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hold2dibber
08-21-2003, 04:32 PM
It occured to me that as far as I know, no one on the Sox current staff throws a split fingered fastball. This can be a really devastating pitch (see Clemens, Roger) when effective. It seems to me that the Sox have a few guys that could use another pitch in the arsenal (e.g., Cotts, Koch) and the split fingered fastball might be a good one to learn. Anyone know if there is some aversion in the Sox organization to teaching/throwing this pitch?

RKMeibalane
08-21-2003, 04:34 PM
:nardi

"I tried to teach the splitter once. Strangley, everyone who wanted to learn how to throw it hurt his arm. I wonder how that happened."

Randar68
08-21-2003, 04:35 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
It occured to me that as far as I know, no one on the Sox current staff throws a split fingered fastball. This can be a really devastating pitch (see Clemens, Roger) when effective. It seems to me that the Sox have a few guys that could use another pitch in the arsenal (e.g., Cotts, Koch) and the split fingered fastball might be a good one to learn. Anyone know if there is some aversion in the Sox organization to teaching/throwing this pitch?

I don't think there is an aversion, at least consciously. A splitter is a very difficult pitch to learn to throw effectively, whereas a good change-up is relatively simple in comparison, and often equally as devastating.

In order to REALLY make a splitter a devastating pitch, you have to have a good fastball with a little rise to it or you have to have enough velocity to throw it by guys up in the zone.

Fisk72
08-21-2003, 04:36 PM
I thought that's what's been the difference with Loaiza this year. Anybody hear anything about that?

Randar68
08-21-2003, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by Fisk72
I thought that's what's been the difference with Loaiza this year. Anybody hear anything about that?

cut fastball and he isn't putting cookies high in the zone like in the past, keeping the ball down.

RKMeibalane
08-21-2003, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
I don't think there is an aversion, at least consciously. A splitter is a very difficult pitch to learn to throw effectively, whereas a good change-up is relatively simple in comparison, and often equally as devastating.

In order to REALLY make a splitter a devastating pitch, you have to have a good fastball with a little size to it or you have to have enough velocity to throw it by guys up in the zone.

As you pointed out, Randar, the pitcher must be able to throw his fastball by hitters. Koch hasn't been able to do that this season. The splitter would be a good pitch for him to work on during the off-season, assuming his elbow is no a problem.

Foulke You
08-21-2003, 04:52 PM
Black Jack McDowell had the best splitter in recent White Sox history. Perhaps they could bring him in and show some of our youngsters how it is done.

Randar68
08-21-2003, 04:52 PM
Originally posted by RKMeibalane
As you pointed out, Randar, the pitcher must be able to throw his fastball by hitters. Koch hasn't been able to do that this season. The splitter would be a good pitch for him to work on during the off-season, assuming his elbow is no a problem.

If Koch had his velocity back in the 96-98 range and added a splitter he could throw effectively in the 92-93 range, he'd be damn near un-hittable, especially if he had a change or curve he could throw down in the mid or low 80's

RKMeibalane
08-21-2003, 04:53 PM
Originally posted by Foulke You
Black Jack McDowell had the best splitter in recent White Sox history. Perhaps they could bring him in and show some of our youngsters how it is done.

Are he and Reinsdorf on good terms?

hold2dibber
08-21-2003, 04:53 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
I don't think there is an aversion, at least consciously. A splitter is a very difficult pitch to learn to throw effectively, whereas a good change-up is relatively simple in comparison, and often equally as devastating.

In order to REALLY make a splitter a devastating pitch, you have to have a good fastball with a little size to it or you have to have enough velocity to throw it by guys up in the zone.

I know I'm getting pretty technical here, but I'm curious - do you (or anyone else) know what it is about the splitter that makes it more difficult to throw effectively? What grip do most major leaguers use for a change-up (palm ball type grip)? Is it just a matter of release point?

Also, arguably the best split finger fastball pitcher ever was Bruce Sutter, and as far as I can recall, he didn't have much of a heater.

And, finally, what is a fastball with "size to it" and what is a "heavy fastball" (I'm guessing the later is one that has some downward break?)?

Thanks.

MRKARNO
08-21-2003, 05:06 PM
why dont we just have loaiza teach a cutter clinic to the other pitchers?

Dadawg_77
08-21-2003, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
cut fastball and he isn't putting cookies high in the zone like in the past, keeping the ball down.

He is also throwing less strikes.

Randar68
08-21-2003, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
I know I'm getting pretty technical here, but I'm curious - do you (or anyone else) know what it is about the splitter that makes it more difficult to throw effectively? What grip do most major leaguers use for a change-up (palm ball type grip)? Is it just a matter of release point?

Also, arguably the best split finger fastball pitcher ever was Bruce Sutter, and as far as I can recall, he didn't have much of a heater.

And, finally, what is a fastball with "size to it" and what is a "heavy fastball" (I'm guessing the later is one that has some downward break?)?

Thanks.


OK, A splitter is very hard to find a consistent release point on, mostly because of the grip on the baseball. A split finger pitch actually spins over the top, as opposed to a regular fastball that spins backward, if you can picture it. It is very difficult to master putting that rotation on a ball, as it is opposite to the way pitchers throw their entire lives. It often is something that must be learned at a younger age (High school for example)

"Size to it" was supposed to be "Rise to it", sorry, I got distracted in mid-sentence.

A "heavy fastball" is a term most often used by hitters and scouts. There is nothing, in terms of physics, that makes it heavier in terms of momentum, etc. It is usually the result of late movement or high spin RPM that causes hitters to most often miss the ball with the sweet part of the bat. Guys with a little tail into right-handed batters often are said to have "heavy fastballs".

There are several different ways to throw a change. Palm, circle, 3-finger. Foulke uses a circle change, for example. He may make a slight modification to the release to roll it more off his ring and pinky fingers, IIRC, that gives it a little more of that down and in bite.

Randar68
08-21-2003, 05:16 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
He is also throwing less strikes.

I think he's actually throwing more. Pitching down in the zone and adding the cutter have been the 2 biggest reasons for his success.

Brian26
08-21-2003, 05:18 PM
Originally posted by RKMeibalane
Are he and Reinsdorf on good terms?

No. Just talked to him last night. He's doing good out in San Diego. He misses the game, but doesn't miss JR.

Dadawg_77
08-21-2003, 05:18 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
I think he's actually throwing more. Pitching down in the zone and adding the cutter have been the 2 biggest reasons for his success.

From what I read and heard one of the adjustments was he started to work inside and outside more and became less concern with ball being in the strikezone. Thus hitters couldn't sit nice fat strike down the middle.

Randar68
08-21-2003, 05:24 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
From what I read and heard one of the adjustments was he started to work inside and outside more and became less concern with ball being in the strikezone. Thus hitters couldn't sit nice fat strike down the middle.

True, but he is painting the corners like a mad-man.

MisterB
08-21-2003, 05:39 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
If Koch had his velocity back in the 96-98 range and added a splitter he could throw effectively in the 92-93 range, he'd be damn near un-hittable, especially if he had a change or curve he could throw down in the mid or low 80's

If Koch had a good changeup, he wouldn't need to throw 96-98 to be effective. (See: Foulke, Keith; Hoffman, Trevor)

hold2dibber
08-21-2003, 05:44 PM
Originally posted by Brian26
No. Just talked to him last night. He's doing good out in San Diego. He misses the game, but doesn't miss JR.

It seemed to me that the Sox reached out to him during/for all star game festivities this year - I was thinking that may have lessened his dislike, if not for JR, at least for the Sox organization. Is it your impression that he so dislikes JR that he would not be willing to work with/for the Sox in any capacity?

hold2dibber
08-21-2003, 05:46 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
OK, A splitter is very hard to find a consistent release point on, mostly because of the grip on the baseball. A split finger pitch actually spins over the top, as opposed to a regular fastball that spins backward, if you can picture it. It is very difficult to master putting that rotation on a ball, as it is opposite to the way pitchers throw their entire lives. It often is something that must be learned at a younger age (High school for example)

"Size to it" was supposed to be "Rise to it", sorry, I got distracted in mid-sentence.

A "heavy fastball" is a term most often used by hitters and scouts. There is nothing, in terms of physics, that makes it heavier in terms of momentum, etc. It is usually the result of late movement or high spin RPM that causes hitters to most often miss the ball with the sweet part of the bat. Guys with a little tail into right-handed batters often are said to have "heavy fastballs".

There are several different ways to throw a change. Palm, circle, 3-finger. Foulke uses a circle change, for example. He may make a slight modification to the release to roll it more off his ring and pinky fingers, IIRC, that gives it a little more of that down and in bite.

Thanks - very helpful stuff (though I'm having a hard time conceptualizing how you put forward/over-the-top spin on a splitter).

Randar68
08-21-2003, 05:56 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
Thanks - very helpful stuff (though I'm having a hard time conceptualizing how you put forward/over-the-top spin on a splitter).

EXACTLY. As your wrist snaps over the top... shoot. I can't even explain it myself. I was never able to understand how to get it to come out spinning right myself....LOL

maurice
08-21-2003, 06:14 PM
The other nice thing about a change is that you don't always need to locate it well or have excellent movement. If you have a deceptive arm motion, you can leave it right down the middle and batters won't be able to put it in play hard. OTOH, if you give it away and leave it up in the zone . . .

:putitontheboard

guillen4life13
08-21-2003, 07:34 PM
Originally posted by maurice
The other nice thing about a change is that you don't always need to locate it well or have excellent movement. If you have a deceptive arm motion, you can leave it right down the middle and batters won't be able to put it in play hard. OTOH, if you give it away and leave it up in the zone . . .

:putitontheboard

Then the ball says, "Ouch!"

TornLabrum
08-21-2003, 09:19 PM
I have a question about the splitter. Don't pitcher who use it have a greater than average number of elbow problems after throwing it for a long time? I think I heard that somewhere, but I have no idea where.

Daver
08-21-2003, 09:35 PM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
I have a question about the splitter. Don't pitcher who use it have a greater than average number of elbow problems after throwing it for a long time? I think I heard that somewhere, but I have no idea where.

You would be correct,to throw it properly requires even more over tourque from the elbow muscle that was over torqued to begin with.

Pitching a baseball is not a natural arm motion,it can be lessened using good mechanics and form,and by not throwing pitches that require an even more unnatural motion,like the splitfinger,slider,forkball,etc.,but it is almost a given that the vast majority of pitchers are going to have arm problems sometime in their lives,either during their career or after it.

Brian26
08-21-2003, 11:32 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
Is it your impression that he so dislikes JR that he would not be willing to work with/for the Sox in any capacity?

Never say never. Not sure if he really wants to coach though. He's enjoying his music stuff right now and living out on the coast.

DonkeyKongerko
08-22-2003, 12:07 AM
I have heard you need really large hands and more importantly strong fingers to throw an effective splitter. Otherwise there really is no way to achieve the desired result. Scary thing is in the LLWS that kid Martines from Curacao throws a splitter. He is also something like 6'0" and throws 75mph at age 12 i think.

ma-gaga
08-22-2003, 12:27 AM
The Spitter (http://www.spitter.com/)

:)