Pitching Mechanics Overview
With the announcement that Alex Reyes needs Tommy John surgery, I
thought it would be helpful to give people an overview of what I saw
pitching mechanics and why it was a concern.
Alex Reyes' Pitching Mechanics
In sum, what I saw in Alex Reyes' pitching mechanics was a
Timing problem that was caused by a common, but problematic,
movement pattern that I call
picture above of Alex Reyes contains everything I needed to make
a prediction; his pitching arm is pronated with his thumb pointing
down. That inhibits and delays the external of rotation of his
At front foot plant, rather than being UP, Alex Reyes' pitching
arm instead is FLAT. That increases the distance over which, and
the force with which, Alex Reyes' pitching arm will externally
Tommy John Twist
For reasons that are sadly, and increasingly, obvious I refer
to this movement pattern as the
Tommy John surgery Twist.
In an effort to document exactly how the Tommy John Twist gets
pitchers' elbows, in June 2016 I travelled from St. Louis to
Nashville in order to obtain the best possible footage of Alex
Reyes pitching mechanics in general and his arm action in
The clip below shows exactly how the Tommy John Twist got Alex
Alex Reyes June 2016
The thing to notice is how Alex Reyes keeps his pitching arm in
a thumb-down position as his shoulders start to rotate and his
pitching arm side elbow starts to rotate around to the right.
At a minimum, that means that Alex Reyes' pitching arm is FLAT,
not UP, when his pitching arm comes under load. That overloads his
arm, creating a short-term velocity boost but also led to the
failure of Alex Reyes' Ulnar Collateral Ligament and necessitating
his Tommy John surgery.
I expressed concern about Alex Reyes' pitching mechanics from
the moment I saw him.
The Cardinals Have a HUGE Problem
Alex Reyes's Timing and arm action were never great, but they
degraded over time. Why? I explain that in my discussion of
why the St. Louis Cardinals are in a death spiral.