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In
baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending team throws a ball at ...

baseball
, the pitcher is the player who pitches the
baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending team throws a ball at ...
from the
pitcher's mound A baseball field, also called a ball field, sandlot or a baseball diamond, is the field upon which the game of baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseba ...
toward the
catcher Catcher is a position for a baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding te ...

catcher
to begin each play, with the goal of
retiring Retirement is the withdrawal from one's position or occupation or from one's active working life. A person may also semi-retire by reducing work hours or workload. Many people choose to retire when they are old or incapable of doing their job. P ...
a
batter Batter or batters may refer to: * Batter (cooking), thin dough that can be easily poured into a pan * Batter (baseball), person whose turn it is to face the pitcher * Batter (cricket) or batsman, player who is currently batting * Batter (drum), a ...
, who attempts to either make contact with the pitched ball or draw a
walk Walking (also known as ambulation) is one of the main gaits of terrestrial locomotion among legged animals. Walking is typically slower than running and other gaits. Walking is defined by an 'inverted pendulum' gait in which the body vaults over ...
. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the pitcher is assigned the number 1. The pitcher is often considered the most important player on the defensive side of the game, and as such is situated at the right end of the
defensive spectrum In sabermetrics, the defensive spectrum is a graphical representation of the positions on a baseball field, arranged from the easiest (such as first base and the Outfielder#Corner outfielders, outfield corners) on the left to the hardest (such as ...
. There are many different types of pitchers, such as the starting pitcher, relief pitcher, middle reliever, lefty specialist, setup man, and the closer. Traditionally, the pitcher also bats. Starting in 1973 with the
American League The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League (AL), is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball Professional baseball is organized bas ...
and spreading to further leagues throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the hitting duties of the pitcher have generally been given over to the position of
designated hitter In baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams, typically of nine players each, that take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher play ...
, a cause of some controversy. The
National League The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League (NL), is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball Professional baseball is o ...
in
Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system. It is played in baseball league, leag ...
, although it was adopted for the
2020 2020 was heavily defined by the COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing global pandemic A pandemic (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ε ...
season, and the Japanese
Central League The or is one of the two professional baseball leagues that constitute Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan. The winner of the league championship plays against the winner of the Pacific League in the annual Japan Series. It currently consists ...

Central League
are among the remaining leagues that have not adopted the designated hitter position.


Overview

In most cases, the objective of the pitcher is to deliver the
pitch Pitch may refer to: Acoustic frequency * Pitch (music), the perceived frequency of sound including "definite pitch" and "indefinite pitch" ** Absolute pitch or "perfect pitch" ** Pitch class, a set of all pitches that are a whole number of octaves ...
to the catcher without allowing the
batter Batter or batters may refer to: * Batter (cooking), thin dough that can be easily poured into a pan * Batter (baseball), person whose turn it is to face the pitcher * Batter (cricket) or batsman, player who is currently batting * Batter (drum), a ...
to
hit Hit means to strike (attack), strike someone or something. Hit or HIT may also refer to: Arts, entertainment and media Fictional entities * Hit, a fictional character from ''Dragon Ball Super'' * Homicide International Trust, or HIT, a fictional ...
the ball with the bat. A successful pitch is delivered in such a way that the batter either allows the pitch to pass through the
strike zone In baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team (baseball), fielding team ...
, swings the bat at the ball and misses it, or hits the ball poorly (resulting in a pop fly or ground out). If the batter elects not to swing at the pitch, it is called a ''strike'' if any part of the ball passes through the strike zone and a ''ball'' when no part of the ball passes through the strike zone. A check swing is when the batter begins to swing, but then stops the swing short. If the batter successfully checks the swing and the pitch is out of the strike zone, it is called a ball. There are two legal
pitching positionIn baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team (baseball), fielding team, cal ...
s, the ''windup'' and the set position or ''stretch''. Either position may be used at any time; typically, the windup is used when the bases are empty, while the set position is used when at least one runner is on base. Each position has certain procedures that must be followed. A balk can be called on a pitcher from either position. A
power pitcher Power pitcher is a term in baseball for a pitcher who relies on pitch (baseball), pitch velocity at the expense of accuracy. Power pitchers usually record a high number of strikeouts, and statistics such as strikeouts per 9 innings pitched are com ...
is one who relies on the velocity of his pitches to succeed. Generally, power pitchers record a high percentage of
strikeouts In baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending team ...
. A
control pitcher In baseball, a control pitcher, also known as a finesse pitcher, is a pitcher who succeeds mostly by using accurate pitches, as opposed to a power pitcher who relies on velocity. By issuing a below average number of bases on balls he exhibits good ...
succeeds by throwing accurate pitches and thus records few walks. Nearly all action during a game is centered on the pitcher for the defensive team. A pitcher's particular style, time taken between pitches, and skill heavily influence the dynamics of the game and can often determine the victor. Starting with the pivot foot on the ''pitcher's rubber'' at the center of the pitcher's mound, which is from ''home plate'', the pitcher throws the baseball to the
catcher Catcher is a position for a baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding te ...

catcher
, who is positioned behind home plate and catches the ball. Meanwhile, a
batter Batter or batters may refer to: * Batter (cooking), thin dough that can be easily poured into a pan * Batter (baseball), person whose turn it is to face the pitcher * Batter (cricket) or batsman, player who is currently batting * Batter (drum), a ...
stands in the
batter's box A baseball field, also called a ball field, sandlot or a baseball diamond, is the field upon which the game of baseball is played. The term can also be used as a metonym Metonymy () is a figure of speech in which a thing or concept is referred to ...
at one side of the plate, and attempts to bat the ball safely into fair play. The type and sequence of pitches chosen depend upon the particular situation in a game. Because pitchers and catchers must coordinate each pitch, a system of hand signals is used by the catcher to communicate choices to the pitcher, who either vetoes or accepts by shaking his head or nodding. The relationship between pitcher and catcher is so important that some teams select the starting catcher for a particular game based on the starting pitcher. Together, the pitcher and catcher are known as the ''
battery Battery may refer to: Energy source * Electric battery, an electrochemical device to provide electrical power ** Automotive battery, a device to provide power to certain functions of an automobile ** List of battery types * Energy storage, inclu ...
''. Although the object and mechanics of pitching remain the same, pitchers may be classified according to their roles and effectiveness. The
starting pitcher In baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending team thro ...
begins the game, and he may be followed by various
relief pitcher In baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team (baseball), fielding t ...
s, such as the
long reliever A long reliever is a relief pitcher in baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fieldi ...
, the
left-handed specialist In baseball, a left-handed specialist (also known as lefty specialist) is a relief pitcher who throws left-handed and specializes in pitching to left-handed Batter (baseball), batters, weak right-handed batters, and switch-hitters who bat poorly ri ...
, the middle reliever, the
setup man In baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team (baseball), fielding team, ca ...
, and/or the closer. In abbreviating baseball positions, P is used as a general designation for pitchers. SP and RP are sometimes used to differentiate starting and relief pitchers, respectively, while LHP and RHP are sometimes used to indicate if a pitcher is left-handed or right-handed, respectively. In
Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system. It is played in baseball league, leag ...
, baseball rubbing mud is used to condition game balls before pitchers use them.


Pitching in a game

A skilled pitcher often throws a variety of different pitches to prevent the batter from hitting the ball well. The most basic pitch is a
fastball The fastball is the most common type of pitch thrown by pitcher player Noah Syndergaard pitching for the New York Mets in 2015 In baseball, the pitcher is the player who throws the Baseball (ball), baseball from the pitcher's mound toward th ...

fastball
, where the pitcher throws the ball as hard as he can. Some pitchers are able to throw a fastball at a
speed In everyday use and in kinematics Kinematics is a subfield of physics, developed in classical mechanics, that describes the Motion (physics), motion of points, bodies (objects), and systems of bodies (groups of objects) without considerin ...

speed
over , ex.,
Aroldis Chapman Albertín Aroldis Chapman de la Cruz (; born February 28, 1988) is a Cuban-American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United S ...
. Other common types of pitches are the
curveball 200px, An animated diagram of a 12–6 curveball In baseball and softball, the curveball is a type of pitch (baseball), pitch thrown with a characteristic grip and hand movement that imparts forward spin to the baseball (object), ball, causing i ...

curveball
, slider,
changeup A changeup is a type of pitch in baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding t ...
, cutter, sinker,
screwball A screwball is a baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team (baseball), fi ...
,
forkball The forkball is a type of pitch in baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fieldi ...
, split-fingered fastball,
slurve The slurve is a baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team (baseball), fiel ...
, and
knuckleball A knuckleball or knuckler is a baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams, typically of nine players each, that take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team ...
. These generally are intended to have unusual movement or to deceive the batter as to the rotation or velocity of the ball, making it more difficult to hit. Very few pitchers throw all of these pitches, but most use a subset or blend of the basic types. Some pitchers also release pitches from different arm angles, making it harder for the batter to pick up the flight of the ball. (See List of baseball pitches.) A pitcher who is throwing well on a particular day is said to have brought his "good stuff." There are a number of distinct throwing styles used by pitchers. The most common style is a three-quarters delivery in which the pitcher's arm snaps downward with the release of the ball. Some pitchers use a sidearm delivery in which the arm arcs laterally to the torso. Some pitchers use a
submarine A submarine (or sub) is a watercraft capable of independent operation underwater. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability. It is also sometimes used historically or colloquially to refer to remotely operated ...
style in which the pitcher's body tilts sharply downward on delivery, creating an exaggerated sidearm motion in which the pitcher's knuckles come very close to the mound. Effective pitching is vitally important in baseball. In
baseball statistics Baseball statistics play an important role in evaluating the progress of a player or team. Since the flow of a baseball game has natural breaks to it, and normally players act individually rather than performing in clusters, the sport lends itself ...
, for each game, one pitcher will be credited with winning the game, and one pitcher will be charged with losing it. This is not necessarily the starting pitchers for each team, however, as a reliever can get a win and the starter would then get a no-decision.


Rotation and specialization

Pitching is physically demanding, especially if the pitcher is throwing with maximum effort. A full game usually involves 120–170 pitches thrown by each team, and most pitchers begin to tire before they reach this point. As a result, the pitcher who starts a game often will not be the one who finishes it, and he may not be recovered enough to pitch again for a few days. The act of throwing a baseball at high speed is very unnatural to the body and somewhat damaging to human muscles; thus pitchers are very susceptible to injuries, soreness, and general pain. Baseball teams use two strategies to address this problem: rotation and specialization. To accommodate playing nearly every day, a team will include a group of pitchers who start games and rotate between them, allowing each pitcher to rest for a few days between starts. A team's roster of starting pitchers are usually not even in terms of skill. Exceptional pitchers are highly sought after and in the professional ranks draw large salaries, thus teams can seldom stock each slot in the rotation with top-quality pitchers. The best starter in the team's rotation is called the
ace An ace is a playing card A playing card is a piece of specially prepared , heavy paper, thin cardboard, , cotton-paper blend, or thin plastic that is marked with distinguishing motifs. Often the front (face) and back of each card has a to ...
. He is usually followed in the rotation by 3 or 4 other starters before he would be due to pitch again. Barring injury or exceptional circumstances, the ace is usually the pitcher that starts on Opening Day. Aces are also preferred to start crucial games late in the season and in the playoffs; sometimes they are asked to pitch on shorter rest if the team feels he would be more effective than the 4th or 5th starter. Typically, the further down in the rotation a starting pitcher is, the weaker he is compared with the others on the staff. The "5th starter" is seen as the cut-off between the starting staff and the ''
bullpen In baseball, the bullpen (or simply the pen) is the area where relief pitchers warm-up before entering a game. A team's roster of relief pitchers is also Metonymy, metonymically referred to as "the bullpen". These pitchers usually wait in the bull ...

bullpen
''. A team may have a designated 5th starter, sometimes known as a
spot starter S sabermetrics :Sabermetrics Sabermetrics or SABRmetrics is the empirical analysis of baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fieldi ...
or that role may shift cycle to cycle between members of the bullpen or Triple-A starters. Differences in rotation setup could also have tactical considerations as well, such as alternating right- or left-handed pitchers, in order to throw off the other team's hitting game-to-game in a series. Teams have additional pitchers reserved to replace that game's starting pitcher if he tires or proves ineffective. These players are called ''
relief pitcher In baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team (baseball), fielding t ...
s'', ''relievers'', or collectively the ''bullpen''. Once a starter begins to tire or is starting to give up hits and runs a call is made to the bullpen to have a reliever start to warm up. This involves the reliever starting to throw practice balls to a coach in the bullpen so as to be ready to come in and pitch whenever the manager wishes to pull the current pitcher. Having a reliever warm up does not always mean he will be used; the current pitcher may regain his composure and retire the side, or the manager may choose to go with another reliever if strategy dictates. Commonly, pitching changes will occur as a result of a
pinch hitter In baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team (baseball), fielding team, ...
being used in the late innings of a game, especially if the pitcher is in the batting lineup due to not having the designated hitter. A reliever would then come out of the bullpen to pitch the next inning. When making a pitching change a manager will come out to the mound. He will then call in a pitcher by the tap of the arm which the next pitcher throws with. The manager or pitching coach may also come out to discuss strategy with the pitcher, but on his second trip to the mound with the same pitcher in the same inning, the pitcher has to come out. It is considered proper etiquette for the pitcher to wait on the mound until the manager arrives, whereby he then hands the manager the ball, and only then he is allowed to leave the field. Relief pitchers often have even more specialized roles, and the particular reliever used depends on the situation. Many teams designate one pitcher as the '' closer'', a relief pitcher specifically reserved to pitch the final inning or innings of a game when his team has a narrow lead, in order to preserve the victory. More recently, teams began experimenting with an '' opener'', a relief pitcher who starts a game but only pitches at least the first inning. Other relief roles include set-up men, middle relievers,
left-handed specialist In baseball, a left-handed specialist (also known as lefty specialist) is a relief pitcher who throws left-handed and specializes in pitching to left-handed Batter (baseball), batters, weak right-handed batters, and switch-hitters who bat poorly ri ...
s, and
long reliever A long reliever is a relief pitcher in baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fieldi ...
s. Generally, relievers pitch fewer innings and throw fewer pitches than starters, but they can usually pitch more frequently without the need for several days of rest between appearances. Relief pitchers are typically pitchers with "special stuff", meaning that they have very effective pitches or a very different style of delivery. This makes the batter see a very different way of pitching in attempt to get them out. One example is a sidearm or submarine pitcher.
Position player In baseball, a position player is a player who on Defense (sport), defense plays as an infielder, outfielder, or catcher. In the American League, there is also a designated hitter, who bats but does not play any defensive positions (and is therefo ...
s are eligible to pitch in a game as well, this however is rare as these players are not truly trained as pitchers and risk injury. (For instance, in a 1993 game,
Jose Canseco José Canseco Capas Jr. (born July 2, 1964), nicknamed Parkway Jose, Mr. 40-40 and El Cañonero Cubano (The Cuban Cannon), is a Cuban-American Cuban Americans ( es, cubanoestadounidenses or es, cubanoamericanos) are Americans Americ ...
suffered a season ending arm injury after pitching 2 innings.) Plus, they tend to throw with less velocity and skill. For these reasons, managers will typically only use a position player as a pitcher in a blowout loss, or if they have run out of available pitchers in order to avoid a forfeit (the latter typically only happens in extra-inning games). Cliff Pennington of the
Toronto Blue Jays The Toronto Blue Jays are a Canadian professional baseball, professional baseball team based in Toronto. The Blue Jays compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) American League East, East division. The ...
, who pitched 1/3 of an inning in game 4 of the
2015 American League Championship Series The 2015 American League Championship Series The American League Championship Series (ALCS) is a Playoff format#Best-of-seven playoff, best-of-seven playoff and one of two League Championship Series comprising the penultimate round of Major Leag ...
en route to a 14–2 loss, was the only documented position player to pitch during the
postseason The playoffs, play-offs, postseason and/or finals of a sports league are a competition played after the regular season by the top competitors to determine the league champion or a similar accolade. Depending on the league, the playoffs may be ei ...
, until
Austin Romine
Austin Romine
of the
New York Yankees The New York Yankees are an American professional baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a pl ...
pitched the ninth inning of Game 3 in a 16–1 loss against the
Boston Red Sox The Boston Red Sox are an American professional baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a play ...
in the
2018 American League Division Series The 2018 American League Division Series were two best-of-five-game series to determine the participating teams of the 2018 American League Championship Series. The three divisional winners, seeded first through third, and a fourth team—the Wi ...
. The only regulation game in which ''both'' pitchers of record were position players occurred on May 6, 2012, when the Baltimore Orioles' designated hitter Chris Davis was the winner in a 16-inning game against Boston while Red Sox outfielder Darnell McDonald took the loss.


After the ball is pitched

The pitcher's duty does not cease after he pitches the ball. Unlike the other fielders, a pitcher and catcher must start every play in a designated area. The pitcher must be on the
pitcher's mound A baseball field, also called a ball field, sandlot or a baseball diamond, is the field upon which the game of baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseba ...
, with one foot in contact with the
pitcher's rubber A baseball field, also called a ball field, sandlot or a baseball diamond, is the field upon which the game of baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseba ...
, and the catcher must be behind
home plate A baseball field, also called a ball field, sandlot or a baseball diamond, is the field Field may refer to: Expanses of open ground * Field (agriculture), an area of land used for agricultural purposes * Airfield, an aerodrome that lacks the inf ...
in the catcher's box. Once the ball is in play, however, the pitcher and catcher, like the other fielders, can respond to any part of the field necessary to make or assist in a defensive play. At that point, the pitcher has several standard roles. The pitcher must attempt to field any balls coming up the middle, and in fact a
Gold Glove Award The Rawlings Gold Glove Award, usually referred to as simply the Gold Glove, is the award given annually to the Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is an American professional baseball organization and the oldest of the major p ...
is reserved for the pitcher with the best fielding ability. He must head over to
first base A first baseman, abbreviated 1B, is the player on a baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a p ...
, to be available to cover it, on balls hit to the right side, since the first baseman might be fielding them too far to the baseman's right to reach first base before the batter-runner can. Except for the first baseman, the pitcher ordinarily has the shortest run to first base of anyone, and is the second-most-likely person to make a putout at first base by retrieving a fielded ball thrown by an infielder (typically a first baseman). On
passed ball In baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending team t ...
s and
wild pitch In baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team (baseball), fielding team, ...
es, he covers home-plate when there are runners on. Also, he generally backs up throws to home plate. When there is a throw from the outfield to third base, he has to back up the play to third base as well.


Pitching biomechanics

The physical act of overhand pitching is complex and unnatural to the human anatomy. Most major league pitchers throw at speeds of , putting high amounts of stress on the pitching arm. Pitchers are by far the most frequently injured players and many professional pitchers will have multiple surgeries to repair damage in the elbow and shoulder by the end of their careers. As such, the
biomechanics Biomechanics is the study of the structure, function and motion of the mechanical aspects of biological systems, at any level from whole organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an indivi ...
of pitching are closely studied and taught by coaches at all levels and are an important field in
sports medicine Sports medicine is a branch of medicine that deals with physical fitness and the treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports and exercise. Although most sports teams have employed team physicians for many years, it is only since the l ...
. Glenn Fleisig, a biomechanist who specializes in the analysis of baseball movements, says that pitching is "the most violent human motion ever measured." He claims that the pelvis can rotate at 515–667°/sec, the trunk can rotate at 1,068–1,224°/s, the elbow can reach a maximal angular velocity of 2,200–2,700°/s and the force pulling the pitcher's throwing arm away from the shoulder at ball release is approximately . The overhead throwing motion can be divided into phases which include windup, early cocking, late cocking, early acceleration, late acceleration, deceleration, and follow-through. Training for pitchers often includes targeting one or several of these phases. Biomechanical evaluations are sometimes done on individual pitchers to help determine points of inefficiency. Mechanical measurements that are assessed include, but are not limited to, foot position at stride foot contact (SFC), elbow flexion during arm cocking and acceleration phases, maximal external rotation during arm cocking, horizontal abduction at SFC, arm abduction, lead knee position during arm cocking, trunk tilt, peak angular velocity of throwing arm and angle of wrist. Some players begin intense mechanical training at a young age, a practice that has been criticized by many coaches and doctors, with some citing an increase in Tommy John surgeries in recent years. Fleisig lists nine recommendations for preventative care of children's arms. 1) Watch and respond to signs of fatigue. 2) Youth pitchers should not pitch competitively in more than 8 months in any 12-month period. 3) Follow limits for pitch counts and days of rest. 4) Youth pitchers should avoid pitching on multiple teams with overlapping seasons. 5) Youth pitchers should learn good throwing mechanics as soon as possible: basic throwing, fastball pitching and change-up pitching. 6) Avoid using radar guns. 7) A pitcher should not also be a catcher for his/her team. The pitcher catcher combination results in many throws and may increase the risk of injury. 8) If a pitcher complains of pain in his/her elbow, get an evaluation from a sports medicine physician. 9) Inspire youth to have fun playing baseball and other sports. Participation and enjoyment of various activities will increase the youth's athleticism and interest in sports. To counteract shoulder and elbow injury, coaches and trainers have begun utilizing "jobe" exercises, named for Dr.
Frank Jobe Frank James Jobe (July 16, 1925 – March 6, 2014) was an American orthopedic surgeon and co-founder of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic. Jobe pioneered both elbow ligament replacement and major reconstructive shoulder surgery for basebal ...
, the pioneer of the Tommy John procedure. Jobes are exercises that have been developed to isolate, strengthen and stabilize the rotator cuff muscles. Jobes can be done using either resistance bands or lightweight dumbbells. Common jobe exercises include shoulder external rotation, shoulder flexion, horizontal abduction, prone abduction and scaption (at 45°, 90° and inverse 45°). In addition to the Jobes exercises, many pitching coaches are creating lifting routines that are specialized for pitchers. Pitchers should avoid exercises that deal with a barbell. The emphasis on the workout should be on the legs and the core. Other body parts should be worked on but using lighter weights. Over lifting muscles, especially while throwing usually ends up in a strain muscle or possible a tear.


Equipment

Other than the catcher, pitchers and other fielders wear very few pieces of equipment. In general the ball cap,
baseball glove during the 1954 World Series. A baseball glove or mitt is a large leather glove worn by baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fiel ...

baseball glove
and cleats are equipment used. Pitchers may also keep with them at the mound a bag of powdered rosin. Handling the bag applies a small layer of the rosin to the pitcher's fingers in order to increase his grip on the ball. Currently there is a new trend of introducing a pitcher helmet to provide head protection from batters hitting
line drive L lace :To reach base by hitting a ball between infielders. "Brian McCann (baseball), McCann laced it through the shift on the right side of the infield." Lady Godiva :A pitch delivered with nothing on it. A nod to the legend of Lady Godiva ridi ...
s back to the pitcher. , MLB approved a protective pitchers cap which can be worn by any pitcher if they choose. San Diego Padres relief pitcher, Alex Torres was the first player in MLB to wear the protective cap. One style of helmet is worn on top of the ballcap to provide protection to the forehead and sides. In
softball Softball is a game Variations of baseball, similar to baseball played with a larger ball (11 to 16 inches or 28 to 40 cm circumference) on a field that has base lengths of 60 feet, a pitcher's mound that ranges from 35 to 43 (professional is 4 ...

softball
, a full face helmet is available to all players including pitchers. These fielder's masks are becoming increasingly popular in younger fast pitch leagues, some leagues even requiring them.


See also

*
Pitching machine A pitching machine is a machine that automatically pitch (baseball), pitches a baseball (object), baseball to a batting (baseball), batter at different speeds and styles. Most machines are hand-fed, but there are some that automatically feed. There ...

Pitching machine
* List of baseball pitches *
Baseball fielding positionsBaseball is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns Batting (baseball), batting and fielding. Within the game there are positions in which each participating player can play in. Image:Baseball positi ...
*
Cy Young Award The Cy Young Award is given annually to the best pitcher player Noah Syndergaard pitching for the New York Mets in 2015 In baseball, the pitcher is the player who pitches the Baseball (ball), baseball from the pitcher's mound toward the catcher ...
winners * List of Major League Baseball career wins leaders * Bowler – similar position in
cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail (cricket), bai ...

cricket
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American Sports Medicine Institute American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI) located in Birmingham, Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama was founded in 1986 by James Andrews (physician), Dr. James Andrews and Lawrence Lemak, Dr. Lawrence Lemak with original funding from HealthSouth Corpor ...
– Pitching Biomechanics Evaluation


References


Further reading

* {{Authority control Baseball pitching Baseball positions Articles containing video clips