This is one of my earlier pieces and one in which I was starting to figure out
and define what I now call
Flat Arm Syndrome by studying Kerry Wood's —
tragically bad — pitching mechanics and his problem with what
I understood to be something related to the flaw of Rushing.
If you doubt what I said, when, you can
verify it using the Wayback Machine.
What Rushing Looks Like:
I believe the photo below suggests that Kerry Wood has
a problem with Rushing to the plate.
The thing to notice is that his glove-side foot is just
about to plant — which will cause his shoulders to automatically
start to turn — but his pitching arm side forearm is not yet
vertical. As a result, his PAS forearm will lay back or bounce
especially hard and he will tend to leave the ball up in the zone
as a result.
Below are a series of images that were taken from a video
that someone sent me. They think it disproves my point.
I think it proves it.
Frame 1 represents about the same moment as the side
view that I posted at the start of the thread. Notice that Wood's
forearm is horizontal and his glove-side foot is just about to
plant (it is planted in the next frame).
I believe the key thing to notice when comparing Frame 2 and Frame
3 is that Kerry Wood's shoulders are starting to turn before his
forearm is vertical. You can see that his shoulders are turning by
comparing how much of the numbers on his back that you can see
between Frame 2 and Frame 3.
I believe that by starting to turn his shoulders before his
forearm is vertical — which is
pretty much the definition of Rushing — Kerry Wood significantly
increasing the force with which his forearm bounces or lays back
and his upper arm externally rotates. I believe that that stresses
the muscles of his rotator cuff and has contributed to his
I also believe that Kerry Wood is not alone in
having this flaw.