In Season 2, Episode 6 of The Fix, Joe Janish and Angel Borrelli discuss in detail Justin Verlander‘s triceps cramp, why it happened, his risk of continuing to pitch with it, how the issue can be fixed, and what pitchers should do if they suffer similar symptoms. In doing so, Angel explains the scientific process of diagnosing and fixing pitching mechanics from the perspective of a kinesiologist. Also, Angel uses Masahiro Tanaka‘s minor UCL tear as an example of what can happen when pitchers pitch through major injuries.
Additionally, Angel answers a question from a listener regarding whether weighted balls and weighted ball programs are worthwhile for improving pitching performance.
Finally, listeners are treated to a free tip to increase a baseball pitcher’s velocity, and it has to do with maximum external rotation.
Above is the photo that Angel refers to in the podcast during her velocity tip.
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I am surprised Angel is not more knowledgable regarding weigjted balls.
Overload/underload training is nothing new. Overweight balls can condition the arm in the sense that a 6 or 7 oz ball represents a decent increase in resistance to the throw without being so heavy the larger muscles of the back/shoulder are taking over. The real trick (and potential danger) is the under weight balls. These train arm speed. Think of a sprinter running uphill to gain some leg strength and down hill to gain leg speed.
A sound foundation of mechanics, arm conditioning through throwing and using over weight balls should be in place before including underweight balls.
Kyle Boddy has a very good video on You Tube regarding weighted balls (how weighted baseballs work….or something close to that). Check it out.
As always thanks and I love the podcast.