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Stephen Strasburg's Pitching MechanicsWhat happened to Stephen Strasburg? In sum, his (at best) borderline Inverted W arm action created a Timing problem where his pitching arm wasn't UP and in the correct position at the moment his shoulders started rotating and his pitching arm came under load.

Instead, it was FLAT, or nearly so.

A flaw I call Flat Arm Syndrome.

While moving as he did likely helped Strasburg throw harder, at a younger age, it worked by overloaded his pitching arm.

And there's No Free Lunch.

Despite Jeff Passan's dishonest and desperate smears in The Arm, the facts don't change.

This piece is an overview of what happened to Stephen Strasburg. For more detail, see my...

What Happened to
Stephen Strasburg?

When it comes to his pitching mechanics, the thing that most likely comes to mind when Stephen Strasburg's name comes up is the infamous arm action with the pretentious name.

The Inverted W.

However, and as I first explained in 2007 with respect to Mark Prior, and again in 2010...

What the not so durable guys do is they take their elbows back but they also take them up. Now, that's actually painful to do, but it's not that bad in and of itself. The problem is that when you take the elbows back and up, you can end up with a Timing problem.

That Timing problem is visible in the picture below.

Stephen Strasburg's Pitching Mechanics

Stephen Strasburg's
Timing Problem

You can see the same pattern in this sequence of images from Stephen Strasburg's debut.

Stephen Strasburg Pitching Mechanics

Stephen Strasburg - Frame 17

Stephen Strasburg Pitching Mechanics

Stephen Strasburg - Frame 18

What's the big deal with Stephen Strasburg's Inverted W arm action?

Stephen Strasburg Pitching Mechanics

Stephen Strasburg - Frame 19

Stephen Strasburg Pitching Mechanics

Stephen Strasburg - Frame 20

See how, as a result, his pitching arm starts turning, and coming under load, when his pitching arm is FLAT and not UP?

That's BAD.

Stephen Strasburg Pitching Mechanics

Stephen Strasburg - Frame 21

Stephen Strasburg Pitching Mechanics

Stephen Strasburg - Frame 22

What's frustrating is that Stephen Strasburg appeared to have — mostly, at least — fixed this problem in, and by, 2019.

Thus his success in the post-season.

However, he wasn't able to maintain that fix, leading to his problems in 2020 and 2021.

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