Thursday, July 30, 2015

Long Toss Programs

Long toss is a systematic throwing routine

Jaeger Sports
Jaeger Sports is well know for their long toss program. 

Throwing is a lost art. Throwing isn't something that we should do "just" to get our arms loose.
The key to a good throwing program is learning how to listen or "follow" your arm. 
Read more
   Long Toss Step by Step

   Throwing Programs of Elite Pitchers

Crossover Pre-Season Throwing Program

The ultimate goal of the Crossover Symmetry throwing program is to maintain arm health while building a strong foundation in the pre-season.

Long toss throwing program for high school pitchers


The Facts Behind Long Toss
By Kyle Boddy, Driveline Baseball

Long toss has become a hotly-debated topic as it pertains to training baseball pitchers and position players alike. Popularized by Alan Jaeger, recent proponents of “extreme” long toss include 2011 MLB draft standouts Trevor Bauer and Dylan Bundy, who both have no problem getting the ball out there 300+ feet on a regular basis. Read more

Long toss is simply playing catch.

By Alan Jaeger, Special to Collegiate Baseball

Alan Jaeger  contacted hundreds of high profile baseball players and coaches on the high school and college levels to find out what throwing programs they utilize. 

The Long Toss Revolution Is Here
Source: | May 2011
By Greg Schaum

This is an article about how the cutting edge training programs available to amateur players (via schools like Vanderbilt, Rice, UCLA, Texas, Fullerton, Stanford, ASU, and others) well educated high school programs, the internet, and independent coaches is outdating many of the throwing programs at the professional levels. More specifically, this is an article about a belief system at baseball’s highest level that’s in need of change.

By Mike Reinold
I wrote this article for one simple reason – there is no such thing as the best baseball long toss program.  Everyone wants one, but it just doesn’t exist.  Everyone is different, including their body type, size, age, experience, and mechanics. 
By Eric Cressey
Learn why long toss doesn't work well for everyone - and how to avoid the common pitfalls of long toss in a throwing program.

By LOU PAVLOVICH JR, | Oct. 1, 2005 issue of Collegiate Baseball
One of the key reasons why Russell County High School (Seale, Ala.) rolled to a 38-1 record last season and won the Easton Sports National High School championship was pitching.
A big reason for the success of the pitching staff and its velocity improvement has been an innovative long toss program initiated by Head Coach Tony Rasmus. The long toss program paid huge dividends for his athletes in the way of velocity gains as well as arm and shoulder health.

Why 120' long toss is not enough 

By Alan Jaeger
Covers the reason we need a better long toss approach, and how to remove the constraints.

Jaeger Sports - articles about long toss


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sunday, July 26, 2015

How rare are ambidextrous pitchers?

Henry Knight switch pitcher
Henry Knight, switch pitcher, had a 12:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in high school

Ambidextrous pitchers are extremely rare in high school baseball.

One in A Million

In the USA, the chance of meeting a high school ambidextrous pitcher is 1 in a million.* 

For comparison...

What are the odds of getting struck by lightning?
The odds of becoming a lightning victim in the U.S. in any one year is 1 in 700,000. The odds of being struck in your lifetime is 1 in 3,000. (source:

How many switch pitchers are playing high school baseball?

It's tricky to come up with an exact number of high school switch pitchers in the USA, but based on news reports in the past five years I came up with a rough estimate.

The ratio is about ...

1 ambidextrous pitcher per 22,500 HS players

Note: This estimate is based on verified information from reliable sources, including news channels, newspapers, coaches,  recruiting networks, Perfect Game, and HS Baseball Web

How many switch pitchers per class?

In 2015, there were only 6 switch pitchers out of ~135,000 players in the senior class.
(NCAA - number of High School Baseball Players)

There are usually 5 to 7 switch pitchers in entire USA per graduating class.
List of Switch Pitchers >>

Is there a switch pitcher in the MLB?

Pat Venditte is the only switch pitcher in major league baseball. Venditte was called up to the big leagues on June 5, 2015 and made his stellar debut with the Oakland Athletics vs Boston Red Sox.

In 2015, he regularly threw both ways as a relief pitcher for the Nashville Sounds (AAA - Athletics organization).

Ryan Perez, a college switch pitcher, was drafted in 2015 by the Cleveland Indians. Perez who throws 90+ mph with both arms, is now pitching in the minors leagues.

How many switch pitchers are in college baseball?

A few switch pitchers throw in college - Aubrey McCarty (Vanderbilt), Alex Trautner (Creighton), Marcus Garcia (Sierra College) and Ryan Perez (Judson). 

What is a switch pitcher?

A switch pitcher, also know as an ambidextrous pitcher,  has the ability to throw multiple innings with either arm in baseball games. They have the ability to switch throwing arms between batters, to gain an advantage (left-on-left or right-on-right), but often stick with throwing from one side during an inning.

When do kids start throwing with both arms?

Switch pitchers are rarely naturally ambidextrous. Switch pitching is a skill that is developed with lots of practice. Ambidextrous pitchers often start throwing with both arms when they are young.

Pat Venditte, who switch pitches in the minor leagues, started throwing both ways when he was only 3 years old.

Henry Knight, a successful high school pitcher, started throwing with his non-dominant arm at age 9, and switch pitching in games when he was 10 years old.

Ambidextrous Glove

Typically, high school switch pitchers use a six-fingered glove, with two thumb slots, that can be worn on either hand.


More information

Chances of a switch pitcher playing in college

Sounds Ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte has the rarest of MLB skills

Estimated probability of competing in college baseball (


US Census 2010 (*out of all high school age students)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Phillip Ernst - Perryville, Missouri

Little League ambidextrous pitcher Phillip Ernst is naturally left-handed, but has the ability to pitch with both arms. He is also a switch hitter, like other ambidextrous players.

Phillip Ernst, 12 year-old Ambidextrous Pitcher  (Source: KFVS 12)

Phillip Ernst
Perryville, MO

Positions: LHP/RHP
Bats: Switch
Throws: Both (ambidextrous)

Gloves: uses two gloves to pitch right- or left-handed. He leaves one glove on the backside of the mound when pitching.

Ambidextrous pitcher keeps batters guessing
By Justin Hotop | Perryville News

Phillip’s baseball team is low on kids who can pitch for the year, so the team gets a boost in the fact that he can pitch with both arms.
“The team really needed more pitchers this year,” she said. 
“Pitchers are only allowed 75 pitches per game but he is able to throw 150 with both hands
“It has really helped the team out when they need someone to come in and pitch a few innings.
Note about Pitch Counts: Little League pitchers have the same pitch count limit which depends on their age. Ambidextrous pitchers are NOT allowed to throw twice as many pitches in a game.

Ambidextrous pitcher takes the mound in Perryville
Written by Nick Chabarria |, 17 July 2015
PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) - One Perryville baseball player has twice the workload when it comes to refining his pitching mechanics.

Phillip Ernst is ambidextrous, meaning he can pitch with both his left and right hand effectively.

"And I'll just switch hands and everybody will ‘yell new pitcher,’” Ernst said. “But really it's just new hand."

Ernst prefers his left hand for things like writing and eating, but he has no problems commanding his right on the mound.

"I think the reason I started with my right hand is because I thought my brothers are right-handed so I thought, ‘well I'm just going that way.’"

Watch the video

Phillip Ernst, 12, has the special ability to pitch 
with both his left and right hand. (Source: KFVS 12)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Joe Lach - Rolling Hills LL, California

12yo ambidextrous pitcher

Congrats to Joe on making the 12yo - 2015 RHLL All Stars
Rolling Hills Little League in California

Watch Joe strike out two batters - throwing right and left handed from the stretch.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Pat Venditte salary

How much does a pro switch pitcher get paid?

As a relief pitcher, Pat Venditte earns ...

383,333 USD (2015)
Pat Venditte, Salary

source: Google

Relief Pitchers for the Athletics are paid a base salary of $507,500 in 2015.

Shouldn't Venditte, who throws with both arms, be paid a higher salary?

Baseball salaries for 2015

A look at the salaries of every MLB baseball player for 2015, which can be searched, sorted and aggregated by team, division, league, age and position.  Read more


Monday, July 13, 2015

Pitching Inside

Reason to pitch inside:

- make the batter uncomfortable
- expand the strike zone
- keep the batter guessing
- miss the barrel of the bat

High school batters tend to pull slow inside pitches foul and get jammed by fastballs thrown up and inside. They have trouble timing the inside pitch since 70% of pitches are thrown middle-away.

Pitching inside makes hitters uncomfortable in the box. Most players are afraid to get hit by a pitch, especially the high fastball.

Perry Husband states that pitching inside adds to the effective velocity of the pitch - the pitch is perceived as being faster. He says that low and away is easier to hit than a pitch up and inside.

Here is one person's view on pitching inside:

"I believe you pitch inside to protect the outer half.  You must pitch IN so you can pitch away.  You are basically using your FB in to proctect your FB away.

I think of it like this.

If you and I ate dinner next to each other every night and you reached over and grabbed food off of my plate and I never did anything about it you would continue to reach over and grab food off of my plate.

Well one night you reach over and I stab your hand with a fork.  You will now think twice before feeling comfortable enough to reach over and grab my food again. You are not going to feel comfortable just reaching over.

I think of it as the FB in is the fork and the outer half is my food.  I'm going to protect the outer half.  I need it to survive."


Pitching inside - HS Baseball Web forum

Lefties who pitch inside to righties

The Importance of Pitching Inside

How To Build Your Comfort Level With Pitching Inside


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Pitch count for switch pitchers

The pitch count in Little League is the same for each pitcher. The pitch count doesn't change if you can throw with both arms.

As an ambidextrous pitcher, you don't get double the pitches per game as some people assume.

Many youth pitchers actually experience leg or glove-side fatigue before they reach their pitch limit.

They try to make throwing adjustments to get the ball over the plate - often causing arm strain. If your legs are tired or you're pitching slower, then it's time to take a break. Let someone else get a chance to pitch.

Note in the news article below that a parent of a 12-year-old switch pitcher thinks that her son can throw 150 pitches in a game. Yikes!

Ambidextrous pitcher keeps batters guessing
By Justin Hotop | Perryville News

Phillip’s baseball team is low on kids who can pitch for the year, so the team gets a boost in the fact that he can pitch with both arms.
“The team really needed more pitchers this year,” she said. 
“Pitchers are only allowed 75 pitches per game but he is able to throw 150 with both hands
“It has really helped the team out when they need someone to come in and pitch a few innings. 

Regular Season Pitching Rules - Baseball - Little League Online

The manager must remove the pitcher when said pitcher reaches the limit for his/her age group as noted below, but the pitcher may remain in the game at another position: 

League Age
17-18 105 pitches per day
13 -16 95 pitches per day 
11 -12 85 pitches per day 
9-10 75 pitches per day
 7-8 50 pitches per day

All pitches, whether delivered from the right-hand or left-hand count against the total pitch-count limit.

Little League Rule for Ambidextrous Pitchers

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Switch-pitchers at all levels

Did you know that there are ambidextrous pitchers at all levels of baseball?

Here are a few active switch pitchers ...

Pro Baseball

Pat Venditte, Oakland Athletics, Major Leagues

Ryan Perez, Mahoning Valley Scrappers, Minor Leagues

College Baseball

Marcus Garcia, Sierra College

Aubrey McCarty, Vanderbilt University

Alex Trautner, Creighton University

High School Baseball

Kristofer Armstrong, The Benjamin School, Jupiter, Florida

Tyler Hopman, Old Bridge HS, New Jersey

Carter Kieboom, Marietta, Georgia

Henry Knight, Franklin HS, Seattle, Washington

J.T. McDonnell, San Marino HS, California

Joe Santoro, Carmel Catholic HS, Illinois

James Touchton, Central Magnet HS, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Youth Leagues

Most ambidextrous pitchers start throwing both ways before they are 10 years old and some start as early as age 3, like Pat Venditte. See Ambidextrous pitcher in the Little League World Series

Phillip Ernst, Perryville, Missouri

Joe Lach, Rolling HiIls Estates, California


Sunday, July 5, 2015

sidewinders - pitching sidearm

Pat Venditte now throws sidearms from both sides and is having success in the minors and big leagues.

Henry Knight pitching sidearm in summer ball
Henry Knight started pitching sidearm only two weeks before the summer season and quickly experienced success in games. In his second game he threw 60 pitches in 6 innings and the defense got a lot of action – fielding weak grounders and pop ups. The team won 8-2 and it was fun to watch. 

In two tournaments, Henry averaged 12 pitches per inning as a sidearmer – throwing 73% strikes. He closed out a three consecutive games with a win and two saves.

Here are examples of a few successful sidearmers ...

UCLA’s David Berg Was Once An Afterthought 

By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.Editor/Collegiate Baseball

LOS ANGELES — UCLA’s David Berg is on course to be the greatest closer in college baseball history. The 6-foot, 194-pound right-handed sidearm pitcher has put up staggering numbers since his freshman year for the Bruins.

In three years:
Berg has 132 appearances in three seasons (50 in 2012, 51 in 2013 and 31 in 2014. 
He is only 29 appearances away from the NCAA Division I record of 161 held by David Teasley of Mercer (2010-13).
He registered an NCAA record-tying 51 appearances during the 2013 season.Berg posted an NCAA record 24 saves in 2013.
In 132 appearances over his first three seasons, he only blew three saves. And all three times, he came back to post a win. 

Read more

Golden Spikes Spotlight: David Berg

Check out the career line: 21-6 with a microscopic 1.16 ERA in 257 innings over 170 appearances. He has 48 career saves and a 230-41 strikeout-walk mark.

"I think he'll go down as the best ever. I really do. I feel very strong about that," Savage said.

No walks for Pat Neshek more than two months in

By Evan Drellich | Houston Chronicle, 3 June 2015

Sometimes a reporter will ask a player about their good stretch of performance right before that stretch ends. The player then might joke the questions brought some sort of jinx.

Chad Qualls arrived at his locker to find a reporter talking to Pat Neshek this homestand and scoffed before letting out a smile. He knew where the talk was going. With Neshek, there’s only one conversation to be had lately (outside of baseball memorabilia and autograph collecting, a longtime Neshek specialty).

The sidearming righty has gone 24 consecutive appearances (20 2/3 innings) to start the season without a walk, the second longest such streak to start a season in major league history. Mark Eichhorn of the 1991 Angels owns the record of 30 appearances (40 1/3 innings).

Walter Johnson | SABR
By the time he hung up his spikes 20 years later, Walter Johnson had recorded statistics which seem beyond belief--417 wins and 279 losses, 3,509 strikeouts, 110 shutouts, 12 20-win seasons, 11 seasons with an earned run average below 2.00, and what seems almost incomprehensible a century later, 531 complete games in 666 starts.

His signature pitching motion was unique -- a short windmill-style windup followed by a sweeping sidearm delivery. During the first part of his career he relied almost exclusively on a fastball (he developed a good curve around 1913) which inspired Ring Lardner to comment, "He's got a gun concealed on his person. They can't tell me he throws them balls with his arm."

JohnsonWalter | Baseball Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame pitcher - Randy Johnson
Pitching Sidearm in Baseball by Nathan Gotch
Pitching sidearm in baseball can be a very effective tool for pitchers who wish to utilize the technique. In essence, a pitcher is considered sidearm when he throws the ball along a low, and horizontal axis.

Randy Johnson is a perfect example of a pitcher who threw from a low arm slot, but could still throw over 100 mph. Johnson was recently inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame.

Sidearm Knuckler

Henry Knight throwing a knuckleball sidearm at Lewis-Clark State 

R.A. Dickey can apparently also throw his knuckleball sidearm
Watch the video

Sidearmers in the MLB

Switch to sidearm delivery pays dividends for Smith - 12/2/2013
Joe Smith, Angels relief pitcher, switched to throwing sidearm in college. He throws a sinking fastball 89-92 mph, plus a slider to induce ground outs.

Pitchers finding their niche with sidearm deliveries - 6/21/2007

Is it safe to throw sidearm? Sidearmers and submariners generally aren't any more prone to elbow and shoulder injuries than three-quarters or over-the-top pitchers, according to Glenn Fleisig, research director at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Ala. Fleisig, who has studied the mechanics of thousands of pitchers, says most of them form about a 90-degree angle between their arm and trunk when they pitch, regardless of their pitching styles, and that elbow and shoulder injuries occur when pitchers' arm angles deviate by about 10 degrees.


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Ryan Perez makes pro debut in 2015

Ryan Perez BHP, Scrappers
Ambidextrous pitcher Ryan Perez recently signed with the Cleveland Indians and made his minor league debut at Dwyer Stadium with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers vs Batavia Muckdogs on 22 June 2015. 

The Scrappers, from the New York-Penn League, had 17 hits and won 15-11 (box score). 

Perez faced 7 batters in 1.1 IP in his first outing in the minors. He gave up 3 runs, including a homer, and struck out 3 with no walks.  Perez threw 27 pitches with 16 strikes (59%). He uses a custom-made six finger glove from Mizuno.

Switch-pitching Scrapper Perez makes pro debut Published: 
NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – Earlier this baseball season, Oakland’s Pat Venditte became just the second major-leaguer to pitch with both arms in a game.  The Indians hope that 12th round pick and current Scrapper Ryan Perez will follow suit someday as a switch-pitcher. Perez tops out at 94 miles per hour from the left side, and 93 mph from the right. Read More


Ryan Perez bio and stats

Switch-pitching Scrapper Perez makes pro debut |


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Pat Venditte MLB debut news

When did Pat Venditte first switch pitch in the MLB?

Venditte pitched both ways for two innings on 5 June 2015 

(Athletics vs Red Sox, Boston, MA)

V for Venditte: Switch-pitcher gets 1st victory, AB

'Probably the best moment of his career,' A's manager Melvin says 

August 2015
PHOENIX -- Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte picked up his first Major League victory Sunday afternoon in Arizona, returning from a scoreless, two-inning outing to a beer shower that was "cold, but well worth it," he said, smiling, after the A's 7-4, 11-inning winRead more

News about switch pitcher Pat Venditte's MLB debut

Venditte had good command and threw only 28 pitches in two innings of scoreless switch pitching. 


An evolution of the six-finger gloves Mizuno has made for Venditte over the years.


Pat Venditte is a 30 year-old ambidextrous pitcher with the Oakland Athletics

A's switch-pitcher Pat Venditte makes Coliseum debut - San Jose Mercury News
Switch pitcher Pat Venditte is baseball's most fascinating player - Washington Post

Pat Venditte doubly grateful after making it as switch-pitcher

Sounds switch-pitcher Pat Venditte promoted - The Tennessean
10 Things to Know About Ambidextrous Pitchers

Pat Venditte Arrives | FanGraphs Baseball

Ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte makes his debut for Athletics - ESPN

Pat Venditte makes MLB debut, A-Rod passes Bonds in RBIs - MLB -

Pat Venditte, Switch-Pitcher, Called Up by Athletics: Latest Details, Reaction 

Pat Venditte Makes Major League Debut, Gets Outs Using Both Arms

It's Pat! Ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte makes MLB debut 

Ambidextrous Venditte hurls two shutout frames |

Switch-pitching Venditte brought up by A's |

Pat Venditte: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Pat Venditte -

The Pat Venditte Rule