Because it saves their arm, which you might not see enough of in the major leagues. In the minors though, it’s quite common. Not to make it any easier on myself though, but look at the picture above:
Sidearm, or in other words, one out. You know, the one that can get anyone out if it’s caught over an outfielder who’s too slow to turn back around and reach back for a grounder.
To be fair, the Cubs’ top prospect, Kyle Schwarber, is a sidearmer and he throws a bit of a curveball. You’ll see that on the major league side too. But I find it weird how you expect a guy who throws a lot of sliders to have the arm to handle it. It looks like he throws only for himself, as if his arm isn’t there just for hitting and not to play defense as well.
Let’s take that as our model for understanding this particular arm. You see the curveball? That’s a slider. And you’re sure to learn that even if it doesn’t look like all that much, that pitch in the bullpen can be a game changer. If I’m right, the Cubs have an arm to back up Schwarber’s delivery.
There are more examples, just search for “throwing sidearm” in your browser here. Look back to the arm photo above from a week ago. The right arm is there when a ball’s in play and still there when the catcher’s back is turned.
Now look at the arm in the video below. On that very same pitch, the left and right arms are in motion and we see the slider in motion while the glove is still on the rubber. This is all the pitcher has to do to make that pitch work.
Of course, the arms in the video are not the only things going on. It’s not an exact science. They’re not even perfect. But the fact of the matter is that a pitcher can’t make such a pitch unless that fastball is moving quickly to his arm slot, which the ball doesn’t stay in his glove. It’s in that moment when the ball is moving to his left side, the arm makes the ball move in a straight line to the left.
That’s part of a whole process. It’s not something to be taken for granted. And it’s certainly not the only thing to do.
If our arm is still a problem, we
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