How To Pitch A Slider

By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro

The thing with the slider is that a lot of pitches are called sliders when in reality they're curveballs, or more likely, what's called a slurve (sort of a slider/curve that has a lot of spin to the ball).

When people say something is a true slider they mean it has the late, very sharp break that distinguishes a slider from a curve or slurve.

A slider can break 3 ways, up to down, left to right (for lefties), or right to left (for righties).

The preferred way of throwing a slider involves placing your middle and index fingers on top of the ball so that each is outside the narrow seams slightly.

You'll also need the thumb somewhere beneath the ball holding it.

A true slider should be a fastball type pitch that gets a sharp break at the end, to be distinguished from the curveball that gradually arcs into the plate and distinguished from the slurve with its gradual drop down and left (for righties anyway) due to its immense spin.

So a true slider is different in that it's a power-pitch, not an off-speed one, and in that it has a late, sharp break as opposed to an earlier, gradual break.


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