Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hip to Elbow?

Justin Duchscherer, pitcher for the Oakland A's, was placed on the disabled list for the 3rd time in his career. The previous 2 were for a R hip torn labrum and some exostosis on the femoral head. This one is for his R elbow. Could there be a connection here?
In my thought process, biomechanical problems that injure the throwing shoulder are the same that injure the elbow. It's just a matter of how the athlete chooses to compensate for their LE issues. The baseball pitcher requires a tremendous amount of extension, I/ER in the hips. They really need to be as strong & flexible as a hurdler in track & field. As the R handed pitcher runs out of R hip extension/external rotation in the acceleration phase, they will often drop the elbow to shorten the lever arm to give it a chance to catch up with the body. Another strategy is to lean the torso away from the ball to steal a little more extension out of the hip by getting it to externally rotate.
The other issue is that Justin is one of those pitchers who throws his 2 seam fast ball almost like a screw ball. This creates a tremendous amount of movement on the ball, but really beats up the radial head/capitulum.

4 comments:

Worldwide User Group said...
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Jeff said...

Nice post Joe!

It is great to hear all this talk about pitching through the legs. That is how it works most efficiently.

A not so funny story. Last year I took my 10 yo son to a winter pitching camp at the local college thinking they would work on balance, leg drive, setting the arm up with good mechanics from the ground up etc. Instead the first drill was using the opposite hand to hold the elbow still and flip the wrist down. It only go worse from there and we never went back. I am afraid there is a lot of improper mechanic understanding by coaches that are misused with the young pitchers like you described.

Joe Przytula said...

There is a lot of talk about "pitching through the legs". In fact, last spring Biomechanics mag had an issue on it. But from what I can see, no body is really sure what that means. To the practitioners that were interviewed for the mag, that meant abdominal hollowing, multifidus training & squats.

If you think a lot of these camps are bad, you should see a "show case"! (Showcase= rich parents who think their kids are more talented than they really are and baseball "leaches" who claim to expose them to scouts for about $300 bucks. It's like a pyramid scheme- they kiss your behind and you get invited to a "regional" showcase for $500 bucks!)

JH said...

Joe,

Any thoughts about Mike Marshall's pitching technique?