Pitching Mechanics Analysis
The photos below are of the pitching mechanics of Ben Sheets.
They provide some clues as to the root cause of some of Ben
Sheets' injury problems.
Ben Sheets is a prototypical long-armer, as the photos above
As Ben Sheets starts to get his arm up into the high-cocked
position, he does two things are problematic. First, he keeps
his fingers on top of the ball. Second, he shows the ball to
center field. I have seen this create a subtle timing problem in
pitchers like Rich Harden, and
I think the same thing may be going on with Ben Sheets.
Another thing you can see in the mechanics of Ben Sheets is
Hyperabduction, where his Pitching Arm Side elbow stays too
high for too long.
Just to be clear, I am not (that) concerned
with how Ben Sheets' PAS elbow is behind his Coronal Plane (aka
negative adduction or
scapular loading) in the picture above. Instead, I am
concerned that his PAS elbow is also at or just above the level
of his shoulders at this moment. I also do not like the fact
that Ben Sheets' hand is also even farther behind his Coronal Plane at the
If you look at pictures of Nolan Ryan, you will see
comparable levels of
scapular loading, but the difference is that Nolan Ryan's
PAS elbow is well below the level of his shoulders and his PAS
hand is closer to his Coronal Plane.
An interesting thing to note is that I have seen this same basic arm
action pattern (which says "bird" or "seagull" to me for some
reason), in the
pitching mechanics of other pitchers like Andy Sonnanstine. It
will be interesting to see how Andy Sonnanstine's shoulder holds
up and if he has similar problems to Ben Sheets.
The Bottom Line on Ben Sheets
The bottom line on Ben Sheets is that his arm action is
certainly different than the arm action that you see in great
pitchers like Nolan Ryan and
Greg Maddux. As a result,
he represents a higher level of risk than a pitcher like