Pitching Mechanics Analysis
AJ Burnett's name has come up a number of times recently as a
possible candidate for the Cardinals to try to sign in the
Let me explain why I think that would be a terrible idea.
AJ Burnett's Inverted W
The problem is that, as you can see in the photo above and in Frame 81 of the clip
below, AJ Burnett has a significant
Inverted W in his arm action.
I will grant you that AJ Burnett's Inverted W doesn't seem to be as bad as Anthony
Reyes' and his Inverted L isn't as bad as BJ Ryan's, but it
certainly does seem to have a negative effect on his timing.
Notice how AJ Burnett's Pitching Arm Side (PAS) forearm isn't even
horizontal in Frame 85 when his Glove Side (GS) foot plants and
his shoulders start to rotate. You can also see this in Frame
88. Notice how much his shoulders have rotated (notice how you
can see his numbers) but his PAS forearm isn't yet vertical.
Finally, notice how much AJ Burnett's shoulders have already
rotated by the time, in Frame 90, that AJ Burnett's PAS forearm
is finally vertical.
The problem with AJ Burnett's timing problem (aka
rushing) is that it significantly increases the load on both
his elbow and his shoulder. This in turn significantly increases
the risk that he will have elbow and shoulder problems.
You can see the same arm action and timing problems in the
photos above of AJ Burnett.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line on AJ Burnett is that he is perhaps the
riskiest member of the current class of free agents. A team
might be able to get value out of signing him to a 2 or 3 year
deal, but there's not way you could convince me to give AJ
Burnett a 4 or more year deal (which is what he seems to be
What's The Deal With The Blue Jays?
I have long suspected that some organizations are drafting
and signing guys for their arm actions; that they are
specifically looking for pitchers with the Inverted W or
Inverted L because they (mistakenly) believe that these arm
actions are critical to throwing both well and hard.. The Blue
Jays are my leading candidate, because they seem to have a
disproportionate number of pitchers with these problematic arm
- AJ Burnett
- BJ Ryan
- Shaun Marcum
I also believe the Diamondbacks are trying to draft pitchers with the Inverted W or Inverted L
(or they certainly aren't afraid of them).