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Updated 2020.10.26

The concept of Timing in baseball pitchers, as I define it, refers to...

  • The position of the pitching arm
  • When the shoulders start to turn
  • AND the pitching arm starts to come under load

I should note, up front, that this is a different definition of Timing than is employed by the Conventional Wisdom.

I don't mention the feet, much less (Stride) Foot Contact, which is why people have so far failed to duplicate my findings.

Timing: An Overview

Timing, which is best visualized by Flat Arm Syndrome, is one of my key concepts and, I would argue, and have since 2007, that Timing problems are the underlying issue with mechanical patterns like the...

Kerry Wood

I first started to understand what poor Timing looks like by looking at Kerry Wood's pitching mechanics in general and the picture below, in particular...

Kerry Wood Timing and Flat Arm Syndrome

Kerry Wood - 2006

Notice how Kerry Wood's front foot is down, or nearly so, but his pitching arm is FLAT and not UP?

That's bad.

Mark Prior

Mark Prior's pitching mechanics and Timing — his Flat Arm Syndrome — was so bad that it was relatively easy to see what the problem was and why he struggled to stay healthy.

Mark Prior Pitching Mechanics Mark Prior Pitching Mechanics Mark Prior Pitching Mechanics Mark Prior Pitching Mechanics Mark Prior Pitching Mechanics

Notice how Mark Prior's pitching arm is FLAT and not UP when his shoulders start to turn and his pitching arm comes under load.

John Santana

That then led to my analysis of Johan Santana's pitching mechanics and arm action...

Video Clip of Johan Santana

Johan Santana - Twins

...and one of my most accurate predictions.

There is no question that Johan Santana has been very successful to date. However, due to his borderline mechanics I question whether Johan Santana will be able to continue that level of success. I think Johan Santana could easily give the Mets the same heartache that Pedro Martinez and El Duque have.

As with Kerry Wood, what I saw in Johan Santana's pitching mechanics was that his pitching arm was FLAT and not UP when his pitching arm started to come around (to the plate) and came under load.

Johan Santana's Pitching Mechanics
Johan Santana's Pitching Mechanics
Johan Santana's Pitching Mechanics

For obvious reasons, I call that pattern Flat Arm Syndrome.

Stephen Strasburg

By the time Stephen Strasburg came around in 2010, it was becoming easier and easier for me to see the pattern.

Though it helped that Strasburg clearly had a HUGE problem, especially when he threw his change-up.

Stephen Straburg Pitching Mechanics

Stephen Strasburg

That led to my analysis of Stephen Strasburg's pitching mechanics.

Core Problem

The core problem with mechanical patterns like the Inverted W and the Tommy John Twist is, as I've said since 2007, regarding Mark Prior, that they CAN — and I mean CAN and not always DO — create Timing problems in pitchers. But, very often, they DO create Timing problems.

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