Simply put…pitching is timing! Other factors play a part however bad timing can cause pain and injury throughout at career if not fixed. There are different cues that I look for in a pitcher that has good or bad timing. I will explain further below. Myself or anyone for that matter can compare healthy pitchers and injury plagued pitchers and notice different cues in which they portray good or bad timing.
The arms of durable pitchers always tend to be more verticals at foot plant. In contrast, the opposite is applicable to non-durable pitchers in where their arm tends to stay more flat or horizontal at foot plant. When their shoulders start rotating forward their arm should be up in the vertical position at approximately 90 degrees.
When a pitchers arm tends to be flat or closer to horizontal at foot impact or shoulder rotation a pitchers arm experiences a “whip lash effect.” This is where the arm goes from flat or horizontal to the “lay cock” position where the arm goes flat when the shoulders start to rotate forward. Basically the arm is externally rotating at a higher rate of speed to get to “lay cock” and reversing the motion violently to be able to internally rotate to release the baseball. This movement adds tremendous amounts of unneeded stress to a pitchers arm.
While this added arm speed might help a pitcher in the short term it will be detrimental for him long term. With added arm speed a pitcher could see added velocity and more action on their pitches. As I stated before this is smoking mirrors because this is a short term solution because of the added stress it causes.
A few other cues to rushing a delivery is heel strike and the “inverted w” position where the elbow gets above and beyond a pitchers shoulder. These actions are typically causes of timing or rushing problems. I have spoken in further depth about inverted w and heel strike in this article: https://baseballmechanics.com/2017/01/21/the-inverted-w-pitching-mechanic/
Till next time!