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RedEye
04-25-2007, 11:42 AM
Interesting read from Slate today:

http://www.slate.com/id/2164894?nav=tap3

The links on Matsuzaka and Hansen are also quite interesting. Maybe now there will be other types of Adam Dunn debates on RedsZone... like about how he needs to "keep his head quiet" or how he must "keep his weight back" on pitches.

Enjoy. :)

RFS62
04-25-2007, 01:33 PM
Nothing new here.

It's been going on for many years.

westofyou
04-25-2007, 01:47 PM
Nothing new here.

It's been going on for many years.

My thoughts exactly,

RedEye
04-25-2007, 01:54 PM
Nothing new here.

It's been going on for many years.

Okay... but has it been going on among the same people? My guess is no... and that it hasn't yet worked it's way into regular baseball parlance. Maybe this is actually something that the 'traditionalists' and the 'sabermetricians' can agree on. Must say, would be nice to hear people like Joe Morgan talk about biomechanics rather than spouting platitudes about 'playing the game the right way.'

RedsManRick
04-25-2007, 02:10 PM
And Earl Weaver was talking about the value of the 3 run homer 30 years ago. There's a difference between something being done and something becoming mainstream...

harangatang
04-25-2007, 02:24 PM
Even though it's not new to some it's new to me. I appreciate you posting this. Good read.

RedEye
04-25-2007, 02:56 PM
And Earl Weaver was talking about the value of the 3 run homer 30 years ago. There's a difference between something being done and something becoming mainstream...

Yes, I know. That's the point I was trying to make.

I'm not sure why everyone is so dismissive of this article. I'm really into baseball and statistics of course, but biomechanics isn't something I've heard about too often.

Sure, we all talk vaguely about a players "mechanics" and physiology, but this stuff seems to take it a step further, introducing new terms and a way of talking about and analyzing a player's physical make-up and technique. It seems to me that biomechanics is to old-school mechanics as sabermetrics is to traditional statistics. It's a new way of framing and conceptualizing old insights and bringing them up to date. Sure, curmudgeons can call it "nothing new"... but that's nothing new, either.

westofyou
04-25-2007, 03:02 PM
Speaking of Curmudgeon's... Seaver is sitting in on the Mets broadcast today and he's telling tales about how Jerry Grote would critique his mechanics via sign language from behind the plate during the game.

harangatang
04-25-2007, 03:03 PM
Yes, I know. That's the point I was trying to make.

I'm not sure why everyone is so dismissive of this article. I'm really into baseball and statistics of course, but biomechanics isn't something I've heard about too often. Ego trip?

RedEye
04-25-2007, 03:18 PM
Ego trip?

On my part?

RedEye
04-25-2007, 03:22 PM
Speaking of Curmudgeon's... Seaver is sitting in on the Mets broadcast today and he's telling tales about how Jerry Grote would critique his mechanics via sign language from behind the plate during the game.

I'm not talking about mechanics... I'm talking about biomechanics. Maybe there's no difference, but the article seems to suggest there is. I for one am willing to consider it.

harangatang
04-25-2007, 03:23 PM
On my part?Absolutely not. I just can't believe you posted an article of that caliber and the responses that followed. Even if a few people have heard of it, I am sure many on this board haven't. Again thanks for for posting this article I learned something today that some people apparently learned before me.

westofyou
04-25-2007, 03:38 PM
I'm not talking about mechanics... I'm talking about biomechanics. Maybe there's no difference, but the article seems to suggest there is. I for one am willing to consider it.

There is a lot of the same issues in both. Especially when applied to pitching (or being a hockey goalie) it's all about the mechanics for those two professions. Now if we want to look at the growing need of points 4-6 beow then yes it is different. especially now that the cost of players and development are escalating so high.


Sports biomechanics is the science concerned with the internal and external forces acting on a human body and the effects produced by these forces in sports activities.

These internal and external forces determine how the parts of a body or the body as a whole move during the performance of motor skill, what is commonly referred to as the performer’s technique.
This can be originally and basically underlaid under the three Newton’s Laws.
Since the subject of sports biomechanics is the human body, its movement organs, which are characterised by the biological conditions, must be considered. In this way sports biomechanics is applied mechanics interrelated
with anatomy, physiology, psychology medicine, biochemistry and sports
techniques.

The scientific study of sports biomechanics includes:

1) The study of the mechanical structure and ability of various organs and systems in an athlete’s body in relation to special sports events;

2) the identification of the principles of sports movements, build-up of optimal
models of individual sports performance and development of effective training methods;

3) the mechanically reasonable design of sports equipments and instruments;

4) analysis of the mechanisms of sports injuries and education of people on the ways to prevent these injuries from a biomechanics perspective;

5) study of the anthropometric features of special sports events together with training practice;

6) development of biomechanical methodology, especially the quick information feedback method.

RFS62
04-25-2007, 04:09 PM
It's a new way of framing and conceptualizing old insights and bringing them up to date. Sure, curmudgeons can call it "nothing new"... but that's nothing new, either.



Wow, I'm a curmudgeon!!!

Cool.

I wasn't trying to insult you, young feller. Maybe I should have gone into more detail to make sure I didn't hurt your feelings.

To tell you the truth, I was a little surprised at the approach of the writer, as if it was a new discovery. And I'm more surprised at the number of posters who haven't heard about it.

So, to recap, which is something we old timers just love to do....

Uh, what were we talking about?

Oh yeah, you kids get off my lawn!!!!!

RedsManRick
04-25-2007, 04:13 PM
I wasn't dismissing the article at all. Rather, I think it's interesting that, likely due to new media outlets, new analysis gains attention and credibility so quickly. It's encouraging really. One of the points I enjoyed is that because it's so new and requires medical knowledge, we really have a tough time calling in to question guys like Will Carroll and Carlos Gomez. Not to say that they're wrong. Just that, if they were, how would we know?

It begs the same sort of skepticism that James faced when most people were much less familiar with rigorous statistical analysis. Once the methods were popularized and vetted publicly, James' work (and that of other sabermatrcians) gained a foothold. Unfortunately, it took quite a bit to convince those people who didn't like, didn't understand, or felt threatened by the math. Of course, many many people are still wary.

I've wondered about Prior myself. He was supposed to have perfect mechanics. I'd love to see an article about what went wrong that doesn't simply say "Dusty Baker broke him." In the language of biomechanics, what changed? Biomechanical analysis adds a new dimension that should be welcomed in the game. New knowledge is always a good thing. But it shouldn't be taken unquestioned. It should be welcomed with open arms and critical eye.

Critical simply means asking for everybody to show their work. It doesn't mean skeptical (assuming they're wrong) or worse, dismissive. Critical is a good thing. The more this analysis can be shown to be more than guess work -- to jive with reality as it's currently experienced (ie. pitchers with "good mechanics" actually do pitch better and stay healthy) -- the more quickly it will be adopted.

Thanks for the link RedEye.

RedEye
04-25-2007, 04:16 PM
Thanks for the in-depth description of biomechanics, westofyou. Where did you get that quote?

My point (and the Slate article's main one as well) is that the difference is also in how fan culture appropriates information--which to me is just as fascinating as the technical definition of biomechanics, and has the potential to revolutionize the way we, as Reds fans, analyze the players we love.

Here's the main quote from Stevenson's article I'm referring to:


Of course, fans have always done this sort of thing. We've observed the distinctive pitching motions of players from Luis Tiant to Dontrelle Willis. Little Leaguers imitate the signature batting stances of star hitters. The difference now is: 1) The Web has created a viable platform for writers who do nothing but detailed biomechanical analysis, and 2) super-slo-mo videos on YouTube let everybody get in on the act. (It's not just baseball, either. There's a thriving community of tennis geeks—OK, I'm one of them—who will watch clips of Roger Federer's one-handed backhand for hours on end. The way he keeps his eyes locked on the ball, the way his forearm supinates to impart a topspin rotation … aaaahhh.)

You could view the mechanics obsession as just another evolution in fan identity. We've always been armchair managers, second-guessing our team's decisions to bunt, or hit and run, or leave a pitcher out on the mound (damn you, Grady Little). Since the advent of fantasy baseball, we've identified more closely with the GMs—analyzing stats, weighing different roster constructions, and calculating salary-to-production ratios. Now, with the mechanics movement, we're all amateur scouts.

There are some inherent frustrations in this approach to baseball fandom. With reams of statistics now available to anyone who cares, the average fan can make his own judgments with regards to the numbers. But when it comes to mechanics, it still feels like we're in the Dark Ages. There's a clear thirst out there for this kind of stuff, but it's hard to tell which (if any) of these message-board guys knows what he's talking about. Mechanics analysis is so subjective, and such an esoteric niche right now, that the fan has little recourse but to put his faith in guys who claim to have some expertise.

As with any trend, the mechanics movement has its emerging gurus. At the Hardball Times, someone named Carlos Gomez (a self-described "retired pro baseball player" and "mechanics geek") has written a series of columns on pitching mechanics. His essay on Matsuzaka's motion praised Dice-K's "aggressive" leg swing and "elbowy" arm action. Sounds legit, but I have no way of knowing for sure.

Baseball Prospectus' Will Carroll has also positioned himself as a mechanics expert. Carroll (who at times seems ickily comfortable with self-promotion) makes confident predictions about which pitchers are injury risks due to flawed form and which boast deliveries so smooth as to make injuries unlikely. Again, I just have to take him at his word. Carroll's analysis of Matsuzaka—a featured video clip at MLB.com—throws up side-by-side video of Dice-K and Roger Clemens, noting how similar the deliveries look. But it's my feeling that at least half the hard-throwing right-handers in baseball would look nearly identical to an untrained eye.


I've read a bit of each of the 'gurus' listed above, but never did I realize that they were also considered biomechanics experts in fandom.

Other thoughts?

RANDY IN INDY
04-25-2007, 04:16 PM
Wow, I'm a curmudgeon!!!

Cool.

I wasn't trying to insult you, young feller. Maybe I should have gone into more detail to make sure I didn't hurt your feelings.

To tell you the truth, I was a little surprised at the approach of the writer, as if it was a new discovery. And I'm more surprised at the number of posters who haven't heard about it.

So, to recap, which is something we old timers just love to do....

Uh, what were we talking about?

Oh yeah, you kids get off my lawn!!!!!

Been studying on it for some time now. Helps me in the ways that I coach my son and his mechanics. Great stuff.

RANDY IN INDY
04-25-2007, 04:18 PM
Ask Team Clark about it. He'll give you the "low down,"

RedEye
04-25-2007, 04:18 PM
And my apologies for labeling any of you 'old timers' curmudgeons (are you really that old?). I was just frustrated with the immediate response to something I found very interesting.

Carry on...

westofyou
04-25-2007, 04:19 PM
Thanks for the in-depth description of biomechanics, westofyou. Where did you get that quote?

What is sports biomechanics?

Hong Youlian, Olympic Review, November, 1992, No. 301, p. 620-626,641.

Always Red
04-25-2007, 04:26 PM
I read the article, and to me, it sounds like biomechanics is a new word for ...scouting. Good scouts can describe all of that, and can tell you why (for example) a certain hitter might have a hole in the middle of his swing, and how he can fix it as well.

I'm not a curmudeon, and I do think this is interesting, but certainly isn't anything new. Maybe just a new name?

Just maybe, biomechanics plus sabermetrics equals a better description of the entire beauty of the game? By themselves, both fall short of a complete descrption, but when combined together, it gets us much closer.

dabvu2498
04-25-2007, 04:32 PM
I've wondered about Prior myself. He was supposed to have perfect mechanics. I'd love to see an article about what went wrong that doesn't simply say "Dusty Baker broke him." In the language of biomechanics, what changed? Biomechanical analysis adds a new dimension that should be welcomed in the game. New knowledge is always a good thing. But it shouldn't be taken unquestioned. It should be welcomed with open arms and critical eye.

Some good stuff on this thread.

Prior was supposed to be the poster child for the Tom House school of pitching mechanics.

No doubt that in alot of ways, he did meet the "House" mold, particularly with the "upside down w" scapular action seen here:

http://www.cubshub.com/images/articles/20060104201103454_1.jpg

What I always questioned about Prior was his elbow angle, when at the "top" of his delivery, seen here:

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/images/2006/08/05/gOu2AAIp.jpg

Doesn't look like he's reaching back in the "linear" fashion, as instructed by House. Kinda looks like he's letting the elbow collapse towards his body, increasing strain on the shoulder, maybe?

My wonder was that House continued to use Prior as one of his "success stories" to sell books and videos even after he'd been hurt a couple times. Heck, even at House's website, Prior is listed as a member of his "advisory board." (http://www.nationalpitching.net/)

**The preceeding post was intended as an example of what the author of the original article was discussing -- a "commoner" of the baseball world, with limited playing and instruction experience (me) discussing rather complex mechanics of an individual player. **

RFS62
04-25-2007, 04:33 PM
And my apologies for labeling any of you 'old timers' curmudgeons (are you really that old?). I was just frustrated with the immediate response to something I found very interesting.

Carry on...



Hey, not a problem. You ask Puffy or Red Leader, they will say I'm too old to be a curmudgeon.

My point, obviously poorly expressed since it ruffled so many feathers, is that this concept has been around for several years. It is, no doubt, on the cutting edge of performance analysis. If this kind of stuff interests you, you should look into the incredible advances in sports psychology, a particular interest of mine.

Video tape helped a lot in biomechanical analysis. Slow motion video is now commonplace in teaching all kinds of sports. It's so mainstream that you can purchase a home video editing software package which allows you to put your golf swing up with Tiger Woods, or your baseball, skiing, tennis, or whatever other sport you are interested in right up there with professional models. You can do this for under $100.

I gave a golf lesson last weekend to my boss, and we did just that.

But you have to know what proper form is before you can really analyze a motor skill. That's a whole lot of the fun of dealing with this stuff.

I'll bet Randy has video of his son Matt and that they study it all the time.

So, sorry if I sounded dismissive. I'm all for anyone who loves the game and wants to learn more.

As long as you stay off my lawn.

Roy Tucker
04-25-2007, 04:39 PM
Seems to fall into the "what once was old is new again" category to me.

The new slant on it is enabled by new technologies:

- High frame rate digital imaging goes way past the typical 30 frames per second rate of consumer video cameras enabling analysis of a pitching/hitting/etc motion at a resolution not seen before.

- Putting all this into internet-enabled video such as YouTube, etc lets everyone in on the game.

RedsManRick
04-25-2007, 04:40 PM
For what it's worth, Mike Marshall has built a reputation as biomechanics guru -- using his own career as evidence of the validity of his claims.

Always Red, I think one of the major points of the article wasn't that Biomechanics are new per se'. Rather that they are no longer solely the purview of scouts. I now know what it means to "step in the bucket." I know what pronation and supination are and the role they play in throwing breaking pitches. Fans care about pitch counts and can tell you what an oblique is. That's new. When it was crazy 30-40 years ago for little kids to play baseball on cards with numbers on them, now it's a multi-million dollar industry.

Fans are becoming more and more informed. It's interesting that it's different than football or basketball. Basketball is simply so dominated by raw size and athleticism -- the skills are less evident. Not too many football fans can tell you the intricacies of hip rotation for a cover corner or the proper foot placement on a 3 step drop versus a 5 step drop because there are simply too many little things and too many variations and positions.

BCubb2003
04-25-2007, 04:41 PM
Hey, not a problem. You ask Puffy or Red Leader, they will say I'm too old to be a curmudgeon.

RFS(18)62 has been grumpy since Bid McPhee finally started using a glove.

Red Leader
04-25-2007, 04:42 PM
I'll bet Randy has video of his son Matt and that they study it all the time.



I'd bet my house that Randy has video of his son Matt and that they study it all of the time. I've read several of Randy's posts re: teaching his son his swing, mechanics, etc that just totally fascinated me. He knows a lot about teaching mechanics based on what I've read that he's posted and all of it is fascinating stuff.

With a now soon to come third son on the way I'm starting to get anxious about learning more and more things so I can teach them. My oldest has a lot of natural talent, things come easy to him. My current youngest has less natural talent and coordination, but has easily three times the work ethic as my oldest. We'll see what's behind door #3 when he arrives in August or September, but no matter what, this is one area where I'd like to learn more so I can teach and be a better "instructor" to my sons as they grow older. I love hearing stories about when professional ballplayers are going bad they go home and spend time with their Dad to fix their swing, or whatever. That's just the coolest thing in the world to me.

RFS62
04-25-2007, 04:47 PM
Here you go.

V1 has an online academy from which you can download models for many sports.

http://www.practicerange.com/detail.aspx?ID=707

You can compare yourself or your student to a variety of different styles, full stop action and slow motion, drawing tools, the whole gambit.

A great place to start if you're so inclined.

I use it all the time.

Razor Shines
04-25-2007, 04:50 PM
Some good stuff on this thread.

Prior was supposed to be the poster child for the Tom House school of pitching mechanics.

No doubt that in alot of ways, he did meet the "House" mold, particularly with the "upside down w" scapular action seen here:

http://www.cubshub.com/images/articles/20060104201103454_1.jpg

What I always questioned about Prior was his elbow angle, when at the "top" of his delivery, seen here:

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/images/2006/08/05/gOu2AAIp.jpg

Doesn't look like he's reaching back in the "linear" fashion, as instructed by House. Kinda looks like he's letting the elbow collapse towards his body, increasing strain on the shoulder, maybe?

My wonder was that House continued to use Prior as one of his "success stories" to sell books and videos even after he'd been hurt a couple times. Heck, even at House's website, Prior is listed as a member of his "advisory board." (http://www.nationalpitching.net/)

**The preceeding post was intended as an example of what the author of the original article was discussing -- a "commoner" of the baseball world, with limited playing and instruction experience (me) discussing rather complex mechanics of an individual player. **

I think that Prior is a good example of the fact that some guys are going to get injured no matter what. I'm not saying that mechanics don't matter, because I believe very much that they do. But I think that what is inside of a guy's arm matters just as much as mechanics. I think that some people's arms just weren't built for the strain of constantly pitching a baseball. They may have the mechanics, timing and strength to throw a baseball very well, but sometimes an arm is just not going to hold up to the stress. And it's something that we will probably never be able to know from player to player.

I think perfect mechanics can help, but obviously they are not always enough. It sucks but I have a feeling that Mark Prior's arm will never hold up to the strain of pitching.

RANDY IN INDY
04-25-2007, 04:53 PM
Matt and I study video of his swing and his pitching mechanics on a regular basis. We also have a photographer friend who takes a lot of high speed photos of Matt that tip us off to little things that are off. Hand position on the ball, arm and hip position before release, keeping the front side closed when he is hitting and pitching, hand position at impact, length of stride, extension after impact, follow through positions, both throwing and hitting,and lots of little things that can cause problems. My main goal with Matt right now is to teach him to do things correctly and repeatedly that will enhance his ability to succeed as he matures and that will give him the least chance of sustaining an injury.

dabvu2498
04-25-2007, 04:54 PM
I think that Prior is a good example of the fact that some guys are going to get injured no matter what. I'm not saying that mechanics don't matter, because I believe very much that they do. But I think that what is inside of a guy's arm matters just as much as mechanics. I think that some people's arms just weren't built for the strain of constantly pitching a baseball. They may have the mechanics, timing and strength to throw a baseball very well, but sometimes an arm is just not going to hold up to the stress. And it's something that we will probably never be able to know from player to player.

I think perfect mechanics can help, but obviously they are not always enough. It sucks but I have a feeling that Mark Prior's arm will never hold up to the strain of pitching.


The Cubbies get blasted all the time for stressing his arm out... I've not seen his college numbers in a long time, but I know he pitched a hell of alot of innings at USC as an 18-19-20 year old plus whatever summer competition he might have participated in.

Red Leader
04-25-2007, 05:20 PM
Matt and I study video of his swing and his pitching mechanics on a regular basis. We also have a photographer friend who takes a lot of high speed photos of Matt that tip us off to little things that are off. Hand position on the ball, arm and hip position before release, keeping the front side closed when he is hitting and pitching, hand position at impact, length of stride, extension after impact, follow through positions, both throwing and hitting,and lots of little things that can cause problems. My main goal with Matt right now is to teach him to do things correctly and repeatedly that will enhance his ability to succeed as he matures and that will give him the least chance of sustaining an injury.


Just out of curiousity, Randy, and we can take this to PM's so as to not derail the thread, but how did you get started on this? I've got an 8 year old now that had the most beautiful natural swing until this offseason. He picked up a bat this spring and his hands were moved forward dramatically, his head was moving more than in the past, and his arm and hip positions were off slightly as well. I could tell just looking at him swing and the results...he was late on everything. I had him hit off of a tee and we basically re-made his swing (it's still different than before) but he's a lot more in sync now and appears to be striking the ball well. I was just curious as to what reading you've done, or what software you've used to help you get to where you are with your son now.

RANDY IN INDY
04-25-2007, 06:22 PM
I PM'd you, Red Leader. We work almost daily on his mechanics. It's a lot of work.

westofyou
04-26-2007, 10:30 AM
Biomechanics at work

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/unfiltered/?p=341


All in all, this is a very negative result for Prior, but gives him the knowledge that he was pitching with significant damage. His mechanics protected him from more significant damage, such as the complete tears or larger labral tears that we’ve seen in Kerry Wood, but no pitcher is immune. Did we overstate the case for Prior’s being immune? Absolutely, but as with most things, it’s a point from which we’ve learned. Prior, at 26 years old, now has the rest of 2006 to rehab and still could have a career ahead of him. Without pain, one would assume that he could return to those same mechanics that allowed him to become the pitcher he once was. There’s a small silver lining here in a dark black cloud over Wrigley.

D-Man
04-26-2007, 08:07 PM
Nothing new here.

It's been going on for many years.


Key difference between then and now is that there is more analytical rigor going into biomechanics now (or, at least I hope there is). That is the direction I thought this article was headed, but it stopped about a mile short of the target.

When scouts say a pitcher's mechanics are "out of whack," that doesn't tell us much and stops well short of being an actionable piece of information. What is imminently more helpful is to tell us what "out of whack" means for a player's potential value, for his risk distribution, and the probability of mitigating those risks downstream. That's where the sabermetrics guys can and should come in--to provide more meaningful analysis of what "out of whack" mechanics means.

Once you synthesize the art and the science of biomechanics, that helps a team immensely in several ways:

*You will be able to isolate which factors drive success. Not just performance, but also mechanics and body features (weight/height, shoulder-to-hip ratio, shoulder flexibility, finger length, etc.)
*You can learn the value of changing mechanics. Teaching a pitcher to pitch differently--does it work??
*You can call BS when a scout says you can't draft a guy because he is too "fleshy."
*You can evaluate your instruction staff. "YOU, Coach X, were given five pitchers with a relatively high probability of success, and they all crapped out. The chances of this happening randomly is less than 1%. Here's your pink slip."
*You can perform studies of the root causes to identify what is causing all of your minor league pitchers to fall off the wagon before they hit AA ball.

Overall, I see this as part of a continuous improvement effort, a la kaizen management, lean sig sigma, Toyota manufacturing, etc.

So I think the article pretty much misses the point. :eek:

Always Red
04-26-2007, 10:10 PM
Overall, I see this as part of a continuous improvement effort, a la kaizen management, lean sig sigma, Toyota manufacturing, etc.

So I think the article pretty much misses the point. :eek:

Good post.

I think the technology and the math keeps getting better, and is better able to give a description of what is happening. Also, video is a major innovation, cheap video, that everyone can see for home use.

So now, we are able to look at either swings (golf swings, too) of hitters who had classic form, or pitchers who had what was considered to be classic form, and never broke down, and try to teach others to emulate that.

It's very hard to change a golf swing, a baseball swing or how one throws the ball. But sometimes changes need to be made in order to avoid injury, especially, or to enhance performance.

Sabermetrics is able to describe better what exactly has happened, and when biometrics is used, then you can compare the results (sabermetrics) with the form (biometrics), and then make changes as necessary.

I mentioned before that scouts have always used biometrics. They have, they just never called it that, and there was no standard jargon, for the most part, that existed across the board. And most of those guys were not able to even describe in detail what they were seeing, but they knew IT when they saw IT. But most scouting has been done of other teams, in order to take advantage, or in order to draft or trade players onto your own team.. Over the last 15 years or so, scouting your own team has become very important, and really just as important as scouting other teams or the minors, or even amateur ball.

My technology dream for baseball is this: there is a fusion of form (biometrics), mathematics (sabermetrics), imaging (CT, MRI, PET scanning) and anthropology typing to be able to tell, in advance, which pitchers are more liable to breakdown, and which ones will be workhorses.

This is not an accident, that some pitchers are Bronson Arroyo-type workhorses, and others are Mark Prior/Kerry Woods, prone to breakdown. Prior especially is a conundrum. I love the pics above, showing his arm angle. His form has been considered to be the classic simple pitching form of the early 21st century, and yet, he has had one good season, tons of promise, and lots of shoulder problems. Why? It's not simply form. There's more than that there. Something else is going on. Who can identify what it is?

There's a lot of money at stake here. Millions of dollars get spent every year on pitching that doesn't come through, not because of getting beat like a circus monkey, but because of arm or shoulder problems. Jimmy Haynes got rocked; Paul Wilson broke down. To be able to define the difference more exactly is very valuable.

Whoever can narrow it down and begin to identify better those pitchers who will be less prone to stress injury of their arms and shoulders, will be worth their weight in gold.