Thinking about how some people are lefties, or perform certain actions with one side and other actions with another side, got me thinking about baseball.
Why is it there are more switch-hitters, but switch-pitchers are rare? Couldn't a switch-pitcher have such a great advantage by not letting hitters get into a rhythm with the pitcher's delivery?
Doing a quick search, this Pat Venditte seems to be the only guy. Why isn't there a number more comparable to the number of switch-hitters there are?
Look at it this way. It takes years for pitchers to be able to perfect their rotation, arm strength control, and ability to throw individual pitches. It takes only a little thing to throw off their balance. Most pitchers tweak details as they go through their careers and need to adjust as they go. Its a career long process.
Originally Posted by nuraman00
Now imagine the difficulty of doing this with both arms. For starters you have to build up the neccessary balance, arm strength, and control to throw the ball hard enough and with enough accuracy to even consider pitching in an organized game. It can take years just for some people to feel comfortable. It takes a crap ton of repetition. Thats not even including the fact your fastball will likely be less than your main hand, and being able to get used to a delivery to throw various pitches. You are doubling an already streneous workload. Plus as you learn to do that...as its unnatural for you...you will likely kill the rhythm of pitching with your main hand from practicing so much with your off hand and switching between both.
With hitting, there are a lot less mechanics involved. Hitting has a lot to do with timing and identification. You don't need to tweak as much, and it takes a lot less time to find your balance. Its mostly about seeing pitches well from a mirrored angle and being able to adjust. Even then though, most switch hitters show a stronger ability to hit from one side over another. In some cases, such as a guy like Keilty they were so bad at it they may as well of not been a switch hitter.
Rickey Henderson was always a funny case. He threw left but hit right. He was naturally left handed so thats all he could throw with. If he used his right arm, he had little on his toss. Growing up though, everyone he knew was right handed so he though that was how you were supposed to hit. So he grew up only hitting right handed (never left), so he became proficent at it. He could of probably been a better hitter if he only hit left which was his natural, but he never wanted to try as he progressed into organized baseball as he didn't want to ruin his timing and felt he'd risk sucking as it would take a while to get readjusted.
Thanks, good points.
I didn't know that about Henderson either.
I have often thought about why this has never come to pass
a lefty-righty pitcher would have huge advantages against hitters and with pitch counts
I am close to ambidextrous myself... I can play golf about as good either way.. can write, paint and do most everything with either hand
I was a really good pitcher in high school and beyond (right handed)
but left handed I throw like a girl....it's difficult
Hmm, thanks for the perspective. You can do some things with either hand, but pitching is still tough.
Originally Posted by Sir Harry
Rarely make it past A or AA ball. Also I think Venditte had a rule named after him
Even good switch hitters are rare - so many guys who come up as switch hitters eventually stick to one side of the plate.