Corraro Baseball

It’s what you do before the season starts that makes a champion.

Pitching Mechanics and Philosophies

 

·         If its not 80 degrees, you are not in short sleeves. You need to cover your arm

·         All pitchers should have an extra long sleeve shirt and jacket at all times in their baseball bag

·         Long toss everyday to build up arm strength (start close, working your way back & stay in straight line)

·         Arm exercises with elastic tubing, very light dumbbells, and a medicine ball are important for strengthening arm

·         Ice your arm for 20 minutes after each time you pitch under your elbow & on top of shoulder

·         Run after you ice your arm to help build up leg muscle which are important for leg drive

·         Draw a line in the dirt from the mound towards home plate as a guide to stay straight with home plate.

·         Skipping then throwing (Crow Hop) is a great way to develop rhythm which is important on the mound

·         Keep tract of your pitch count every time you pitch. WARM UP PITCHES COUNT TOO!

·         Always be aggressive early in the count. Your best pitch is always first pitch strike.

·         Working quickly keeps everyone in the game (Fielders behind you and the umpire)

·         If you don’t have a driver’s license you are not throwing a curveball. Fastballs 2 & 4 seem and changeup

·         Know that every pitch is going right through the catcher’s mitt. HAVE CONFIDENCE IN YOURSELF

 

Ø      Start with the ball in your hand in the glove.  Glove should be in front of your chest facing only you.

Ø      Your heels should be on top of the rubber while your toes are in front on the dirt (nice and comfortable)

Ø      If there is a big hole, start with your heels against the front of the rubber.

Ø      If you are having a hard time balancing, pitch from the stretch to simplify things

5 Steps for the Pitching Windup

1. Take a small step back with your left foot.  Weight should not transfer over rubber.   

2. Pivot your right foot in front of the rubber. Side of foot should be completely against rubber. Right Hander on the right side of the rubber, Left Hander on the left side.

3. Pick your left knee up so you are in the balance point (make sure your hands have not moved from your chest) Toe should be directly below knee pointing downward. (Helps for balance)

4. Stride forward towards your target leading with your heal down and out. Keep your weight back as long as possible when striding.  Hands should break over your knee as you are doing this.  Your weight should transfer from the balls of your back foot to the balls of your front foot. Stop when your front foot lands (putting your foot into a sandal), your glove arm and the ball should be on the same straight plane as your shoulders are fully extended. Ball should be facing 2nd base slightly above your shoulder and your glove or front elbow should be pointing at the catcher.

5. Bring the glove towards your armpit and turn to throw.  Make sure you follow through.  Chest over your left knee (like using a sledge hammer) and bring your back leg up and over so it ends up just in front of your lead foot. The majority of your weight should end up over your front knee. Try reaching out and grabbing the catcher’s mitt to help your finish.

v      Say the Numbers 1-5 in your head as you are doing them to help you go through each step when pitching. This will remind you where you need to be throughout your delivery

Pitching Drills

Balance Beam

Make sure pitchers are wearing turf or sneakers rather than spikes. Have them pitch from the stretch, while standing on a 2 x 6 piece of wood. This will force them to keep their balance throughout their motion.

Hopping Balance Drill

Start at your balance point. Take three small hops forward then throw. After each hop you must remain balanced.  Should be able to throw on any hop if asked to. Make sure they are hopping in a straight line. Do this drill on flat ground.

Balance Wall Touch

Player is in his balance point a few feet away from wall. Stride down and out and touch the wall with the outside of your foot while keeping your weight back on your back leg then right back up to your balance point. Repeat over and again. This will help players keep their weight back on their stride. (Think about checking a pool out to see if the water is cold with your foot)

Side Toss

Pitcher goes through his windup and stops at his balance point. Once he is balanced, flip him the ball from the side of the mound. Once he has received the ball he may proceed throwing the ball to the catcher. This makes sure he is balanced when throwing.

Towel Drill

Wrap a towel tightly with some tape. Holding one end of the towel, go through the throwing motion while trying to reach out as far as you can and hit a chair or something with the towel. This will help work on getting good extension and having the proper arm circle.

Medicine Ball Slam

Start with medicine ball in chest with legs spread wide like your stride. Lean back and make a circle with the ball then slam it out in front of your body about a foot in front of your foot like you are finishing your pitch. This will help you drive your arm and chest over your front side. If you can, try posting up on your front leg and hold your balance. Your chin should be out over your front foot.

Pitching Grips

Four Seam Fastball

Four Seam Fastball

The four-seam fastball (or four seamer) is the single most important pitch in baseball, and it should be the foundation of a baseball pitchers repertoire for three reasons:

  1. It's the easiest pitch for pitchers to locate for a strike.
  2. It's the fastest pitch (mph).
  3. It sets up a every other pitch a pitcher will throw (especially off-speed pitches).

The pitching grip for the four seam fastball is relatively easy. Place your index- and middle-finger pads directly on the perpendicular seam of the baseball with the "horseshoe seam" facing into the ring finger of the throwing hand .

Next, place your throwing hand thumb directly beneath your fingers on the other side of the baseball and resting on the smooth leather .

Ideally, a pitcher should aim to rest his thumb in the center of the horseshoe seam on the bottom side of the baseball .

The pitch should be gripped softly, like an egg, and there should be a "gap" or large space between the baseball and the palm (or cup) of the throwing-hand (as shown in the middle picture).

That gap, caused by the four seam fastball gripped in the fingertips, is the key to throwing a good, hard four-seam fastball with maximal pitching velocity.

However, it's been my experience that most baseball pitchers grip the four seam fastball far too tightly and far too deeply in their throwing hand (sometimes to the point where there is little to no gap at all).

Of course, this is incorrect.

Again, that gap is important when throwing a four seam fastball because it minimizes "friction" between the fingers, hand and baseball. The less friction, the quicker the baseball can leave the throwing hand (and with less energy lost), which in turn, equates to more velocity on the pitch itself.

Keeping the four seam fastball in the finger tips also promotes two things important in boosting pitching velocity:

  1. Leverage
  2. Backspin

Leverage and backspin (not pitching velocity) are the two elements that cause good, hard fastballs to "pop" in the catcher's mitt.

What is pitching leverage?

Leverage is the force that is created when a pitcher "flicks" or "snaps" his wrist upon the release of the baseball.

What is pitching backspin?

Backspin is the bottom-to-top rotation of the baseball that is created when the pitch is released with the index- and middle- fingers directly behind the baseball.

The average Major League Baseball pitcher's four seam fastball will rotate 36 times from the time it leaves his hand until the time it reaches the catcher's mitt (60-feet-6) — the most rotations for any pitched baseball (and thus, a primary reason the four-seam fastball is traditionally the fastest pitch a baseball pitcher will throw).

Remember, keep the four-seam fastball in the fingertips, grip it softly, like an egg, and let it fly!

Two Seam Fastball

Two Seam Fastball

The two-seam fastball (also called a two seamer or sinker) is gripped slightly tighter and deeper in the throwing-hand than the four-seam fastball.

Movement on this pitch comes from:

  1. The friction that is created from holding the baseball deeper in the throwing hand.
  2. The slight, natural pronation of the throwing-hand (which imbalances the baseball) when the pitch is released.

The index- and middle-fingers are placed directly parallel and on top of the narrow seams of the baseball . Next, place your thumb directly on the bottom side of the baseball and on the smooth leather in between the other narrow seams.

Change Up

Circle Change-up

Make an "OK" gesture with your throwing hand.

This is the starting point of the circle change-up.

Next, place the ball in your hand with the throwing hand's ring-finger in the center of the grip.

When the baseball is thrown, the "circle" made from overlapping the index-finger on top of the thumb, turns inward toward the target. This is called "turning the ball over."

However, unlike a curveball or slider, the change-up is turned over on the inside part of the baseball, not the outside.

Remember to throw the baseball as you would a fastball. The speed variation comes from the friction created by holding the ball deep in the hand.

There should be no space between the ball and the throwing hand.

Think "throw the index-finger's knuckle to the target" to get dramatic "down-and-in" big league movement.

Rob's Pitch Count

Many youth leagues have a limit of the number of innings each pitcher can throw. This number can be manipulated by a player throwing many pitches during these innings. This guide helps you understand how many pitches is recommended. Buy a hand counter and keep track of the number of pitches each pitcher throws. Make sure you also watch how many pitches each pitcher throws during warmups. 15-20 off the mound would be sufficient. Even the new Little League pitch count rules have the players throw too many pitches per week.

SUGGESTED PITCH COUNTS
Age Max.
pitches/game
Max.
games/week
8-10 50 2
11-12 60 2
13-14 75 2
15-16 85 2
17-18 95 2
SUGGESTED RECOVERY DAYS
Once you reach a certain number of pitches, you need that much rest/recovery time.
Age 1 day rest after 2 days after 3 days after 4 days after
8-10 21 pitches 34 43 50
11-12 27 35 55 58
13-14 30 36 56 70
15-16 25 38 62 77
17-18 27 45 62 89

New Little League Pitch Count

Little League® International Pitch Count

a. Any player on a regular season team may pitch. (NOTE: There is no limit to the number of pitchers a team may use in a game.) Exception: A player who has attained a league age of twelve (12) is not eligible to pitch in the Minor League.

b. Junior, Senior, and Big League Divisions only: A pitcher remaining in the game, but moving to a different position, can return as a pitcher anytime in the remainder of the game, but only once per game.

c. The manager must remove the pitcher when said pitcher reaches the limit for his/her age group as noted below, but the pitcher may remain in the game at another position:

League Age

17-18      105 pitches per day

13-16      95 pitches per day

11-12      85 pitches per day

10 and under 75 pitches per day

Exception: If a pitcher reaches the limit imposed in Regulation VI (c) for his/her league age while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue to pitch until that batter reaches base or is put out. Note 1. If the pitcher reaches the limit imposed in Regulation VI (c) on his/her last pitch to a particular batter, the pitcher must be removed before delivering a pitch to the next batter. Note 2. Intentional Walk: Before a pitch is delivered to the batter, the catcher must inform the umpire-in-chief that the defensive team wishes to give the batter an intentional base-on-balls. The umpire-in-chief waves the batter to first base. The ball is dead.

d. Pitchers league ages 7 through 16 must adhere to the following rest requirements:

If a player pitches 61 or more pitches in a day, four (4) calendar days of rest must be observed.

If a player pitches 41 - 60 pitches in a day, three (3) calendar days of rest must be observed.

If a player pitches 21 - 40 pitches in a day, two (2) calendar days of rest must be observed.

If a player pitches 1-20 pitches in a day, one (1) calendar day of rest must be observed.

Pitchers league age 17-18 must adhere to the following rest requirements:

If a player pitches 76 or more pitches in a day, four (4) calendar days of rest must be observed.

If a player pitches 51 - 75 pitches in a day, three (3) calendar days of rest must be observed.

If a player pitches 26 - 50 pitches in a day, two (2) calendar days of rest must be observed.

If a player pitches 1-25 pitches in a day, one (1) calendar day of rest must be observed.

e. Each league must designate the scorekeeper or another game official as the official pitch count recorder.

f. The pitch count recorder must provide the current pitch count for any pitcher when requested by either manager or any umpire. However, the manager is responsible for knowing when his/her pitcher must be removed.

g. The official pitch count recorder should inform the umpire-in-chief when a pitcher has delivered his/her maximum limit of pitches for the game, as noted in Regulation VI (c). The umpire-in-chief will inform the pitcher’s manager that the pitcher must be removed in accordance with Regulation VI (c). However, the failure by the pitch count recorder to notify the umpire-in-chief, and/or the failure of the umpire-in-chief to notify the manager, does not relieve the manager of his/her responsibility to remove a pitcher when that pitcher is no longer eligible.

h. Violation of any section of this regulation can result in protest of the game in which it  occurs. Protest shall be made in accordance with Playing Rule 4.19.

NOTES:

1. The withdrawal of an ineligible pitcher after that pitcher is announced, or after a warm-up pitch is delivered, but before that player has pitched a ball to a batter, shall not be considered a violation. Little League officials are urged to take precautions to prevent protests. When a protest situation is imminent, the potential offender should be notified immediately.

2. Pitches delivered in games declared “Regulation Tie Games” or “Suspended Games” shall be charged against pitcher’s eligibility.

3. In suspended games resumed on another day, the pitchers of record at the time the game was halted may continue to pitch to the extent of their eligibility for that day, provided said pitcher has observed the required days of rest.

Example 1: A league age 12 pitcher delivers 70 pitches in a game on Monday when the game is suspended. The game resumes on the following Thursday. The pitcher is not eligible to pitch in the resumption of the game because he/she has not observed the required four days of rest.

Example 2: A league age 12 pitcher delivers 70 pitches in a game on Monday when the game is suspended. The game resumes on Saturday. The pitcher is eligible to pitch up to 85 more pitches in the resumption of the game because he/she has observed the required four days of rest.

Example 3: A league age 12 pitcher delivers 70 pitches in a game on Monday when the game is   suspended. The game resumes two weeks later. The pitcher is eligible to pitch up to 85 more pitches in the resumption of the game, provided he/she is eligible based on his/her pitching record during the previous four days.

Note: The use of this regulation negates the concept of the “calendar week” with regard to pitching eligibility.

Pitching Chart

Jobe Exercises

 

PITCHER'S ARM EXERCISE PROGRAM  

 

Diagonal Pattern D2 Extension

Involved hand will grip tubing handle overhead and out to the side. Pull tubing down and across

your body to the opposite side of leg. During the motion, lead with your thumb.

Diagonal Pattern D2 Flexion

Gripping tubing handle in hand of involved arm, begin with arm out from side 45 degrees and

palm facing backward. After turning palm forward, proceed to flex elbow and bring arm up and

over the uninvolved shoulder. Turn palm down and reverse to take arm back to starting position.

This exercise should be done in a controlled manner.

External Rotation at 0 degrees Abduction

Stand with involved elbow fixed at side, elbow at 90 degrees and involved arm across front of

body. Grip tubing handle while the other end of the tubing is fixed to a stationary object. Pull

out with arm, keeping elbow at side. Return tubing slowly and in a controlled manner.

Internal Rotation at 0 degrees Abduction

Standing with elbow at side, fixed at 90 degrees and should rotated out. Grip tubing handle

while other end of tubing is fixed to a stationary object. Pull arm across body, keeping elbow at

side. Return tubing slowly and controlled.

External Rotation at 90 degrees Abduction

Stand with shoulder abducted 90 degrees and elbow flexed 90 flexed. Grip tubing handle while

the other end is fixed straight ahead, slightly lower than the shoulder. Keeping shoulder

abducted, rotate the shoulder back, keeping elbow at 90 degrees. Return tubing and hand to

start position.

Internal Rotation at 90 degrees Abduction

Stand with shoulder abducted to 90 degrees, externally rotated 90 degrees and elbow bent 90

degrees. Keeping shoulder abducted, rotate shoulder forward, keeping elbow bent at 90

degrees. Return tubing and hand to start position.

Shoulder Abduction to 90 degrees

Stand with arm at side, elbow straight, and palm against side. Raise arm to the side, palm down,

until arm reaches 90 degrees (shoulder level). Hold 2 seconds and lower slowly.

Scaption, Internal Rotation

Stand with elbow straight and thumb up. Raise arm to shoulder level at 30 degree angle in front

of body. Do not go above shoulder height. Hold two seconds and lower slowly.

Prone Horizontal Abduction (Neutral)

Lie on table, face down, with involved arm hanging straight to the floor, palm facing down. Raise

arm out to side, parallel to floor. Hold 2 seconds and lower slowly.

Prone Horizontal Abduction (Full External Rotation, 100 degrees Abduction)

Lie on table, face down, with involved arm hanging straight to the floor, thumb rotated up

(hitchhiker position). Raise arm out to the side slightly in front of shoulder, parallel to the floor.

Hold 2 seconds and lower slowly.

Press-Ups

Seated on a chair or table, place both hands firmly on the sides of the chair or table, palm down

and fingers pointed outward. Hands should be placed equal with shoulders. Slowly push

downward through the hands to elevate your body. Hold the elevated position for 2 seconds and

lower slowly.

Prone Rowing

Lying on your stomach, with your involved arm hanging over the side of the table, dumbbell in

hand and elbow straight. Slowly raise arm, bending elbow and bring dumbbell as high as

possible. Hold at the top for 2 seconds, then slowly lower.

Push-Ups

Start in the down position. Place hands no more than shoulder width apart. Push up as high as

possible, rolling shoulders forward after elbows are straight. Start with a push-up into wall, then

gradually progress to tabletop and eventually to the floor as tolerable.

Elbow Flexion

Standing with arm against side and palm facing inward, bend elbow upward turning palm up as

you progress. Hold 2 seconds and lower slowly.

Elbow Extension (Abduction)

Raise involved arm overhead. Provide support at elbow from uninvolved hand. Straighten arm

overhead. Hold 2 seconds, then lower slowly.

Wrist Extension

Supporting the forearm and with palm facing downward, raise weight in hand as far as possible.

Hold 2 seconds, then lower slowly.

Wrist Flexion

Supporting the forearm and with palm facing upward, lower a weight in hand as far as possible,

then curl it up as high as possible. Hold for 2 seconds and lower slowly.

Wrist Supination

With forearm supported on table with wrist in neutral position, use a weight or hammer to roll

wrist to the palm up position. Hold for 2 seconds and return to starting position.

Wrist Pronation

Forearm should be supported on a table with the wrist in neutral position. Using a weight or

hammer, roll wrist to the palm down position. Hold 2 seconds and return to starting position.