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Slip Pitch - Are Slip Pitches an Alternative to Off-speed?
The Slip Pitch - Are Slip Pitches an Alternative to Off-speed Pitches?
Slip pitches are any of the pitches where the idea behind getting the movement or deception come from the baseball slipping out of the pitchers hand. Some examples of slip pitches are the forkball, palmball, spit ball, shiner, some variations of the split, etc. Really any pitch where the baseball "slips" out of the pitcher's hand.
Some parents and coaches believe the slip pitch to be a good alternative to the curveball or other off speed pitches, because everyone knows the curveball is bad to throw at a young age. But is a slip pitch really a good alternative?
In my opinion, slip pitches are NOT a good alternative to the curveball or other off speed pitches at a young age. Even older players like college and pro players should be wary of adding the slip pitch to their arsenal.
The reason I believe the slip pitch is not a good alternative is because when throwing slip pitches, the pitcher is throwing the ball as hard as he can and then letting the ball slip out of his hand. All of the pitcher's decelerater muscles have to work extra hard on stopping the arm after the ball is thrown.
Think of it as throwing a tennis ball. I'm sure you have all heard someone say at one time or another, "don't throw that tennis ball too hard you're going to throw you arm out". Why? Because it's a lighter ball and throwing something that light as hard as you can is a good way to cause injury to your arm.
If that doesn't change your opinion on slip pitches, just look at the numbers. In the 80's and early 90's a lot of pro pitchers were throwing slip pitches. During that time the injury rate rose tremendously. There is no direct relationship to the slip pitch and these injuries, but the time that had the most slip pitches thrown also had the most arm injuries, just makes me think a little.
Also, from my personal experience, I hurt my arm shortly after I added a slip pitch to my arsenal of pitches. I'm not 100% sure what caused it, but in hindsight, I do believe the slip pitch to be a major cause.