Why is Johan Santana Long Tossing?

Ever since Johan Santana arrived in Port St. Lucie, there have have been reports of his “long toss” sessions — where he throws at a distance up to 175 feet.

Why, exactly, is Johan Santana heaving a baseball almost three times the distance between the pitching rubber and home plate?

Before you say, “because that’s how a pitcher builds arm strength,” STOP. I’m well aware of that theory / assumption / fallacy / myth. It was instilled in me 25 years ago, before pro baseball had the benefit of advanced medicine, slow-motion video, and scientists who studied athletic movements. Still today, there is a legion of “old school” baseball men who hold dear to their heart this illogical notion that throwing a ball like a rainbow somehow increases velocity and “builds arm strength”. These people choose to ignore science and mountains of research stating that a) long toss does nothing for pitching velocity; and b) long toss does in fact place significant, unnecessary stress on the arm — the elbow in particular, and the shoulder secondarily.

Now, I will agree that long toss “builds arm strength” — IF, the goal is to be able to throw a baseball on a high arc over a long distance. This type of throw might be helpful, for example, in a long-toss competition. It might be helpful for a quarterback, or for someone who throws a javelin. But in baseball — and especially, on a pitcher’s mound — there is no use for such a throw.

That’s not to say all long-distance throwing is bad. There is a safe and beneficial way to throw at an extended distance that can help build the kind of arm strength that is useful in a baseball game. Generally speaking, the distance rarely extends beyond 100-120 feet, because once a player tries to throw further than that, his mechanics change — specifically, the athlete begins to tilt his hips and release the ball earlier. Once the mechanics change, there isn’t much to gain from the activity — all it does is introduce risk.

So why would the Mets — who are paying Johan Santana nearly $50M over the next two years — allow him to do anything that is risky? The man is trying to come back from a serious shoulder injury, and by allowing him to long toss, they’re putting both his shoulder and his elbow at risk — does that make any sense?

Please understand, I’m not against the idea of throwing to build arm strength — for all pitchers, including Santana. What I’m against is the type of high-arc long tossing that does absolutely nothing for a pitcher.

Instead, I’d like to see Santana (and all pitchers), maintain their proper mechanics with every throw they make — including in warmups — and gradually extend the distance to their target. As long as the ball is being thrown on a downward plane, and the mechanics stay the same, the distance can increase. The moment a pitcher needs to change the arc of the throw, the release point, and/or tilt his hips, he needs to stop and move back five feet.

Let’s take a look at what Johan is doing when he long tosses — photos courtesy of Michael Baron of MetsBlog.com.

Here is Johan beginning his long toss:

What’s immediately noticeable is that he has tilted his hips, is pointing his front side (shoulder) up toward the sky, and his head is also looking up — as if he’s visualizing a long, rainbow-like arc of a throw. Great form for heaving a javelin for distance, fairly useless for a pitcher, because a pitcher stands on a mound and throws DOWNHILL. What is the logic of throwing up toward the clouds when your main activity is throwing down to a squatting catcher?

Here’s a following frame of the same toss:

The head is still looking up, and his chest is also pointed up. Although you can’t see his legs fully, it’s clear that his stride is very short — maybe two or three feet at most. Johan’s pitching stride is about 6 feet.

Next frame captures Johan right before release:

Looking at where his arm and hand are, where do you think the ball is going to go — upward or downward? Pitchers never release the ball that high nor that early; if they did, the ball would go over the backstop. So why practice that kind of a release point if it won’t be used in the game?

Now see the frame right after release:

The hand is still going up, and the head is still looking up. A pitcher never does this on the mound. More importantly, by throwing upright like this, deceleration of the arm is absorbed almost completely by the shoulder. In other words, Johan is not using his trunk and legs to slow down his arm as he would in a pitching motion — most of the strain of slowing down is on the elbow and the shoulder. You know, that shoulder that required major reconstructive surgery. Granted, he’s not throwing with much velocity, but there is a substantial amount of force to heave a ball 150+ feet — and why would you want to subject a healing shoulder to this kind of unnecessary strain?

According to what has been reported in the media, it sounds like Johan has always incorporated long tossing in his routine, and he’s the one who made sure long toss was included in his program this spring. Note this quote by Mets manager Terry Collins, via MetsBlog:

“During his preparation, he likes to long toss, and we forgot to include that in his program,” Terry said. “He is still on target for Opening Day.”

I truly wonder if the Mets “forgot” to include long tossing in the program, or if someone who knows better — i.e., a doctor, physiologist, biomechanics expert, kinesiology scientist — purposely left it out?

Here are the facts, based on scientific study: pitching velocity comes from proper mechanics, more specifically, the ability to perfectly time the lower body with the upper body so that they’re working together to propel the ball — which some call “separation”. Most of the force that results in velocity comes from the lower half — the legs and the hips. Very little comes from the arm and the shoulder. So this idea of “building arm strength” by long tossing doesn’t make much sense, unless the pitcher somehow incorporates the full motion and works on that “separation”. I’m not seeing that from below video, taken during one of these long toss sessions:

What I am seeing, however, is the elbow and the shoulder being used as the “brakes” to slow down the arm — not good. When it comes to keeping a pitcher healthy, the slow-down phase of a pitch or throw is more important than acceleration. Long tossing in the fashion above doesn’t do too much, if anything, to develop and maintain good deceleration mechanics.

The irony is that Johan has shown outstanding “separation” in his bullpen sessions. Unfortunately, his arm action is downright frightening — but we’ll get into that in a few days.

What’s your thought? Should Johan be long tossing? If so, why?

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. LongTimeFan February 27, 2012 at 6:39 am
    While I understand your concern and question of the need and wisdom of Santana long toss, I think you’re making too much of this, Joe.

    Long tossing Is time tested pitching preparation regimen that has endured the test of time for healthy pitchers and those rehabbing from surgery. Strength and endurance is needed above and beyond the areas directly involved in proper mound mechanics and release points, that strengthening supporting structures and muscles more evenly distributes the load and build ancillary strength just as rehab does in the gym strengthening through exercises that don’t mimic the exact range of motion, nor delivery.

    Santana wants to long toss, feels it benefits him and is doing something very routine in baseball and under supervision of the appropriate medical personnel, and presumably, his surgeon.

    • Joe Janish February 27, 2012 at 9:43 am
      LTF, in regard to this statement:
      “Long tossing Is time tested pitching preparation regimen that has endured the test of time for healthy pitchers and those rehabbing from surgery.”

      Please provide supporting data.

    • Izzy February 27, 2012 at 10:41 am
      Time tested doesn’t mean its right or good. It was time tested to have starters pitch on 3 days rest until they stopped doing that. It was time tested to have starters throw a complete game as often as possible until it was stopped. Just because something has been done in baseball for decades doesn’t mean its beneficial. Maybe its good, maybe not. I just really hope that Santana isn’t following thought process of Terry Collins in doing this.
  2. steve February 27, 2012 at 6:54 am
    Good thing your not the GM because players like Santana Bauer, Lincecum would let you know early dont draft me to look at me. Your a dinosaur. Farms that players are going to,all use long tossing regimens. sk the Texas Rangers what there new philosophy is about? Why are they using Jaegar’s methods if its bad for a pitcher?
    • Joe Janish February 27, 2012 at 9:47 am
      I’M a dinosaur? Wake up, kid — the long toss myth is an OLD SCHOOL PHILOSOPHY. It’s only now, after scientists, doctors, and other researchers looked at the facts of human kinetics and biology, compared them to mountains of data, that this myth has been exposed as that — a myth. This is NEW information, so your choice to describe me as a “dinosaur” is inappropriate.
      • Rob February 27, 2012 at 4:23 pm
        I absolutely agree with you, Joe. The only long-toss that’s appropriate for pitchers is within a distance that allows for the same mechanics as a pitcher would use for pitching to a catcher. As the father of a budding pitcher, I’m keyed into the new school and all the science appears to support it. Tom House is the man on this subject, but you probably already know that.

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Now…if only the Mets organization would get with the program.

        • Joe Janish February 27, 2012 at 6:39 pm
          Rob, thanks for the support.

          As for Tom House, I would avoid him and his philosophies like the plague. He is one of those people for whom “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”. He turned young Rangers pitchers into guinea pigs in the 1980s and Nolan Ryan never spent a day on the DL until he pitched under House’s guidance. House has the tendency to twist science and/or research to fit his personal theories.

          You would do better to trust scientists. A book called “The Physics of Pitching” is pretty good. Angel Borrelli’s website is good too.

        • Rob February 27, 2012 at 6:43 pm
          Don’t know one way or the other about the veracity of House’s data, but I do know that the University of Virginia pretty much follows his theories and haven’t had an arm injury in decades. I’ll check out those other sites. Thanks!
      • Rob February 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm
        Joe: On an entirely different subject, I hope that you noticed the interview that Fred Wilpon gave to the Daily News this weekend. Of significant interest was Fred’s statement that allowing Reyes to walk was purely a baseball decision. HA! What a joke. They let the best young shortstop to come around in the history of the franchise walk based purely on a baseball decision? It wasn’t financially motivated at all? The Mets made a $100 million offer? Boy…if I didn’t despise Fred before this…I do now.

        Sorry for getting off topic, but I wanted to get this off my chest while I was still nice and angry.

        Keep up the great work!
        Rob

        • Joe Janish February 27, 2012 at 10:08 pm
          Thanks Rob!

          I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t know what Fred is saying sincerely and what is pure spin. He says not signing Reyes was a “baseball decision” but then says that the team cut salary that “wasn’t performing”. I guess that meant Ollie Perez and Luis Castillo. Whatever. Who cares? The team is broke, so they’re taking advantage of every opportunity to cut costs — that’s the bottom line, regardless of what Fred says publicly or lies to himself in private.

    • HobieLandrith February 27, 2012 at 10:24 pm
      Steve, did you really just use Alan Jaeger to support your argument? The same Alan Jaeger who hung his reputation on Joel “I Can’t Throw Ten Pitches Without Breaking Down” Zumaya?

      LOL!!!!!

  3. Patrick February 27, 2012 at 7:23 am
    I’ve disagreed with Joe before, but you guys are being unreasonable. It is a perfectly legitimate question. Pitchers throw from 60 feet 6 inches and long tossing does not simulate that, it does in fact put a totally different stress on the pitcher.
  4. Tommy2cat February 27, 2012 at 8:07 am
    Much ado about nothing. Perhaps Johan historically uses long toss in conjunction with other training methods. Not a big deal.
    • Joe Janish February 27, 2012 at 9:50 am
      Tommy, will it be a big deal if the long toss contributes to Santana suffering a setback? How do you know that the long toss didn’t contribute to his shoulder injury in the first place?
      • derek February 27, 2012 at 11:09 am
        if anything he should stand 175 feet away and throw it on a line…if it bounces and rolls so be it…but i agree he shouldnt be tilting his shoulders to launch a ball 175 ft to reach his target….

        looks like mets med staff at it again….or santana is getting ready for RF….

  5. DaveSchneck February 27, 2012 at 9:41 am
    Joe,
    The question is legit and the answer is in your little blue box – the elite players ultimately dictate their programs for better or worse. Despite the science, we can only hope it is for the better in this case.
  6. Lee February 27, 2012 at 11:24 am
    Hi Joe,

    Interesting & thought-provoking post. I’d like to learn more about the data that exists around long-tossing. Can you point us to some of the research about long-tossing and its impact on pitchers’ elbows and shoulders?

    thanks!
    Lee

  7. Mike Kelm February 27, 2012 at 12:21 pm
    Well the old school approach does have some merit. When adjusted for # of pitchers in the league, etc. pitchers prior to a time period of 20 years ago had statistically fewer arms injuries. The pitchers threw more innings and more frequently than they do now. If you look at the 86 Mets, all four of the Starting Pitchers threw more than 200 innings and co-closer McDowell threw 128. In last year’s Mets, only R.A. Dickey exceeded 200 innings, and he’s a soft-tossing knuckleballer. Part of what you are seeing now is the rise of specialization and the fear by managers of being second guessed by the media for not doing Tony LaRussa style matchups.
    Why is it that pitchers 20 years ago were throwing more innings with fewer injuries? Some of it is managing style, but some of it is conditioning.

    First off, nobody is saying that long-tossing is a great way of teaching pitching mechanics. It’s an entirely different throwing motion. What it is though is a different way of working the muscles. If you do the exact same motion, time after time after time, the muscles that control that motion will strengthen, but the muscles that surround it will atrophy. As a result you lose stabilization from the muscles as well as a “safety” net. So what happens is when a pitchers mechanics get messed up, he is now using weaker sets of muscle groups that he has not developed, versus the stronger set of muscles he has used over and over and over. So whereas a pitcher like Santana might be able to throw 100 pitches without long term injury using his correct mechanics, attempting to do it with incorrect mechanics will cause him to get hurt faster. However, if he can strengthen the other muscles besides those that he uses to pitch with his normal motion, his poor mechanics won’t put him on the shelf. Cause him to be a bad pitcher- yes, but put him on the shelf with an injury no.

    Not long tossing should not impact a pitcher so long as he maintains consistent mechanics. However, the moment his motion gets messed up due to a minor injury such as a muscle pull, weather or field conditions, or something else he is at risk of injury. Long-tossing won’t eliminate the risk of the injury but it (and other exercises which work the muscles of the back, shoulder, chest and arm) can lessen it.

    • Joe Janish February 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm
      There are many, many reasons that pitchers of yesteryear threw more innings, etc.; long-tossing, however, does not factor into the equation. We can open that can of worms another day.

      Your dissertation on training the same muscles over and over, to the point where others surrounding them may atrophy, has merit, but I don’t see how it applies to long tossing / pitching from a mound. Extending the distance of a throw causes the athlete to change his mechanics in a way that puts more load on the elbow joint. In other words, there are safer alternatives to strengthening the muscles that may atrophy — such as, dumbbell or surgical tubing exercises.

      And as for your last statement, I disagree — long tossing will increase the risk of injury, not lessen it. Once a player starts throwing at a distance of about 120 feet, the degree of elbow flexion increases significantly, and increases even more at 180+ ft. Excessive elbow flexion causes tension in the shoulder. Since Johan’s injury was to the shoulder, does it make sense to put it in harm’s way by having him do long toss? He’s not going to gain any velocity from long toss. He already has GREAT separation; what’s keeping him from throwing 90+ is that his mechanics are out of whack. No amount of long toss is going to fix his pitching mechanics. But, if he continues to use bad mechanics — both on the mound and via long toss sessions — he will most certainly re-injure the shoulder and/or hurt his elbow.

      • DaveSchneck February 29, 2012 at 10:54 am
        I haven’t seen any data, but old schoolers always refer to the amount of innings thrown, not the amount of pitches. It strikes me that over the last two decades, working the pitcher and seeing more pitches has become much more of a global offsensive strategy. Guys in the 60s and earlier were probably throwning more innings with fewer pitches.
  8. Steven February 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm
    This is a very important dialogue. I am not sure if you are right Joe, but you give arguments that are worth at least considering and if I had invested $125mm in this question it is worth thinking through rather than simply saying “long tossing is a tradition” so its OK for Johan to do it. I hope that Terry and the Wilpons read this.
  9. Morgan February 27, 2012 at 7:36 pm
    This is a slightly different view, but having gone through several kinds of surgeries myself, doing different motions and exercises are very helpful because overly focusing on the muscles most directly affected neglects surrounding muscles which are vital to his recovery. Doing only one motion doesn’t seem to be as helpful as a variety is. I’m not a professional, just a patient, but that is what I’ve observed.
    • Joe Janish February 27, 2012 at 10:03 pm
      Agreed, different motions and exercises are vital to rehabilitation. And I’m certain that Johan was prescribed many types of exercises with exactly that in mind — such as working with dumbbells and tubing/rubber bands, water exercises, and maybe even medicine ball work. However, I would be stunned if any medical professional prescribed the type of long-toss routine Johan is using right now, because it creates excessive elbow flexion that puts potentially damaging stress and tension on precisely the parts of the shoulder he had surgically repaired.
  10. Josh Z February 27, 2012 at 10:01 pm
    lets be honest here, they wanna know if he has anything left, they are gonna wear him out and see how the arm takes it. If all goes well then they will have succeeded and can be optimistic
  11. Mets Yankees Tickets February 28, 2012 at 1:21 am
    Santana will come back strong this year. He is a great pitcher that has a lot left to give.
  12. argonbunnies February 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm
    It strikes me as plausible that it actually doesn’t take much exertion for a pro pitcher to throw a ball a mere 175 feet. So despite the fact that all the motion’s stress is placed on the arm, it’s still less stress than throwing a ball 90mph.

    If that were the case, then the benefit would be cross-training: stretching and strengthening different, supporting muscle groups. Lats and subscapular muscles, perhaps?

    These are blind guesses, but I don’t think any of us know for sure.

    Side note on Tom House: I believe Randy Johnson credited House with helping him become more consistent and durable. If one can blame House for Johnson’s lost ’96, one should also credit him for Randy’s incredible durability in his lat 30s. Though, hey, speaking of steroid suspicions, isn’t peaking at 38 supposed to be a red flag?

    • Kyle February 29, 2012 at 9:32 am
      It would be suspicious had he not be a 6-10 guy who threw 101 mph and took years to be one of the best ever since he didn’t have a GREAT season until he was 29 years old. His best season was actually when he was 40 years old. He had his best k/walk ratio, gave up less homeruns, had his career best WHIP all after coming off an injury.

      But he was best in at age 37 when he and Schilling seriously went medieval on the Yankees. Had it not been for Kim, that series is the most serious clinic ever with the Yankees barely winning one game against Brian Anderson. He got shelled when he was 38 against the Cardinals so… that wouldn’t be his peak. Speaking of steroids Clemens was done and Boston knew that(then he became a great pitcher again)at ages no pitcher had dominated at. Nolan peaked with his control having his career best WHIP and giving up just 5.3 hits every 9 innings at 44.

      As for long toss is the reason guys like Nolan and Billy Wagner could throw through brick walls no matter how old they were. Honestly, the fact that he had rotator cuff surgery makes me cringe. You’re right that it looks bad after he releases it in his follow through. It’s better than not seeing him do long toss ever again unless you want him as a closer and not a starter. Every second he loses due to this injury, the odds are he will be lucky to not struggle with other injuries making up for this. It kills velocity and control, remember how Pedro looked great at first but then kept hurting his hamstring and was never the same. Mark Mulder, also a lefty, retired at 29 cause of this. Only Hoffman came back to be the same pitcher after a similar injury but he had already lost his fastball and was only needed an inning at a time. Maybe the Mets should think about something along those lines. Brandon Webb also had rotator cuff surgery(for a second time)and I don’t think he’ll pitch again. I read that Santana actually had a decent throwing session where he looked and felt pretty good like the other day. The Mets should trade Wright before they can’t get anything for him. Or let Mark Cuban buy them, dude wants to own a baseball team and will do anything to make the team good,

      • Joe Janish February 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm
        Kyle – the reason Nolan Ryan and Billy Wagner were able to maintain their velocity at advanced age had more to do with their mechanics, health, and physical conditioning than with long tossing.
    • Joe Janish February 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm
      Argonbunnies – Actually there is more stress placed on the arm when long tossing in excess of 120 feet, than there is in throwing a ball 90 MPH from 60 feet. As I mentioned somewhere previously, velocity has more to do with knowing how to coordinate the lower half (trunk and legs) with the upper (arm), than the arm on its own — it’s a timing thing. This is where all the confusion occurs in baseball — even though we say a hard-throwing pitcher has a “strong arm”, in reality he has “great separation” or “perfect timing”.
      • argonbunnies March 1, 2012 at 2:47 pm
        As for generating the power to get the ball to its destination, I hear ya. But once that power’s been generated, the arm’s moving really fast, and needs to decelerate.

        Throwing 90mph gets the arm moving faster, right? So the consequences of improper deceleration might be worse, right?

        Does having a strong arm help deceleration? I would think a flexible arm would certainly help…

        • Joe Janish March 2, 2012 at 12:43 am
          Argonbunnies, you are EXACTLY RIGHT: deceleration is incredibly important, and in fact when it isn’t done properly it is often the main reason for arm injuries.

          Arm strength and deceleration do not have much of a connection. It’s all about the laws of physics, particularly momentum; one is best suited using the larger muscles (legs, hips, back, trunk) to put on the brakes, so to say. The arm should be allowed to move freely and follow through, with the brunt of deceleration on the lower half.

          It’s probably a bad comparison but this might help drive (pardon the pun) the point home: think about a car, a really fast car like a top-fuel dragster or “funny car”. The engine gets it down the track, but it’s stopped by the brakes and a parachute. If the driver downshifts to slow down, he’ll probably blow the engine. Similarly, if a pitcher uses his teeny-tiny shoulder muscles to slow down his arm, it’s only a matter of time before it blows out. This is why pitchers are encouraged to follow through with their head driving forward and low, “nose to toes”; by doing that the larger muscles of the body are used to slow things down.

  13. Steven February 29, 2012 at 4:31 pm
    How did Tom Seaver condition himself. Am I correct in recalling that he would be do nothing between starts but a lot of running to strengthen the legs
    • Joe Janish February 29, 2012 at 11:48 pm
      Seaver wrote a great book titled “The Art of Pitching” in which he details much of his conditioning, including between starts. Yes he did plenty of running — mostly wind sprints. He threw EVERY DAY, even the day after a start (though, he didn’t start throwing the day after a start until 1983). He also did isometric / isokinetic exercises with a trainer in between starts, and did dumbbell exercises in the offseason. Most of his throwing came off a mound or at 60′ distance on flat ground. I don’t recall any mention of long tossing in his book; if he did mention it, it wasn’t discussed as a major point in conditioning.
  14. Warren March 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm
    Joe,

    Didn’t you state a year or two ago that you were concerned that although Johan was back that his elbow was too high (or was it too low) and that it was contrary to good mechanics (which apparently you were right about)? So from that perspective, what do you see in his current pitching motion from today’s BP session?

    • Joe Janish March 2, 2012 at 12:51 am
      Warren, thanks for noticing!

      Yes, I spotted something strange in Johan’s mechanics around the time he originally hurt his shoulder and conferred with kinesiology scientist Angel Borrelli, who accurately located and described the flaw. This is the process that should be taken by all MLB pitching coaches — keep an eye on what’s happening, and when something looks “off”, get an expert on physiology / anatomy / kinesiology / biomechanics to find out for sure and help you fix the issue. Unfortunately, MLB remains in the stone age with many things, and for whatever reason many teams still trust that former pitchers-turned-pitching-coaches know more than people who devote their lives to studying and researching body movement. But hey, science has only been around for a few hundred centuries, right?

      I digress …

      Yes I took a look at the video of Johan’s BP session and in my opinion it was atrocious and downright frightening; nothing has changed, he’s still doing exactly the same thing that caused his injury in the first place. However I’m going to get feedback from experts before publishing a post on the subject — cuz that’s how I roll.

      • Warren March 2, 2012 at 10:39 am
        I’m looking forward to your analysis! Thanks for the reply.

        The previous occasion I referenced, was it that his elbow was above his shoulder (that’s my recollection) or below his shoulder? Or do you happen to know the link to that entry by you?

        I’m no expert for sure, but as a former 10 year Little League pitching coach who may do it again in the future I’m very curious about your thoughts with respect to how high the elbow should be.

        Thanks for your blog!

        • Joe Janish March 2, 2012 at 12:48 pm
          Warren, I wish all little league coaches had your desire to learn!

          It’s too simple for me to answer where the elbow needs to be — it all depends on timing. Generally speaking, the elbow should be somewhere near the same level as the shoulder during most of the motion. If it gets too high at the release point, there can be shoulder impingement or other issues.

          In the case of Johan, it’s more complicated. Check out this post, including the comments, as Angel Borrelli chimed in with extra info:

          http://www.metstoday.com/6837/mets-injuries/why-johan-may-not-return-this-year-or-ever/

        • Warren` March 4, 2012 at 1:31 am
          Thx for your reply and your insight!
  15. Kyle March 24, 2012 at 8:39 am
    I had to come back because Santana dominated the Cardinals in six innings with their big hitters(6 innings, 6 k’s, all hits he gave up were singles, and no walks.)

    Of his 69 pitches, 48 were strikes… so this is really good news. I want to see the ace who pitched for the Twins for so many years again.

    I know that long toss doesn’t seem important to health, stamina like that… guys like Verlander are raised on it. Wagner is a 5’11 lefty who threw over 100 forever, and since Johan is also a hard throwing lefty not much taller than 6 feet, that’s why I combined them.

    Mechanics aren’t always cut and dry(look at Prior who fooled everyone into thinking he had perfect mechanics or a guy like Lincecum.)

    I digress… he hit 92 on the gun a few times and his off-speed stuff was SICK. This early in camp after so many injuries being able to hit 92 a couple of times is REALLY encouraging due to the nature of his arm problems. He’s a man’s man who wants a contract again… expect a gritty, near ace like year from him. But not from Jason Bay… he’s hopeless.