Can rockin’ the ‘roids make your OF arm stronger?
August 2nd, 2007 by czar

An athletic guy like Coco really has no excuse for a poor throwing arm.

Not to nitpick, but athleticism is not necessarily positively correlated with how hard (or far) you can throw.

I’ve played ball with guys far more athletic than me, but my arm is signficantly better than theirs (both velocity-wise from a pitching standpoint, and throwing in the field) even though they were physically stronger than me across the board when it came to their throwing arm.

It’s good that they have Coco adjusting his mechanics of throwing to utilize a more effective weight transfer, but he’ll plateau again at some point once his mechanics outrun his arm strength.

But back to the original point, there have always been athletic guys in MLB who couldn’t throw hard because of anatomical limitations, and there will be big leaguers in the future with the same issue.

It’s a combination of shoulder strength, muscle memory and technique. Once a good athlete is trained with the proper mechanics and gets into repeating the proper technique over and over again, they can’t help but have a stronger throwing arm.

Yes, but my point is to some degree to composition, flexibility, range of motion, and maximum strength of the shoulder (and it’s muscles) seems dependent on the individual. I never worked with a coach or slowly build up velocity through time. In middle school, I developed a decent arm in the OF. One night, they stuck me on a pitching mound, and I topped out at 81 in 9th grade. With no lifting, no exercise, and no throwing other than a game or two a week (I wasn’t one of those kids who threw to their pitchback all day every day) I hit the low 80′s freshman year, and ended up in the mid-upper 80′s for junior/senior year. Now currently, I’ve been working my way back from a severe case of rotator cuff tendinitis, and I finally threw on the side (at about 80%) last week. First time I had thrown (overhand– it doesn’t hurt me to throw submarine) in almost a year (I had done a complete shutdown it hurt so bad last year) and I immediately hit 81 on my fifth fastball. No throwing exercise at all for 10 months, and I was only 3-4 mph off where I expect when my shoulder is at full-strength.

I don’t doubt for a second that proper mechanics and routine throwing work can increase arm strength, but there also appears to be a factor inherent in the structure and composition of the shoulder– and it’s muscles, ligaments, and tendons, so it’s unfair to argue athleticism vs. arm strength. For players like Crisp and Damon (injury admitted) and other players with below average arms at the big league level, I don’t think it’s as much “they haven’t worked on their throwing” it’s more of a “they are approaching their physical limitations.”

Posted in Message Board Ramblings

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  • Traversing the land that is known as Red Sox Nation, The Czar Who Wears Red Sox is an attempt at compiling a repertoire of my ever-so-sexy forum posts (when I'm too lazy to write my own damn entry) and other random baseball thoughts that strike. For those whose posts serve as the inspiration of my epiphanies and rants, do not be angry, but merely, be honored that you have achieved such status. Names will never be revealed. Feedback appreciated, as this is a work in progress.

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