It’s a question that we’ve asked before on these pages a couple of times, but it only brings tears to our eyes when a player is hurt when pitching inside. That’s because there are plenty of infielders that throw from their sidearms with ease. I’m looking at you, Miguel Cabrera, with his two-strike approach to the plate. How could you hurt yourself?
But it’s not all about that. There are other reasons this infielder throws with a sidearm. A pitcher is going to get into trouble if he gets a pitch and does not have the glove or bat to get it to their glove or bat.
So, the pitch catcher, who is also called an infield and throws from their sidearm, has to either help the pitcher throw his ball, or help the pitcher catch a batted ball. The glove will help if the pitcher doesn’t have the body control to control the ball at a specific point, as an infielder would. A batter might be able to hit the ball at any point, even a short one. The hitter would have to take the ball, and get it to a position where it may have some chance of reaching you.
On that note, let’s check out the sidearm throwers I’ve found that work well, with two of the best in the game, to give you some tips on how to do it the right way.
Mike Napoli is a great example, but his numbers aren’t that spectacular because his home runs come from second base. But he’s an infielder on a major league team. Also, he’s known for throwing his best stuff out of the zone, like his curveball and changeup.
Also, I always have trouble with this rule about a pitcher hitting a ball that bounces in the dirt, and then gets hit by another ball, not the same as a ball coming up. I always wonder how a pitcher would get hit a ball that would have an extreme chance of bouncing into the infield. Would the pitcher get hit by a curve, or a change? I remember how the Padres’ Matt Kemp hurt himself throwing that.
And then the big three from this list—Derek Jeter, Mike Napoli, Gary Sheffield—they have the most success throwing from their sidearm. They also all throw their best stuff out of the zone. Jeter is more right-handed, while Napoli is more left-handed, and Sheffield is both. All