this year, he'll be starting.
I'm a Tigers fan and watching them in years prior it always seemed that whenever the Tigers were on TV (which was VERY seldomly), I'd always catch Nate Cornejo or Jason Johnson, two guys I just hated to watch pitch.
   9. Suff Posted: April 12, 2007 at 03:42 PM (#2333331)
Damon's swing is like Kapler's, except Damon has some smoothness to what he does - he's kind of a melding of Kapler and Ichiro. Do you remember Mark Johnson? (Pirates, late '90s, I think). I don't remember much about him except that his swing was really, really ugly.

I always do a test where I see if the kid I get can touch their elbows behind their backs in order to test their shoulder laxity.


I guess that's why I never developed past my velocity as a 15-yr-old.
   10. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: April 12, 2007 at 04:08 PM (#2333349)
I'd always catch Nate Cornejo or Jason Johnson, two guys I just hated to watch pitch.

I hope you got to catch Robertson this week. He was fantastic. And I think EVERYONE hates watching JJ. Ugh. He started on my first visit to Comerica.
   11. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: April 12, 2007 at 04:11 PM (#2333351)
I'm a Tigers fan and watching them in years prior it always seemed that whenever the Tigers were on TV (which was VERY seldomly), I'd always catch Nate Cornejo or Jason Johnson, two guys I just hated to watch pitch.

I went to my first game in Detroit last year. Did I get Bonderman? Verlander? Rogers? Robertson? No. I got Zach Miner, and he got hammered, so with the Tigers behind, I didn't even get to see Zumaya. Better than seeing Cornejo, I guess.

I can't complain about the seats, though. Second row, right behind the visitor's dugout. Plus, the White Sox front office woman across the aisle had her WS ring on and showed it to us. That was cool.
   12. More Indecisive than Lonnie Smith on 2nd... Posted: April 13, 2007 at 03:44 AM (#2333859)
CBW, I hope you're enjoying Atlanta (grew up there and would like to move back soon).

As I'm guessing you work with your charges, the ability to accelerate in segments is a central concept in power in sports (think of guys doing a tennis serve or the high jump). That's why watching guys like Mulder or Redman, who are clearly big strong guys, is so frustrating. I realize they might have never had or lost their shoulder laxity, but as long as there's not a huge structural problem, that can be regained.

I'm not sure about bone development in children, though I do know that their bones are a little more "bendy" than adults; however, much of this is in the growth plates, so I'm not sure if this is something that can be exploited to help a kid group up to throw harder.

All in all, keep up the great work. And I hope you've been to the Flying Biscuit there in Atlanta (preferably the original)!

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