Pitching Mechanics Analysis
December 24, 2011
Never trade for one of the Oakland A's pitchers.
The reason why people say that is because the A's have an
uncanny — or something — ability to trade pitchers away right
before they fall apart. That was true for Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, and Rich Harden
and it's true of Gio Gonzalez.
But why would that be true if Gio Gonzalez hasn't had any
problems with injuries and hasn't shown any velocity or
control problems? Let me explain what I see and why it concerns me.
In sum, what I see is our old friend the
The thing to notice is how Gio Gonzalez's elbow gets much
higher than his hand, especially in the picture directly
above. Of course, the thing to remember about the
Inverted W is that it isn't 100% fatal; the Inverted W is
only really dangerous if it creates a timing problem and if
the pitcher throws harder than average.
Unfortunately for Gio Gonzalez, and for the Nationals, it's
quite easy to find pictures of Gio Gonzalez that show evidence
of a timing problem; that show his arm in a horizontal position
when his front foot plants and his shoulders start to rotate.
The Nats and the Inverted W
Speaking of the Nationals, it's curious that they now have at
least 3 starting pitchers with problematic pitching mechanics in
general and Inverted W's in particular. Given that
Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, and Gio Gonzalez all have
Inverted W's, you have to wonder if, like the Blue Jays, the Nats are either scouting
for the Inverted W and/or don't believe it's problematic.
However, I would be concerned if I was a Nats fan. I could
see their pitchers having a decent 2012, but I could see the
wheels falling off of all 3 of their top pitchers starting in
2013 (and as happened to the Cubs with Mark Prior and Kerry
If the Nats want to win, they probably need to do it in 2012.