After Jose Fernandez's second start back from his elbow injury, I saw
things in his pitching mechanics that concerned me as I took a
close look at him.
I voiced my concern about Jose Fernandez experiencing
further, even more serious, problems in a 2105.7.27 interview
with @MarlinManiac. At
12:59 I discuss my concerns about
Henderson Alvarez, then talk about an increasingly common, and
very troubling, problem that I call
Flat Arm Syndrome.
13:22 I discuss the concept of
Timing and then discuss my concerns about Jose Fernandez's
July 27, 2015 Fishcast
I also expressed those concerns on Twitter @ThePainGuy, and before his
shoulder injury was announced, mid-day on August 8, 2015.
Another Jose Fernandez pic w/ flat arm. Timing certainly seems worse than last year. Overthrowing? Hard on shoulder. pic.twitter.com/Ig2O5dRoYk
The problem was that Jose Fernandez's pitching mechanics
hadn't changed for the better and, likely, changed for the
August 9, 2015 Fishcast
then did a follow-up vidcast to discuss what I saw, what I said,
and why, on August 8, 2015. I made a prediction about when I
believe Jose Fernandez would break down at
Elbow and Shoulder
Given that I live in St. Louis, and have seen his ups and
downs, my analysis of Jaime Garcia's pitching mechanics gave me a sense of what
likely lay ahead for Jose Fernandez.
In the executive summary of the first version of The
In terms of other pitchers who I think could fall victim to the
elbow injury epidemic, the picture below of Jose Fernandez was
recently brought to my attention by a reader.
Unfortunately for Jose Fernandez and Marlins fans, this
picture shows both premature pronation and a resulting timing
problem. While this arm action may improve both Jose Fernandez's
velocity and his stuff, it will most likely also lead to elbow
and shoulder problems.
I also expressed concern about Jose Fernandez's pitching
mechanics in my piece on
As I discuss at length in
in my opinion the pitcer injury epidemic began with the
proliferation of a cue that I learned as "Show the Ball to
Center Field" but that goes by a number of other names...
Show the Ball to Second Base
Keep Your Fingers on Top of the Ball
Jose Fernandez is a pitcher who does this.
The problem with teaching a pitcher to do this is that it
will tend to create a
Timing problem where the pitcher's arm
isn't up and in the correct position at the moment their front
foot plants and their shoulders start to rotate.
Yes, ballplayers who are taught to do this will tend to throw
better in the short term. But in the long term their elbows and
shoulders are being put at risk.
Jose Fernandex also points the ball at second base. That
creates a problem called
Premature Pronation that can also hurt a pitcher's timing
and increase the load on the UCL, the ligament that is replaced
during Tommy John Surgery.
Jose Fernandez Point the Ball at Second Base
Of course, the problem with
over-loading the arm is you can cause it to break down. That's why you see a distincly different movement pattern in
pitchers who were both dominant and durable.
The problem is that the movement patterns that I believe got
Jose Fernandez's elbow and are now getting his shoulder are
still — if not increasingly — being taught. For instance, I
Inverted L is a primary driver of Jose Fernandez's arm
problems and also caused Yu Darvish's elbow problems, among
others. However, it is at the center of at least one velocity
The Elbow Spiral
Yes, the Elbow Spiral may quickly help a pitcher throw
harder, but it's becoming increasingly obvious that it works by
overloading the arm.
I looked at Jose Fernandez's
pitching mechanics using two clips from the same camera position
and didn't see a significant difference, which reinforces the
idea that his elbow failed not because his mechanics changed,
but because they were problematic from the start.
Having said that, I do believe Jose Fernandez may have
changed his pitching mechanics and timing (for the worse) after
his elbow surgery. That would explain both why he came back
throwing harder than before and why his shoulder failed so
Sorry to say, but nothing changed (for better) in Jose Fernandez's pitching mechanics and arm action. Even worse? pic.twitter.com/4WGGJdRF83
As I discuss in my list of
predictions, Jose Fernandez isn't the only member of the
Marlins with problematic pitching mechanics. Henderson Alvarez
and Jarred Cosart also have major problems.
In looking for pictures of Jose Fernandez, I stumbled across some pretty scary pictures of Henderson Alvarez. pic.twitter.com/IWPlVeLWhE
Chris O'Leary never played baseball beyond grade school due
to a shoulder injury suffered due to poor pitching mechanics. As
a result, he is focused on ensuring that what happened to him
doesn't happen to anybody else.
The Epidemic is one way he hopes to achieve that goal. Chris
O'Leary has been predicting pitching injuries for years, and
some of his more prominent predictions include...