> BUY > Pitching > Elbow Angle

As I discuss in Justin Verlander: What Happened, JV was hurt, at least in part, by an at least ahistorical change in his elbow angle that was recommended by Ron Wolforth.

Justin Verlander's Pitching Mechanics

Justin Verlander

For some reason, Wolforth decided that Verlander needed to change from Long-Arming to Short(er)-Arming.

Justin Verlander Using a Connection Ball

Justin Verlander Using a
Connection Ball in 2015

That led Verlander to have problems with his Triceps in both 2015 and, completely predictably, in 2020.

That change from Long-Arming to Short-Arming was obvious during Spring Training 2020...

...and led to his elbow injury during the 2020 season.

So why was it -- so obviously -- a terrible idea?

Elbow Angle

There are a long of myths and misconceptions -- and old wive's tales if not prejudices -- surrounding the topic of Elbow Angle and baseball pitchers.


Short-arming is a movement pattern that you see in a few baseball pitchers and most baseball catchers.

Yadier Molina's Throwing Mechanics - Short-Arming

Yadier Molina
Short-Arming Elbow Angle

In the picture above of Yadier Molina, notice how, at the high-cocked or ready position, when his pitching arm is UP, his hand and the ball are inside his elbow.


Justin Verlander is -- or was -- an example of Long-Arming.

Justin Verlander's Pitching Mechanics

Justin Verlander
Long-Arming Elbow Angle

At the High-Cocked or Ready position, JV's hand and the ball were OUTSIDE of his elbow.

There are many people who think this is bad, but I've never seen any good evidence to back up that belief.

And Verlander didn't have elbow problems until he got AWAY from Long-Arming, at the behest of Ron Wolforth.


The only Elbow Angle that concerns me is 90-Degrees.

Unfortunately, 90-Degrees is the Elbow angle that is advocated by Dr. Glenn Fleisig of ASMI.

I suspect because it's a nice round number.

The problem is there's some evidence to suggest that a 90 degree Elbow Angle focuses the load on the UCL and the muscles of the forearm.

Miles Mikolas Elbow Angle

Miles Mikolas
90-Degree Elbow Angle

I have some suspicions that Miles Mikolas' elbow problems are related to his 90-Degree Elbow Angle.

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