Sunday, July 29, 2012

Death to the Inverted W!

Sergio Santos – out for the year with an arm injury.
Even if you don’t follow the Toronto Blue Jays, you probably do know that they’ve had a ridiculous run of bad luck with injuries this year. I mean, how many teams lose three fifths of their starting rotation in one week? If the Jays are the team you root for, it’s been pretty depressing to deal with. Last winter, we were all waiting for GM Alex Anthopoulos to get his team a big-time starting pitcher or two, when it turns out what he should have done was get a complete second set of starting pitchers. The result of all this uproar in the starting five and their minor league replacements has been that the Jays back-up catcher has pitched twice!

When number of injuries strikes one team, you tend to start to look for reasons. Does the team do something different in its conditioning program? Does the pitching coach have a weird idea on some part of pitching mechanics? Or is the team just snake bit this season?

Being one of the top 2 million baseball journalists and investigative reporters in my city, I naturally went looking to see if I could come up with any reasons. Who knows? Maybe the Jays would be so grateful they’d put me on their Christmas card list or put my ugly kisser up on the Jumbotron next time I attend a game.

Anyway, my search led me to this very interesting article by Chris O’Leary on how one particular delivery, the “inverted W”, seems to lead to increased likelihood of an arm injury. In looking at photos, it certainly seems to me that Kyle Drabek throws like this. He’s just had Tommy John surgery for the second time in his young career. Brandon Morrow, who’s out with a muscle strain, doesn’t seem to use the same sort of pitching motion, so just bad luck there. Sergio Santos: inverted W – and out for the year after pitching in only two games. I could go on.

Maybe this article has the answer pitchers and ball teams might do well to pay attention to. Read it by clicking HERE. I think Late Innings readers will find it exceptionally interesting.

Now look up images for other injured pitchers and see how many use the inverted W delivery. Bet you’re going to find it more often than not.

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