Why Sir Isaac Newton is Still the Foremost Expert in Pitching Biomechanics

This post was written by Dr. James Buffi.

Most people have heard of Sir Isaac Newton and his famous laws of motion. Most have not heard that he was an expert in modern pitching biomechanics.

So let’s talk about how Newton’s most famous law relates to pitching.

Newton’s most famous law of motion is probably F = ma. […]

By |April 29th, 2015|Injuries, Mechanics|2 Comments

How Muscles Work and Protect a Pitcher’s Elbow

Let’s talk about muscles. Muscles are the motors of the body. They are the components that generate movement. They can also absorb dangerous forces to protect more vulnerable tissues, like ligaments, and this is especially important for baseball pitchers.

Before I dive in, if you missed part one or two of the three part introduction to […]

By |March 9th, 2015|Injuries, Mechanics, Motion Analysis|4 Comments

A More Forward Approach to Understanding Pitching Biomechanics

This is part two of three of the initial guest posts by Dr. James Buffi. Part one was titled Challenges with Typical Biomechanical Analyses of Pitching.

It is impossible to figure out if a specific player scored a run in a baseball game just by looking at the final box score. This is essentially what typical biomechanical […]

By |February 23rd, 2015|Mechanics, Motion Analysis, Research|2 Comments

Keeping Pitching Simple – Setting Artificial Ceilings for Your Athletes

At the 2015 ABCA Convention, the overarching message from pitching coaches and attendees alike was the idea that things need to be “kept simple.” That going into deep detail was ultimately very confusing and hard to understand, and not necessary – after all, pitching effectively simply involves throwing strikes, locating well, having a good pitch […]

By |January 10th, 2015|Mechanics, Research, Training|1 Comment

Control Problems on the Mound? It’s Not Always “Mental.”

How many times have you heard these lines?

“It’s a mental issue.”
“He has the yips.”
“He lost the ability to throw strikes.”
“It’s all in his head.”
“He’s mentally weak.”

They’re catch-all phrases that hope to capture the essence of why a pitcher like Daniel Bard can put up these kinds of insane runs:

It’s generally assumed that pitchers like Bard […]

By |June 25th, 2014|Injuries, Mechanics, Motion Analysis, Training|6 Comments

The Reinvention of Casey Weathers – Restoring What Tommy John Took

Casey Weathers was the first round pick of the Colorado Rockies (8th overall) in 2007 after putting up incredible numbers at Vanderbilt – striking out 75 over 49.1 innings while allowing fewer than one hit + walk per inning pitched. Casey was throwing 95-97 MPH at the time with a wipeout slider, and was tagged as […]

By |May 19th, 2014|Injuries, Mechanics, Motion Analysis, Training, Video|4 Comments

Momentum and Arm Action: Myths and Misunderstandings

Pitching mechanics is a difficult subject to talk about, and one that I don’t touch lightly on this blog. Covering the basics of pitching mechanics like stride length, stride speed, hip/shoulder separation, and even pronation are generally not the topics I tend to discuss – at least not without a significant amount of data. With […]

By |April 28th, 2014|Mechanics, Research, Training|12 Comments

Releasing Tommy John’s Grip on Pitchers

It’s about that time, isn’t it? The short period of time where we notice the rash of elbow and shoulder injuries to pitchers and look for answers in the usual places, like Tom Verducci’s columns (never mind that the Verducci Effect has been thoroughly debunked) where the “experts” are interviewed and say some variation on […]

By |April 18th, 2014|Injuries, Mechanics, Research, Sabermetrics|16 Comments

How to Protect Your Curveball

I was recently in Spring Training with the MLB team I consult with, watching a few pitchers throw, when a Pitching Coordinator came over and remarked to another pitching coach that pitchers need to throw high fastballs to protect their curveball. I asked the coordinator to expand on his statement, and he explained the tunneling […]

By |March 14th, 2014|Mechanics, Research, Sabermetrics, Video|1 Comment

Mechanical Improvements Through Training

Too often you see guys trying to “change their mechanics” through use of video and a pitching instructor who helps them along, but the reality is that unless the athlete is at such a low level of proficiency, these lessons don’t usually stick. Since an athlete tends to retain the same throwing mechanics throughout his […]

By |February 24th, 2014|Mechanics, Training|1 Comment