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Guest DJS

Hand separation in delivery

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Guest DJS

My son has an unusual delivery.When throwing from the stretch he slightly pulls the ball from his glove then comes forward slightly before he reaches back. This is all in one motion. Only 1 umpire ever really said anything and he could not cite a specific rule that would apply. He said as long as the ball does not touch the glove again he will allow it.  He has a 3/4 arm slot as well.        

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It's certainly not a "double set" - I don't have anything illegal there.

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The move is perfectly legal, and if we paid attention, we'd see multiple pitchers who do something similar.  The only caveat I might make is that the move might take longer to the plate than not making the move -- making it easier to steal.  And, the motion to pitch begins from the beginning, so so putting the ball back in the glove and stopping.

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I don't see anything wrong with this.  

I agree with noumpere that I would have a problem as a coach because once he starts the "first break of the hands" he is committed to the plate and baserunners certainly could get a great jump on this motion.

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9 minutes ago, aaluck said:

I don't see anything wrong with this.  

I agree with noumpere that I would have a problem as a coach because once he starts the "first break of the hands" he is committed to the plate and baserunners certainly could get a great jump on this motion.

Disagree.  At this point, he could still throw to first.

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Jake Arrieta does this almost every pitch. Tons of guys do it. This is not a balk. If the ump says it again, ask if he has ever seen Arrieta balked for it.

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There is a pitcher named Matt Strahm who is currently with the San Diego Padres. He came up with the Kansas City Royals in 2016 and looked promising. In 2017 he developed control problems and as it turned out it was because of his tapping his glove during his delivery.

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Rustin Dodd for the Kansas City Star in April 2017. Following the excerpt is a link to the article and the cool thing is the article has videos showing the problem caused by this extraneous movement by the pitcher.

“Strahm was tapping his glove with the ball while he delivered pitches to home plate. The slight tap was causing his arm to lag — it wasn’t getting out of the glove quick enough — and his front side to fly open. The result was a pitcher who could not get his fastball down in the zone.”

https://www.kansascity.com/sports/mlb/kansas-city-royals/article146180669.html

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18 hours ago, noumpere said:

Disagree.  At this point, he could still throw to first.

Disagree, completely. Fed 6-1-3

“During these preliminary motions and during the set position until a delivery motion occurs, the pitcher may turn on his pivot foot or lift it in a jump turn to step with the non-pivot foot toward a base while throwing or feinting as outlined in 6-2-4 and 2-28-5, or he may lift his pivot foot in a step backward off the pitcher’s plate which must be in or partially within the 24-inch length of the pitcher’s plate. ”

If that is not a delivery motion, I don't know what one is. He has committed to the plate.  Further, his front foot is in the air moving forward (toward home) so it would be impossible to "jump turn" or change/reverse direction.

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Guest DJS

Thanks all! This is good info and helps settle concerns that we don;'t have to change mechanics. (it works for him) Fortunately, being a lefty with a good pick-off, runners usually stay close, so a good jump doesn't usually occur.  His pick-off to first is a direct delivery to first using the same arm motion. I wish I had a video of this, but I do not.     

 

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1 hour ago, Guest DJS said:

I wish I had a video of this, but I do not.     

I do to. That is where I would be concerned with a balk. I hope he has a great upcoming season(s).

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8 hours ago, aaluck said:

Disagree, completely. Fed 6-1-3

“During these preliminary motions and during the set position until a delivery motion occurs, the pitcher may turn on his pivot foot or lift it in a jump turn to step with the non-pivot foot toward a base while throwing or feinting as outlined in 6-2-4 and 2-28-5, or he may lift his pivot foot in a step backward off the pitcher’s plate which must be in or partially within the 24-inch length of the pitcher’s plate. ”

If that is not a delivery motion, I don't know what one is. He has committed to the plate.  Further, his front foot is in the air moving forward (toward home) so it would be impossible to "jump turn" or change/reverse direction.

I agree that at some point he commits to the confusion plate in the video. In the section I quoted, you said that “as soon as he separates the hands he has committed”. That’s clearly not true or a pitcher could never throw to first—he has to separate his hands to do so. 

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6 hours ago, aaluck said:

I do to. That is where I would be concerned with a balk. I hope he has a great upcoming season(s).

Why do you think it may be a balk if he attempts a pickoff?  How can you throw to a base if you don't separate your hands?

The start of his motion does not commit him to pitch. Once he separates his hands it is just the start of his motion to pitch, doesn't mean he has to!  If that were the case, there would never be a pickoff attempt.  Lefties have an advantage here.

You disagreed with noumpere and referenced a rule which I don't think applies here. See 6-2-4e

Same move for a righty to 3rd.  

 

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28 minutes ago, noumpere said:

I agree that at some point he commits to the confusion plate in the video. In the section I quoted, you said that “as soon as he separates the hands he has committed”. That’s clearly not true or a pitcher could never throw to first—he has to separate his hands to do so. 

Grrrr....you beat me by a sec!

I thought the hands were the part in question. 

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17 hours ago, Tborze said:

Why do you think it may be a balk if he attempts a pickoff?  How can you throw to a base if you don't separate your hands?

Once you separate your hands from the set position you must deliver the ball or throw (feint were permitted) to a bag. You CANNOT separate your hands, cock your throwing arm back, lift your leg, bring your hands back together (whether they touch or not), separate them AGAIN and then throw to a bag.

Take out the movement and think about it. Left handed pitcher comes set, separates his hands, (no leg kicker all of the other motions in this delivery) kinda brings them back together and then steps and throws to first...balk or not.

My position on this would be that once he has broken his hands and started (what I call his delivery) he is committed to the plate. He is not permitted to throw in 5-6 other movements and then throw to first. Left handed-pitchers always keep their hands together as they start their motion which permits them to step toward first legally 

For reference here is the FED rule again.  

“During these preliminary motions and during the set position until a delivery motion occurs, the pitcher may turn on his pivot foot or lift it in a jump turn to step with the non-pivot foot toward a base while throwing or feinting as outlined in 6-2-4 and 2-28-5, or he may lift his pivot foot in a step backward off the pitcher’s plate which must be in or partially within the 24-inch length of the pitcher’s plate. ”

It does not say he can separate his hands kick his foot into the air to his chest, bring his hands back together, separate them again and then throw to first.

To answer your question.... How can you throw to a base if you don't separate your hands? You can't. But once you separate your hands you better step (direction and distance) and throw to first or start your delivery.  Here he has NOT made direction and distance toward first AFTER SEPARATION so he is committed home.

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25 minutes ago, aaluck said:

Once you separate your hands from the set position you must deliver the ball or throw (feint were permitted) to a bag. You CANNOT separate your hands, cock your throwing arm back, lift your leg, bring your hands back together (whether they touch or not), separate them AGAIN and then throw to a bag.

Take out the movement and think about it. Left handed pitcher comes set, separates his hands, (no leg kicker all of the other motions in this delivery) kinda brings them back together and then steps and throws to first...balk or not.

My position on this would be that once he has broken his hands and started (what I call his delivery) he is committed to the plate. He is not permitted to throw in 5-6 other movements and then throw to first. Left handed-pitchers always keep their hands together as they start their motion which permits them to step toward first legally 

For reference here is the FED rule again.  

“During these preliminary motions and during the set position until a delivery motion occurs, the pitcher may turn on his pivot foot or lift it in a jump turn to step with the non-pivot foot toward a base while throwing or feinting as outlined in 6-2-4 and 2-28-5, or he may lift his pivot foot in a step backward off the pitcher’s plate which must be in or partially within the 24-inch length of the pitcher’s plate. ”

It does not say he can separate his hands kick his foot into the air to his chest, bring his hands back together, separate them again and then throw to first. <It doesn't say he can't.  

To answer your question.... How can you throw to a base if you don't separate your hands? You can't. But once you separate your hands you better step (direction and distance) and throw to first or start your delivery.  Here he has NOT made direction and distance toward first AFTER SEPARATION so he is committed home.

I was speaking specifically to the OP and video. He starts his motion and separates his hands, at that point, he has not committed to the plate. He can still attempt a pickoff. 

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