Home Posts tagged "Relief Pitcher"

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: March 2020 Q&A with Eric Cressey

For this week's podcast, in lieu of a guest, I'm going to do a Q&A on a collection of baseball training questions that were submitted by listeners.

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Marc Pro. Head to www.MarcPro.com and enter the coupon code CRESSEY at checkout to receive 10% off on your order.

Show Outline

  • How bullpen arms can arrange their lifting schedule to optimize their performance and feel prepared for each outing
  • How hitters can mitigate the stressors placed on the lead shoulder of their swing
  • What recent history and research says about bicep tenodesis and recovery and what baseball players should be aware of when considering this procedure
  • What high school coaches can do to best prepare their pitchers for week one of spring season

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Marc Pro, a cutting-edge EMS device that uses patented technology to create non-fatiguing muscle activation. Muscle activation with Marc Pro facilitates each stage of the body’s natural recovery process- similar to active recovery, but without the extra effort and muscle fatigue. Athletes can use it for as long as they need to ensure a more full and quick recovery in between training or games. With its portability and ease of use, players can use Marc Pro while traveling between games or while relaxing at home. Players and trainers from every MLB team - including over 200 pro pitchers - use Marc Pro. Put Marc Pro to the test for yourself with their new "Try Before you Buy" program, and use promo code CRESSEY at checkout at www.MarcPro.com for 10% off on your order.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

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Elite Baseball Development Podcast with Adam Ottavino

We're excited to welcome New York Yankees relief pitcher Adam Ottavino to the podcast. A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Lumberlend. Head to www.Lumberlend.com and enter the coupon code CSP to get free shipping on your order of two or more bat mugs.   

Show Outline

  • Why Adam opted to attend Northeastern University instead of immediately pursing professional baseball when drafted out of high school.
  • How Adam learned to spin the baseball well at a young age, and how aspiring ball players can become masters of manipulating the movement on a baseball.
  • How Adam developed his current pitch arsenal as he progressed through pro ball.
  • How altitude influences pitching and the hidden advantage of pitching at Coors Field.
  • How Adam made a successful transition from a starter to reliever.
  • Why Tommy John turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Adam, as he took advantage of his time away from the game to prepare physically and experience the mental reps necessary to be immediately successful upon his return.
  • How the tribulations of the 2017 season led to the creation of Adam’s “lab” in Manhattan and the diligent work that followed to propel him to a successful 2018.
  • Why it’s important to differentiate between a cutter and his slider
  • How Adam keeps a level head through the emotional roller coaster of a major league season.
  • Why it’s so important to play meaningful catch, throw with conviction, and understand when the best opportunity is for you to refine your various pitches.
  • Why advice from Adam’s little league coach proved to be one of the most impactful lessons of his baseball career

You can follow Adam on Instagram at @adamottavino.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Lumberlend Co. If you're looking for a unique gift for a baseball fan in your life, you'll definitely want to check this out: they've hollowed out the bat barrel and created a cool drinking mug. You can customize these with colors, names, logos, and photographs. They're also an officially licensed MLBPA product, so you can get your favorite teams and players incorporated into the designs. I've used these as gifts with great feedback, so I'm confident you'd experience the same. The crew at Lumberlend is offering free shipping on two or more bat mugs with the coupon code CSP at checkout. Just head to Lumberlend.com to design yours today.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
Read more

Relief Pitchers: How to Warm-up

Q: I have followed Tim Collins' story on your website and was very impressed with his quick path to the big leagues. Obviously, preparation has been a huge part of success and that’s where my question lies. Like Tim, I am a relief pitcher and often wonder what pro guys and in Tim's case knowledgeable pro guys, do for a warm-up prior to throwing in the pen to get in the game. I was wondering if maybe you can shed some light on what guys at your facility do as far as a warm-up to throwing. It seems like every time I see a pro guy throw, they get up after not moving for seven innings and just throw and come in the game blowing 96mph without their arm tearing in three different spots. Is there a warm-up routine your guys do before they might come in? I appreciate any info.

A: This is actually one of the more common questions that I receive, and I'm kind of surprised at myself for never covering it in a blog post. There are a few important prerequisite considerations to take into account before I tell you what I encourage our guys to do:

1. Sadly, most guys don't do anything. That doesn't make this right; it just means that they are setting the stage for getting hurt further down the line.  Just because you throw with sloppy mechanics  or muscular weakness doesn't mean that you'll get hurt the second you pick up a ball; you get hurt from the cumulative effect over time.  So, just because a guy can go in and throw hard with a short, insufficient warm-up doesn't mean that he'll be doing that a few years from now.

2. You can't compare professional guys to lower level guys for a lot of reasons. First, professional bullpens usually have powerful heaters in place to keep guys' body temperatures up - which makes it easier to warm up when the time is right.  Additionally, most professional pitchers (whether they make use of them or not) have plenty of access to massage therapy and manual stretching from team personnel, so their "resting state" is probably more prepared than most college pitchers I see.  High school kids tend to be the most "indestructible" of the bunch, as they haven't accumulated as much wear and tear on their bodies.

That said, regardless of experience and what you have at your fingertips for massage and other amenities, warming up to come out of the bullpen can be pretty stressful for guys.  On one hand, you kick out some serious stress hormones, which can get you fired up and ready to go, but on the other hand, it's not good to be excited and ready to roll hormonally and psychologically if you aren't there physically just yet.

With that in mind, I encourage guys to do their normal pre-game warm-ups like everyone else and try to sustain that body temperature and transient mobility increase by dressing warmly and trying to move around in the bullpen as much as possible.  Then, as it gets closer and closer to the time that they may need to enter the game (I usually just tell guys to start at the end of the fourth), I have guys start doing 2-3 multi-joint dynamic flexibility drills every half-inning.  An example would be a walking spiderman with overhead reach, which is going to take you into hip abduction and extension, thoracic spine extension and rotation, glenohumeral horizontal abduction and external rotation, and elbow extension (among other movements).

By doing a few of these each half-inning, you ensure that your body temperature and mobility never drop off transiently.  Plus, you ensure that you don't lose mobility over the course of a long season, as you're working on it even if you don't wind up pitching.

As an interesting little aside to all of this, is a reliever that much different than, say, a center fielder when it comes to needing to stay warm throughout the entire game just in case?  He might do his pre-game warm-ups and then spend the next few hours alternating standing around and sitting with bursts of 100% effort with swinging, throwing, and sprinting.  Have you ever heard of a center fielder complaining that he can't get loose enough to track down a fly ball, crow hop and throw a laser to the plate, or leg out an infield single?  Of course not!  And, it's simply because he is more active than relievers even when he isn't actively participating in the game.  Every inning, he's playing catch and jogging to and from the outfield on top of making a contribution defensively or at the plate every 20-30 minutes.

So, in summary, do a thorough pre-game warm-up, do more "fidgeting" in the bullpen, and then hit 2-3 multi-joint dynamic flexibility drills (check out The High Performance Handbook for dozens of examples) every half-inning starting in the 4th.  Then, go to your specific throwing warm-up and head out to start blowing 96mph...safely.

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

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