Sidearm Pitching Mechanics
By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro
Sidearm pitching can be a very effective throwing method for some pitchers. It puts less stress on your arm, and produces a natural movement of the baseball. Throwing sidearm may be an option to consider if you are a developing pitcher.
If you are a pitcher who currently throws overhand, I personally would not recommend changing to sidearm if you are having success with an overhand delivery. The fact is, many college scouts overlook sidearm pitchers as being more of a gimmick than anything. It is very hard for an overhand pitcher to start throwing sidearm with immediate success. Often times, an overhand pitcher will lose roughly 10 mph on their fastball when dropping to sidearm. This is why scouts usually will overlook a sidearmer.
On the other hand, if you are not having success as an overhand pitcher, it might be worth it to you to try throwing sidearm. If you can throw sidearm with a fastball velocity in the 80s, many college scouts will show some interest. The sidearm delivery produces natural movement that may interest many college scouts.
Sidearm pitchers make great relief pitchers. It usually takes an opposing team at least one time through the batting order to get used to the unique release point which is why a sidearm pitcher is a great asset late in the game. It is very rare for a sidearmer to be a starting pitcher. Most good hitters will get used to the delivery after their first at-bat, and the next time up the slower velocity will seem like batting practice to them.
If you are interested in learning more about sidearm pitching, check out the Let's Talk Pitching discussion forums to have all your questions answered.
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