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Are there any good "switch pitchers"?

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Are there any good "switch pitchers"?

Postby tweak420 » Sun May 01, 2005 12:30 pm

I know there have been a few switch pitchers in the majors before, but I don't think there are any currently. Does anyone know if there are some in the minors today, and if they actually show any promise?
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Postby MMoNeY24 » Sun May 01, 2005 12:33 pm

I've never seen that. While on the mound, are they allowed to switch throwing arms during the game? If so, that could be a sick asset to a team. He'd probably rack up a bunch of CGs also.
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Postby SolomonKane » Sun May 01, 2005 12:40 pm

a pitcher has to commit to throwing with one arm or the other for each batter, they cannot switch during an at bat.

who has to commit to a side first, I am not sure, there must be a complicated rule for that.

there have been a few switch pitchers in baseball, but none with any real amount of success. one even had a special pitchers glove made that he could wear on either hand depending which arm he was pitching with.

a quick google on switch pitching yields this quick note:
http://www.sdreader.com/php/ma_show.php?id=021204C

hree switch pitchers played in the pre-1900 era, but the only contemporary major leaguer to do it was ex-Padre, officially listed as a righty, Greg Harris in 1995, when he was with the Expos. He pitched to one batter with his left hand and walked him. Harris always claimed ambidextriosity but was in the majors for many years before he actually got a chance to try. When he played for Boston, the manager wouldn't let him do it for some strange "purity of the game" reasons. Bert Campanaris pitched from both sides in the '60s in the A's farm system, and there are a couple of switchers in the minors today. Baseball rules say you can't change pitching hands in a single at-bat (that's a balk), just between batters.
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Postby thedukeorsino » Sun May 01, 2005 1:07 pm

This has always seemed like such a cool idea to me, but I doubt anyone but some god-like athlete could do it. Pitching involves your whole body, not just which hand you throw with. For a guy would need to work hard enough to have decent major league stuff from both sides probably isn't humanly possible. Pitchers develop "muscle memory" that enables them to repreat with great consistency a fluid and powerful delivery. I don't see how you could retain that on both sides of your body.


I do really appreciate fielders who also pitch. It's a pitty they aren't used more often. It's perfectly allowable, for instance, to have you backup outfielder come off the bench and pitch during a game. You see this done a couple times a year when the score is enormously lopsided and managers don't want to use their bullpen, but only teams that have a fielder who can pitch. Hell, it was totally cool last year when Dave Mcarty came off the bench and pitched an innning and a 3rd for the Red Sox last year. He only gave up one hit too! ;-D
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Postby tweak420 » Sun May 01, 2005 2:01 pm

I think there will eventually be one. If you look at other sports both sides of the body are almost always utilized. Plus there is at least one sucessful switch bolwer (like a pitcher) in cricket, and they also throw in the 90's. I wonder if you were a right handed kid and you were taught to always throw with your left, if your right side would naturally follow along. So you wouldn't need much practice with your right, I know this works in soccer and basketball, but pitching has much more complex mechanics.
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Postby max01889 » Sun May 01, 2005 6:19 pm

A switch-pitcher would be so bizare, but also dominant. The guy could probably go at least 120 pitches per outing if he switched enough.
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Postby GiantFan666 » Sun May 01, 2005 8:19 pm

That would be pretty cool to see in a game... but it would probably be similar to a switch-hitter who favors one side.. On the year, Santana has an ERA of 2.25 thowing lefty..but an era of 4.75 when throwing right handed!! It would also look pretty funny seeing the ice down both elbows after the game.. like wearing an ice-jacket
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Postby demoflauchy » Sun May 01, 2005 9:21 pm

If someone is good enough to pitch in the majors with their 'normal' arm, I see no reason why they'd want to waste time trying to pitch with the other arm.

Sure, this would work in bozo leagues, but not the Majors.
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Postby Titanic Grizzlie » Sun May 01, 2005 9:35 pm

thedukeorsino wrote:This has always seemed like such a cool idea to me, but I doubt anyone but some god-like athlete could do it. Pitching involves your whole body, not just which hand you throw with. For a guy would need to work hard enough to have decent major league stuff from both sides probably isn't humanly possible. Pitchers develop "muscle memory" that enables them to repreat with great consistency a fluid and powerful delivery. I don't see how you could retain that on both sides of your body.


I do really appreciate fielders who also pitch. It's a pitty they aren't used more often. It's perfectly allowable, for instance, to have you backup outfielder come off the bench and pitch during a game. You see this done a couple times a year when the score is enormously lopsided and managers don't want to use their bullpen, but only teams that have a fielder who can pitch. Hell, it was totally cool last year when Dave Mcarty came off the bench and pitched an innning and a 3rd for the Red Sox last year. He only gave up one hit too! ;-D


Yeah, one of my favorite players of all time is defintely Jose Oquendo. He pitched rather regularly for the Cards in the late 80's and early 90's. During the 88' season, he played every position on field for alteast one game; The only NL player ever to do so.

I guess this is why he's a hell of a 3rd base coach.
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Postby Cooner » Sun May 01, 2005 9:37 pm

thedukeorsino wrote:I do really appreciate fielders who also pitch. It's a pitty they aren't used more often. It's perfectly allowable, for instance, to have you backup outfielder come off the bench and pitch during a game. You see this done a couple times a year when the score is enormously lopsided and managers don't want to use their bullpen, but only teams that have a fielder who can pitch. Hell, it was totally cool last year when Dave Mcarty came off the bench and pitched an innning and a 3rd for the Red Sox last year. He only gave up one hit too! ;-D


I remember Wade Boggs striking someone out once...
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