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Tommy John TwistThe Tommy John Twist, as I first discussed in my main article about the topic, is a movement I have long expressed concern about; how you often see the same twist in the wrists of pitchers who have had or will need Tommy John surgery. Especially pitchers who have required multiple Tommy John surgeries.

Tommy John Twist

Shelby Miller Demonstrating
The Tommy John Twist

The problem is that Twist is often accompanied by the Timing problem that is the root cause of the majority of arm problems in baseball pitchers.

Tommy John Twist:
An Overview

I orginally refered to this movement using a technical term, Premature Pronation. I then started calling this movement the Tommy John Surgery Twist, because of the position of the wrist and the common result.

I've recently shortened that to just the Tommy John Twist.

The Tommy John Twist is a problematic movement pattern — that results from teaching ballplayers to point the ball at second base — that I believe contributes to injuries in baseball pitchers by increasing the likelihood they will have a Timing problem.

Aaron Civale's Tommy John Twist

Aaron Civale's Tommy John Twist

That is a problem for two reasons.

First, studies show that pronating the pitching arm side forearm for an extended period of time will tend to inhibit the external rotation of the pitching arm, leading to a Timing problem and, in the worst case, what I call Flat Arm Syndrome. Second, pointing the ball at second base reduces or even eliminates the ability of the muscles of the forearm to take some of the load off of the Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL), the ligament that is replaced during Tommy John surgery.

Alex Reyes Tommy John Twist

Alex Reyes' Tommy John Twist

One of the more recent victims of the Tommy John Twist is Alex Reyes of the Cardinals, and I give a high-level overview of how and why the Tommy John Twist creates a problem in my analysis of Alex Reyes' pitching mechanics.

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