Jan
21

Analyzing Tim Lincecum’s mechanics

By

Stuff like this absolutely fascinates me. Enjoy.

Categories : Asides

24 Comments»

  1. Ivan says:

    I love Lincecum, the guy is a phenomenal talent.

    His stuff is sick and his unique you know and my top two fav young pitchers right for like a couple years now is Lincecum and Hughes.

  2. inyk says:

    yeah, I read about him at first and how he sat at 94-96, then I saw his height and weight and I was flat out amazed. Inspired almost. Maybe I can throw 96 mph.

    • Manny says:

      Im pretty if you worked out the right muscles(obliques and back) and practiced on a delivery like his you could get pretty close to his speed.

  3. Jeff says:

    Love it… wish someone would do that type of in depth mechanical analysis for our guys. Its great to get a broken down view with the video.

  4. Lanny says:

    Did God give you a lightning bolt for an arm? Because thats all God given talent. You cannot teach a person to throw 96mph.

    • KAnst says:

      I read something by a pitching coach once. He said, he can teach any physically fit person to throw in the 70′s. If you have some god given abilities he can teach you to throw in the 80′s. But to throw in the mid 90′s its almost entirely god given talent, all a coach can do is help you control it.

  5. Lanny says:

    And no matter how much you work out your oblique muscles you wont throw like Lincecum.

    It just isnt possible.

    Blame God.

  6. zack says:

    Great analysis, but I wish there was more on the long term effects/projections of such mechanics, sort of like what Carlos Gomez did with Hughes. I know part of the thing is that there aren’t very many comps (kind of reminds me of Nomo in many ways, no?) but I can’t see those mechanics being durable. Perhaps I am wrong.

  7. NYFan50 says:

    Lincecum is an absolute stud. I hope he remains healthy, because he’s fun to watch and could be for many years.

  8. CB says:

    No matter how many times you see it, Tim Lincecum’s arm speed is astonishing. It’s almost looks like his arm belongs to another body.

    Joba has that kind of startling arm speed but with him you can see where Joba’s body can generate that kind of arm speed.

    With Lincecum it just seems to come from nowhere.

    It’ll be very interesting to see how much Lincecum will be able to improve his command. If he does there are going to be many no-hitters in his future.

    Hard to believe that arm could last to pick #10 regardless of what concerns you have about how large his frame is or how unorthodox his delivery is.

  9. Cra says:

    Mike A.
    iI was fun to watch and you sounded very “as a matter of fact” and professional..But he wasn’t developed in the image of Sandy Kofax.Sandy had a great curveball and excellent fastball for his size.When I was 13 I looked up to him ;but only for those reasons I just explained.Not his mechanics.
    I developed Tim’s form from mine;which I spent a my youth and adulthood refining. Also, his oblique muscles are strong as is all his body and most importantly his small muscles But his power is generated from his toes to his finger tips ;in that order.The key here is his core.Those stomach and abdominal muscles are extremely strong and flexible.This takes the strain off his back.
    Also,you mentioned he hurt his back in college..He didn’t..He pulled a lower-lumbar muscle swinging at an outside pitch in a game at Cedarcrest.He was a Senior in high school and was hitting around .400 when it happed and after the pull he was no longer hitting in high school.
    And yes,his head is pretty still but as you’ll notice it’s tilted a bit.The key here is to have the angle of his arm plain the same as his shoulders.With his head(and upper-body tilt) it helps maintain leverage created from is stride and hips while still letting his arm and shoulders move freely over the top.
    He basically uses his body as gymnast would. Creating leverages throughout as say a gymnast would do performing a “kip”.The arm speed is partially god-given but actually his mechanics let him create that energy through a “very loose” shoulders arm and grip. And he doesn’t try to pin-point his pitches as so many do. He throws to a target; not aims. Most aim and create tension in some part of their body. This is what causes most breakdowns and injuries. All together it’s very fluid and should last along time..I had the same form(though I believe he is a better athlete than I) and I hit 88 at the age of 52..
    Chris Lincecum

    • dan says:

      Chris–

      I wonder what you think of the various breakdowns of Tim’s mechanics available on the web (including repeated glowing reviews by Carlos Gomez, who now works for the Diamondbacks). I find it interesting how various “experts” can all watch the same video and have so many differing opinions on a pitcher.

    • Mike A. says:

      It sounded “matter of fact” and “professional” because I didn’t make the video! Hehe.

      I found it while I was slumming through YouTube.

  10. Aaron says:

    Great find on the video.

  11. Cra says:

    Well Aaron,it does get frustrating at times with comments from broadcasters in the media and pitching experts thoughout baseball…I hear all sorts of things about Tim’s mechanics and where and how I supposedly developed them.
    I’ve been contacted by pitching coaches in the majors and minors inquiring about my theories.There is an excellent camp in Houston run by Ron W. and Brent Strom. A player I’ve worked with on and off for the last few years was taken there by his dad in late December and the dad told me of how often they used Tim’s mechanics as an example of the proper way to use his body.
    Brent contacted me through e-mail and expressed his appreciation of Tim’s mechanics.I agree with most everything I heard that they use in their theories.
    All in all I don’t let critics(of all levels) deter me of how I feel a pitcher should perform. I know what works and why.
    When I read and hear different comments about his durabilitie and unusual mechanics I just take it with a grain of salt and move on.Tim and me both learned to just let that fuel our desire to continue to prove them wrong.
    I did notice after watching the video a few times that Mike A. was probably not the commentator of the video and that it was most likely filmed in May. They didn’t have many appearances to judge Tim by and they mentioned his change-up as being a work in progress..Well, they ought to ask the hitters that try to make contact with it.And it’s not change.It’s an abbreviated forkball..Along the lines of what many call a split-change..Nasty!!

    • dan says:

      I have a feeling that you might have a stimulating conversation Mike Marshall, if he’d talk to you. He doesn’t listen to suggestions about his own theories, but it could be worthwhile. His email is on the bottom of this page:

      http://www.drmikemarshall.com/index.html

      Also available on that page is his free book on pitching mechanics, which seems to be extremely different from your approach.

  12. Lanny says:

    The only possible comparison of Joba and Lincecum is the fact that they are both supremely talented, ace level pitchers.

    They have nothing else besides supreme confidence in common especially physically.

  13. Bo says:

    Manny says:

    January 21st, 2008 at 9:15 pm (Reply)
    Im pretty if you worked out the right muscles(obliques and back) and practiced on a delivery like his you could get pretty close to his speed.

    It’s amazing that some people out there believe that you can become apitcher like this by working out certain muscles. Are you out of your mind???

  14. Cam says:

    It’s interesting to see the comparison between Lincecum and Oswalt. After watching that though, you kind of get the feeling that Hughes is closer to Oswalt than Tim. I remember earlier this year (I think on this site) toward the end of the season, people had been discussing Phil and why he didn’t seem to be throwing as hard, and why he wasn’t getting as many groundball outs as he did in the minors. There was this comparison in his mechanics and in the minors, he seemed to arch his back and squat a bit more in than in the majors, where he was more straigh up and down and compact. But it seems that according to this comparison between Lincecum and Oswalt, that will actually help Hughes in the long run because it allows him to be more consistent with location and more durable because his mechanics are much more simplified. It also seems to allow him to throw that giant curveball that he can throw. It will be very interesting to watch Tim and Phil over the course of their careers and see which ends up having the longer, more productive future. Here’s hoping it’s Phil ;-)

  15. SharksRog says:

    Phil Hughes has a wonderful combination of stuff and control. But last winter I tried to convince John Sickels to make Tim his #1 pitching prospect over Hughes and Homer Bailey in great part because I felt Tim would stay HEALTHIER than they. And that is because he takes strain off his arm by using his toes to his nose in his pitching motion, allowing his arm to become somewhat like a pole vaulter with his body as the pole.

    And sure enough, both Phil and Homer suffered injuries last summer, while Tim still hasn’t had so much as a sore arm, never having felt the need to even ice his arm after throwing.

    The key for Tim is to throw first-pitch strikes. When he does so, his walk rate is similar to that of Greg Maddux. But when his first pitch is a ball, his walk rate is similar to a young Sandy Koufax.

    And once Tim got batters to two strikes last season — regardless of the number of balls — his stuff is tough enough to hit that he limited batters to only about a .120 batting average. Heck, they hit only .226 against him overall.

  16. Anissa says:

    I LOVE LIGHTS OUT LINCECUM!!! He is sooo unique from all the other pitchers and i really dont want the giants to trade him. They can turn him into one of the best pitchers that we have ever had, all we need to do is keep him. I just adore the way he pitches and everything that he does. He is deffinately not your typical pitcher. He doesnt let Bochy ice his arm, he only needs about 10 pitches in the bullpen to warm up. He’s just what the Giants need right now =]

  17. Jesse says:

    Dear Chris,

    Kudos on having a successful and level headed son in the Major Leagues – too bad your other son broke his arm twice, or you would have TWO professional sons!

    I am in the same boat now as you were years ago…I have an 8 and 10 year old, both are pitchers, and excellent athletes as well. I pitched college and semi-pro ball for a while, utilizing a side-arm motion. Never got that far, not many of us do, but my dream lives on in my sons…

    Wanted to express my thanks on a fantastic Sports Illustrated article on your son. Immediately after reading that, I went home and completely overhauled my sons’ mechanics, to mimic Tim’s as close as possible.

    You had mentioned you developed a training, strength and conditioning program for your sons. I would like to do that as well, focusing on the WHOLE body rather than just the arm. Would you be so kind as to offer some pointers? I would like to keep them mobile and limber during the winter.

    Again, congratulations on an accomplishment most of us dream about. Thank you for your time.

    Dr. Jesse Blattstein

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