Johan Santana is Fixed

According to Dan Warthen — by way of Adam Rubin and other media outlets — Johan Santana had a very good bullpen session, during which he addressed and fixed an issue with his pitching motion.

From Rubin’s blog:

Pitching coach Dan Warthen feels Johan Santana adequately addressed the mechanical flaw in his delivery during a between-starts bullpen session Wednesday at Camden Yards. To get Santana’s fastball to stop cutting unintentionally, they worked to get the ace’s left hand out of his glove quicker, so Santana’s arm acts less like a “catapult” during his motion.

From David Lennon:

“He was catapulting the ball instead of throwing it,” said Warthen, who demonstrated what he meant with a more overhand delivery. “He’s didn’t have that same deception he usually has.”

Neither Warthen nor Santana knows exactly why the Mets’ ace developed that subtle change, but they feel confident it was corrected today. Warthen said he could tell that Santana was throwing with more velocity and his location with the fastball was significantly better.

That is great news, assuming he can carry over the adjustment into a game — which is easier said than done.

And as MetsBlog pointed out, someone here at MetsToday had a theory about Johan’s pitching motion.

In case you forgot, after the Yankees series we stated this in “What’s Wrong with Johan Santana?”

Johan Santana’s velocity is down, as is his command. One thing I notice is his arm dragging behind slightly — it’s out of sync with his hips, and as a result the hips and legs are driving forward a hair too early, and therefore not helping to power the ball. The question is, why is his arm behind? Is it a timing issue, or is there something physically keeping him from firing his hand forward at its usual speed? For example, does he suffer from a mild shoulder injury?

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Mike June 18, 2009 at 2:06 pm
    You are brilliant Joe. I’m officially a devout “Janishite” (copywrite pending) can take your word on pitching mechanics as truth.
  2. Eli From Brooklyn June 18, 2009 at 5:05 pm
    Silly Joe! That “person” was you! Gosh.
  3. micalpalyn June 18, 2009 at 10:12 pm
    smoking gun: ok now we have seen the graphs, seen the ‘petersonian’mechanical analyses…but whatabout the ‘injury’ that created the compensatory adjustments….
  4. isuzudude June 19, 2009 at 9:58 am
    The injury, mic, was a supposed blister/cracked nail on his pitching hand, which has supposedly healed now, so it should no longer be an issue. We’ll see if that’s so on Saturday.