For those of you who caught the NCAA Baseball World Series this year, you may have seen Trevor Bauer of UCLA warming up with his “javelin” as Nomar Garciaparra called it. (You also may have seen him bringing it at 93-95 mph!)
This is one of the few photos I could find of Trevor using the “javelin” which is really just the Shoulder Tube from Oates Specialties – a commonly used tool with Ron Wolforth’s pitchers under the Combat Pitcher system:
A more stock image of the Shoulder Tube / Javelin is seen here:
This item is often used for rhythmic stabilization and warmup purposes. Ron Wolforth thinks that it’s so important that he had this to say about the item:
“We view the Shoulder Tube as the single most important piece of equipment in our facility. We initially thought it was a great warm up tool and it is. But now we’ve come to realize its contribution to the health and durability of our pitchers’ arms/shoulders/elbows. If I lost all the equipment in our facility, the first thing I’d bring back is the Shoulder Tube.”
(For the record, this is how I mostly feel about the wrist weights at our facility.)
Do I think that the Shoulder Tube has its uses? Certainly. However, at more than $100, it can probably be built using some flexible tubing and homemade weights for a lot less. At Driveline Baseball, we do a lot of rhythmic stabilization with medicine balls, slosh tubes, and manual manipulation of our pitchers’ arms.
Just for kicks, here’s some great high-speed video of Trevor Bauer that my colleague Trip Somers shot in 2009 at the Houston College Classic:
[youtube w-PjIxTZorc nolink]
The next Lincecum? Who knows!