Carter Capps, Jordan Walden, and Legal Deliveries

Yesterday, the Marlins called up Carter Capps from the minors, and Capps went on to make his season debut in last night’s game against the Braves. He pitched well, getting all three batters he faced out, one of them by strikeout. But a reliever getting called up and throwing a scoreless inning isn’t worthy of a post, so you know there has to be more to the story. And there is, because here’s what Carter Capps throwing the ball looks like.

Jordan Walden has been doing this for years, but Capps looks to be taking the jump-towards-home-plate delivery to an entirely new level. He had a reduced version of this delivery when he got to the majors with Seattle, so this isn’t entirely new, but the jump-step he showed last night goes beyond what he did in his previous big league stints.

When he was traded to the Marlins — he was the return for Logan Morrisonhe noted that he wanted to change his delivery, or perhaps more accurately, walk back some of the changes he made in Seattle.

“I’m trying to get a little more use out of my legs, like I used to pitch,” Capps said. “When I went to Seattle, I changed some things around. I’m trying to get back to pitching the way I used to pitch.”

Get a little more use out of his legs, indeed. Mission accomplished, sir. But is this really legal? PCL umpires didn’t think so, when his first two pitches in an appearance last week were ruled automatic balls for “disengaging the rubber”. But if you look at the MLB rules, there’s nothing actually in there that says your back foot has to remain on the rubber when delivering a pitch to the plate.

In MLB’s official rules on the “legal pitching delivery”, the phrase “disengaging the rubber” is used, but only in regards to what a pitcher can and cannot do with regards to pickoffs. For instance, it specifies that a pitcher must drop his hands if he disengages the rubber — in order to show that he’s no longer preparing to throw a pitch — but there isn’t any wording in there that says you cannot disengage the rubber during your natural throwing motion.

The fact that Walden has been doing this for years without punishment set a precedent that it was legal, and Capps even got assurance from MLB that his delivery is indeed allowable.

Marlins reliever Carter Capps received some clarification from Major League Baseball regarding his unorthodox delivery, where he takes a small hop off the rubber. Basically, it was pointed out to the reliever to not elevate so high.

Capps’ mechanics came into question last Thursday, when he was pitching in the ninth inning for Triple-A New Orleans. Each of Capps’ first two pitches against Omaha were called illegal pitches, resulting in automatic balls.

Rather than have Capps change his delivery, which could lead to injury, he was instructed to intentionally walk the batter. After the four pitches, Capps was replaced.

The next day, the Marlins contacted Major League Baseball seeking clarification on what Capps, who has 88 games of big league experience, was doing wrong.

“They just said they wanted me to make sure I dragged my foot and not get too elevated in the air, and make sure it’s more on a lateral plane,” Capps said. “As long as I do that, they have no problem with it. But it was very strange.”

“It doesn’t look pretty, obviously,” Capps said. “But that’s the first time anybody had a blatant problem with it. They didn’t want me to get too much elevation. They understand I’m going to come off the rubber, but they wanted me to drag my toe a little bit more. I’m going to try to do that.”

So, according to Capps, jumping forward is okay, but jumping up is not. The league clearly knows their rulebook a lot better than I do, though I will admit that I was unable to find anything in the rules that would be the basis for that conclusion. That doesn’t mean it isn’t in there. Perhaps there is an addendum to the delivery rule that simply didn’t make its way online. This isn’t an area where I’m going to claim to have any kind of insight, because I’m not a rules junkie, and I’ve never umpired. If MLB says it is legal, then it’s legal.

Walden has been a very effective Major League reliever, and like Capps, he’s been able to sustain excellent velocity even while jumping towards the plate during his delivery. For his career, Walden’s posted an 82 ERA-/71 FIP-/84 xFIP- line, with an average fastball velocity of 96.6 mph during his career. However, Walden’s ability to miss bats has been offset by command problems, and as Eno Sarris wrote here a couple of years ago, there are reasons to think that the jump-step could be partially the cause of Walden’s inability to throw strikes consistently.

In his previous big league appearances, Capps’ walk rate was okay, and he threw 50.6% of his pitches in the strike zone, a few ticks higher than Walden’s career 47.7% mark. But he didn’t used to leap forward like this, and it’s possible that the trade-off for getting a release point closer to the plate will be some reduced ability to throw strikes.

But it’s probably worth trying out, especially if it helps solve his problems with left-handers. His arm-slot and his slider already makes him really tough on right-handers, but he’s been lit up by lefties in the big leagues, giving up a .404 wOBA to the 201 LHBs he’s faced in his career. To this point, Capps has essentially been a righty specialist; he doesn’t really need to the jump-step to dominate RHBs, since his repertoire already allowed him to do so.

But since he doesn’t really have a good out-pitch against lefties, his best bet against LHBs is probably to try and overpower them with fastballs. 97 from a low arm-angle hasn’t been good enough; 97 from a low-arm angle released at the very front of the mound might be. Walden actually has been better against LHBs than RHBs in his career, though he has started incorporating a change-up into his repertoire of late, so it might be more of a pitch quality issue than a release point benefit.

But it probably doesn’t hurt to try. Walden didn’t always throw many change-ups, and he was effective enough early in his career to close for the Angels with mostly just velocity and a jump-step. For Capps, this isn’t a bad role model to emulate, especially if mastering a pitch to equalize left-handers doesn’t seem to be in the cards for him.

If it works, and Capps turns into a quality reliever, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more fringy bullpen arms trying this kind of delivery out in the future. After all, reducing the distance in flight gives the batter less reaction time, and if pitchers can effectively throw from the end of the mound, they’ll have an even larger advantage than they do already.

Which is why I’d expect MLB to eventually change the rule if this becomes popular enough. The offensive decline of the last few years isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, and giving pitchers another way to get an edge over hitters is probably not in the game’s best long-term interest. But for Capps, it might be a way to convert himself from a right-handed specialist into a potential late-inning weapon.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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Nelson S.
Member
Nelson S.
1 year 1 month ago

Thats really funny looking

Catoblepas
Guest
Catoblepas
1 year 1 month ago

This is one of those cases where “legal or not?” isn’t really the question we should be asking. There might not be a rule against this, but that isn’t a problem, since MLB can change the rules whenever they want. The relevant question is whether this should be allowed, and that seems a lot more clear-cut. I really dislike it when people see something clearly wrong and shrug because “the rules don’t say you can’t,” as if the rules are natural laws. Not that Dave did that, though — I liked this article.

Yirmiyahu
Member
1 year 1 month ago

Well, there are two separate questions.

“Legal or not?” is one question, and an appropriate response is to shrug and say “the rules don’t say you can’t.”

Another question is “Should it be legal?”. My answer is “No, it shouldn’t. That’s ridiculous.” But that doesn’t mean its illegal right now.

Catoblepas
Guest
Catoblepas
1 year 1 month ago

I think we’re agreeing — I’m saying people sometimes answer “Should it be legal?” with “It’s not against the rules,” and conflate the two questions.

Yirmiyahu
Member
1 year 1 month ago

Ah, my bad. We’re in agreement then. I thought you were arguing that just because something SHOULD BE illegal, then the letter of the rule be damned. I’m of the opinion that pushing the envelope within the letter of the rules is all in the spirit of creativity and competitiveness.

And to those arguing that this Capp has a fluid delivery and only pushes off once: I disagree. I look at Walden’s delivery, and I see a guy jumping and releasing the ball as he’s landing. But I look at Capp’s delivery, and I see a guy jumping, landing, re-planting his feet, and then releasing the ball. Cut off the video at the knee, and I still don’t see a fluid delivery. In fact, in the second GIF above, it looks like he’s even violating the limitation he describes (“They just said they wanted me to make sure I dragged my foot”).

francis
Guest
francis
1 year 1 month ago

If the MLB was awake, they wouldn’t allow this. I give it little hope of lasting the season.

If this was a Belichick managed team, he’d wait until the World Series to unveil it, having his entire staff hop halfway to the plate before releasing their pitches. And he’d get away with it too.

Now if this is a stealth move to stop Walden from doing what he does, then Capps is a genius.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
1 year 1 month ago

I’d like to see a pitcher try lifting his lead leg, then hopping 15 times on his back foot until he’s 10 or so feet from the plate, and then firing in a fastball.

Of course, I think in addition to the hitter and the umpire, his catcher might have beef with that.

Bryz
Guest
1 year 1 month ago

If I’m the batter and a pitcher tried doing that to me, I’d fling my bat at him to let him know that home plate belongs to me.

/half-sarcasm

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
1 year 1 month ago

Well, I’m pretty sure no sane person would stand there and try to actually hit.

Manny Machado
Guest
Manny Machado
1 year 1 month ago

Good idea!

Brian McCann
Guest
Brian McCann
1 year 1 month ago

I’m with you, brother.

Peter Kriss Kross
Guest
Peter Kriss Kross
1 year 1 month ago

Exactly. If Capps’s delivery is legal, what’s to stop someone else from — short of taking 15 hops — moving three, four, five hops closer?

daniel
Guest
daniel
1 year 1 month ago

Well, he only takes one hop. It seems to me that they are saying that you can take One, but not more.

N8*K
Guest
N8*K
1 year 1 month ago

The only explanation I can think of as to why Capps’ delivery is allowed is if you look at his upper body, it appears to progress fluidly toward home plate.

philosofool
Guest
philosofool
1 year 1 month ago

In the top one, it looks fluid, in the bottom one, he isn’t really delivering with his arm until he’s hopped.

BIP
Guest
BIP
1 year 1 month ago

I think the real problem would be the dramatic increase in fatal comebackers.

Dusty Baker's indignant toothpick
Guest
Dusty Baker's indignant toothpick
1 year 1 month ago

and increased chance of inury and severity for the pitcher due to being nearly halfway to the plate

Stanatee the Manatee
Guest
Stanatee the Manatee
1 year 1 month ago

It looks like he’s asking for a gruesome knee explosion to me, especially in the first gif.

Krog
Guest
Krog
1 year 1 month ago

That delivery looks impossible to perform consistently. It seems obvious that he would have command issues. All pitchers leaver the rubber as a natural part of their deliveries, but its obvious that Capps is intentionally jumping towards the plate. I doubt that this will become common as it will be doomed by an inability to throw strikes or an increased injury risk from an unwieldy delivery.

Alex
Guest
Alex
1 year 1 month ago

I agree that is not a very repeatable delivery. But both he and Jordan Walden seem athletic enough to repeat is consistently enough so as not to walk every batter. I doubt Capps cares much about his command, but he will need to more and more as his career progresses and hitters see him more. This delivery allows for absurd power output off of the mound and it also helps facilitate his hip-to-shoulder separation from what I can see. But I would agree that it is probably not a sustainable option.

Dustin
Guest
Dustin
1 year 1 month ago

If one hop is Ok, is 2? How about 3? I’m fine with the disengaging, but he propels himself forward a second time. Shouldn’t be allowed in my opinion.

burts_beads
Member
Member
burts_beads
1 year 1 month ago

Exactly. You can’t jump with your back leg and then land on it again before you even release the ball. That’s absurd.

Westside guy
Member
Member
Westside guy
1 year 1 month ago

It’s not just absurd – it’s also traveling.

John DiFool
Guest
John DiFool
1 year 1 month ago

And a false start. He should be penalized 5 yards.

Alex
Guest
Alex
1 year 1 month ago

I wonder what his effective velocity if since he’s already throwing 98. I mean it looks like he releases the ball almost a full foot closer than the average pitcher which puts him somewhere around 103-104 as far as effective velocity goes. No wonder no one is turning on those heaters.

Catoblepas
Guest
Catoblepas
1 year 1 month ago

Quick back-of-the-envelope guess: the mound has a 9-foot radius, and he looks to skip about a third of it, or 3 feet, so he’s throwing the ball 57.5 feet rather than 60.5 feet. An object moving at 98 mph travels 60.5 feet in about .4209 seconds, and travels 57.5 feet in about .4000 seconds. An object that traveled 60.5 feet in .4000 seconds would be going about 103.1 mph.
Obviously, this doesn’t consider the deceleration the ball goes through after release, or any number of other factors, but it should be an alright estimate. It would seem he picks up a good chunk of velocity from this.

Bryz
Guest
1 year 1 month ago

The only issue with your calculation is that you’re assuming that a pitcher normally releases the ball above the pitching rubber. I’d say the difference here is more like he’s releasing the ball from ~54 instead of ~57.

Catoblepas
Guest
Catoblepas
1 year 1 month ago

Sure, but it’s still a three-foot difference, so I’m not too worried about it.

Paul
Guest
Paul
1 year 1 month ago

The average release point is more like 5.5 ft, so the difference (if it was 3 ft) would be 52 versus 55. That difference is something that a hitter would worry about when you’re talking about well hit/poorly hit and hit/swung and missed being inches and fractions of seconds.

Ryan Brock
Member
Member
1 year 1 month ago

This was my question, too. Apparently he’s actually throwing up around 100mph now. So if that’s the case, does Carter Capps have the fastest effective velocity in MLB?

Daniel
Guest
Daniel
1 year 1 month ago

Rule 2.00 under “ILLEGAL PITCH” says: “An ILLEGAL PITCH is (1) a pitch delivered to the batter when the pitcher does not have his pivot foot in contact with the pitcher’s plate; (2) a quick return pitch. An ille- gal pitch when runners are on base is a balk.”

Can you clarify why this doesn’t deem the delivery Capps is using to be illegal? You talked about the delivery under section 8 of the rule book I believe, but didn’t mention this part.

LeeTro
Guest
LeeTro
1 year 1 month ago

If you take a look at any pitcher as they release the ball in slow motion, you’ll see that they’re not touching the rubber. It’s really just the fact that Capps jumps so far that gets everyone’s attention. He’s not pushing off his back leg after it lands in front of the rubber, so I don’t see a problem rules-wise. As everyone else has said, it is very tough to stay consistent and the injury risk is much greater.

munchtime
Guest
munchtime
1 year 1 month ago

Sure he is – look at it again. The second gif is probably more clear than the first. He pushes off the rubber, then re-coils his back leg while in the air, then pushes off a second time when he hits the ground.

LeeTro
Guest
LeeTro
1 year 1 month ago

I don’t think there’s much of a push after he lands. His front leg moves in a constant speed and direction, plus his back foot is at a 45-degree angle to the ground, so I don’t see how he derives any force to push forward.

Nate
Guest
Nate
1 year 1 month ago

I’m seeing the same as munch. His hips don’t drive, which pushes the upper-body coil until after his right foot lands the second time. He’s pushing off the dirt after landing.

Bryz
Guest
1 year 1 month ago

I’ve asked and the best explanation I’ve received is that this rule only relates to being on the rubber as you push off, not when you release. Also, as LeeTro already said, no pitcher is actually touching the rubber at release.

twon2012
Guest
twon2012
1 year 1 month ago

I think that’s the issue with Capps. He pushes off the rubber and then pushes off again from the mound. The second push has to make this an illegal pitch, right? I know the immediate comparison is Walden but if you watch Walden he only pushes off once and it’s from the rubber. This is something entirely different.

KB
Guest
KB
1 year 1 month ago

Thats in reference to your pivot foot not being in contact with the rubber at the start of your pitching motion. Not your pivot foot engaged at the time of release.

t
Guest
t
1 year 1 month ago

A similar technique worked out for famous golf pro Happy Gilmore.

Capt. Clutch
Member
Capt. Clutch
1 year 1 month ago

Seems like that delivery can cause major timing problems for hitters. His hop step towards home coincides with a pause in his arm motion. It seems like a really unfair way to deceive hitters. Seems somewhat similar to a balk with a kind of stop and start to his delivery.

Peter Kriss Kross
Guest
Peter Kriss Kross
1 year 1 month ago

This description, more so than Capps’s delivery, reminds me of Robb Nen.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
1 year 1 month ago

I’d imagine Paul Konerko could steal a base off this guy.

Nathan
Guest
Nathan
1 year 1 month ago

Don’t be ridiculous. Konerko could only steal a base if the pitcher reached back, shoved the ball up his ass, jumped towards home plate on one leg, removed the ball from his ass, and then threw….oh I just watched the video.

steex
Guest
steex
1 year 1 month ago

I can’t help but think of how a 5-year old given a basketball at the 3-point line and asked to shoot a 3-pointer will run eight steps toward the basket and then shoot. It’s the same thing in his mind, he started at the 3-point line and then the ball went in the basket.

Pitch from the rubber? No problem, I’m all set on the rubber – now just a quick jump to the front of the mound, then let’s do this!

In all seriousness, the biggest difference between Walden and Capps for me is that Walden disengages the ground with his right foot once (the jump during his delivery) while Capps does so twice (once to jump forward, then again actually delivering the pitch). That naturally makes it feel much more like Walden has a funky delivery that pushes the boundaries, while Capps has the feel of a delivery that should potentially be illegal for using a jump solely to get closer to the plate before delivering the pitch.

The best sports analogy I can think of is that Walden’s delivery is like a basketball player trying to save a loose ball by jumping toward the stands from the very last inbound inch on the court and tossing the ball back to a teammate, whereas Capps is more akin to a player stepping out of bounds before making that attempt.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
1 year 1 month ago

I’d say Walden’s delivery is more like the Euro step and Capps is like the Euro step as frequently performed by Dwayne Wade.

Yeah
Guest
Yeah
1 year 1 month ago

That is a surprisingly good analogue.

LB
Guest
LB
1 year 1 month ago

I definitely don’t like how it looks whether there is a rule against it or not. Props to him for pulling off that delivery tho, my knees and ankles hurt just watching

Brian Snyder
Guest
Brian Snyder
1 year 1 month ago

Wont he be really easy to steal on?

Klimt
Member
Klimt
1 year 1 month ago

I think I can speak for the marlins organization and its fans when I say that we’re not really concerned with little things like “baserunners” and “strikeouts,” on offense or defense. Major concerns include using advanced stats to optimize “the wave” in the stands and ensuring the pigment of the outfield wall reflects enough light to emphasize Stanton’s epic home runs.

Jimbo
Guest
Jimbo
1 year 1 month ago

I wonder if it is legal for him to alternate between this delivery and a normal delivery at his discretion?

N8*K
Guest
N8*K
1 year 1 month ago

Man, he could really mess with a batter’s timing.

ReuschelCakes
Guest
ReuschelCakes
1 year 1 month ago

This is an insightful point – it would highlight 2 things (1) what advantage was gained; and (2) that it is based on choice rather than natural motion… I hope this starts to happen.

kirk
Guest
kirk
1 year 1 month ago

That looks uncomfortable for his knee and ankle. Hopefully he inspects the mound pretty thoroughly before he pitches, to make sure there isn’t anything weird where his right leg is landing.

It also looks like the second “push off” he does is not actually a push off. It looks like his foot is dragging and moving the entire time, not planting and re-springing. That part of it looks fine to me.

Ullu Ka Patta
Guest
Ullu Ka Patta
1 year 1 month ago

If it’s a “legal delivery” might one say that the batter got served?

Waawaaawaaaaaaaaaaa

Drew
Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Lots of pitchers release the ball after losing contact with the pitching rubber. Tim Lincecum is just one easy example.

Colin Dew-Becker
Guest
Colin Dew-Becker
1 year 1 month ago

While there will certainly be an increase in effective velocity by being a few feet closer to home plate at the time of release, certainly an advantage for the pitcher, I wonder what kind of disadvantage is created by jumping “down the mound.”

Rule 1.04: The pitcher’s plate shall be 10 inches above the level of home plate. The degree of slope from a point 6 inches in front of the pitcher’s plate to a point 6 feet toward home plate shall be 1 inch to 1 foot, and such degree of slope shall be uniform.

If he jumps 30 inches (2.5 feet), he is 4.1% closer to home plate, but his height over home plate shrinks by 20% at its absolute peak, and by the time he actually releases the pitch, he is nearly on flat ground. It’s hard to quantify the effects of lowering the mound, but presumably this must mitigate the impact of the increased effective velocity somewhat (assuming mound height correlates with offensive production).

Justin
Guest
Justin
1 year 1 month ago

Interesting thought. I would assume most of the advantage of the height of the mound was due to the generated momentum to increase velocity, but maybe the angle of the pitch coming in plays a factor as well.

Bryz
Guest
1 year 1 month ago

The angle does play a part as well as it has to do with the intersections of the swing plane with the path of the ball. A horizontal path follows more closely with a batter’s swing path than a ball thrown from the mound, so it’s easier to hit.

ReuschelCakes
Guest
ReuschelCakes
1 year 1 month ago

you need to measure the difference in release point relative to the center of the strike zone – not % drop from mound to field

Misfit
Guest
Misfit
1 year 1 month ago

This guy might be the only person who ever played Mario Baseball and chose to emulate the pitching motions in that game.

PackBob
Guest
PackBob
1 year 1 month ago

The jump step is pretty obvious in its purpose to get closer to the plate, with the throwing motion not starting until after he lands. If Capps is ridiculously effective or batters start to complain, MLB would then be inclined to do something. Most pitchers leave the rubber as the result of their forward momentum. Capps is jumping first, then throwing.

Da Bear
Guest
Da Bear
1 year 1 month ago

A compromise: Capps can keep attempting this delivery if the other team gets to secretly replace one of the umpires with Bob Davidson once per game.

fromthemachine
Guest
fromthemachine
1 year 1 month ago

I feel as though Walden and Capps need to be placed in two separate categories. Walden’s jump propels him forward, but his foot lands in a place where a slightly taller pitcher’s foot does naturally. Capps, however, is a couple of inches from pitching with his toes on grass…

(the other) Walter
Guest
(the other) Walter
1 year 1 month ago

How about: “Capps gets to keep this jump-forward motion, if the batters can jump back two steps before they hit the ball”. No? :)

Shirtless George Brett
Guest
Shirtless George Brett
1 year 1 month ago

I think the question is, does it give him an unfair advantage? One not intended by the rules?

I have no idea but it probably wouldn’t be to hard to argue it does (backing it up would be another thing)

Carson's Johnny
Guest
Carson's Johnny
1 year 1 month ago

When his leg breaks off in 6 weeks we can stop worrying about this.

me
Guest
me
1 year 1 month ago

he’s effectively pitching from where his back leg lands and he’s not becoming set before doing so. it should be called both a ball and a balk (if anyone were on base).

Mark
Guest
Mark
1 year 1 month ago

He’s not dragging his back leg you can see it clear the ground which is supposedly what he is not allowed to do. I even went back and looked at Walden’s delivery which I saw plenty last year being a Braves fan. Walden’s foot barely comes off the ground (if at all) right at the rubber then he drags it to get that front leg out.

Capps is pulling his back leg completely off the ground, lands it a foot out THEN drags it which gets his front leg out further. I don’t think Capps delivery is legal nor should be allowed but I guess if they stop him they will probably stop Walden as well.

Darkstone42
Member
Darkstone42
1 year 1 month ago

Are we not even going to bother discussing the legality of the “buttball?”

ReuschelCakes
Guest
ReuschelCakes
1 year 1 month ago

Amazing.

nb
Guest
nb
1 year 1 month ago

I think the MLB rules committee needs to take a look at this in the offseason and issue a clarification of the rule, which is thoroughly ambiguous.

I’m of the opinion that Walden’s delivery is borderline but basically okay. Walden is just basically pushing unusually hard with the back leg. However, Capps’ delivery does not look okay to me, because his back foot leaves the rubber and then comes back to the ground and only *then* is the pitch delivered.

Also, for whatever it’s worth, a jump-stride means that you are forfeiting at least some fraction of the advantage granted by the height of the mound. Your release point will be necessarily lower vertically, and the plane of your pitches will be flatter. So the horizontal distance advantage gained from the jump could potentially be offset to some extent by the vertical change. Investigating these guys’ release points in 3D and comparing them to the rest of the league would be interesting (hint hint).

Mark
Guest
Mark
1 year 1 month ago

There’s no way that should be allowed.

Dave Cornutt
Guest
Dave Cornutt
1 year 1 month ago

I look at it this way. Any rules change should be motivated by one of three things:
1. Does it violate the fundamental character of the game? That’s arguable.
2. If everyone started doing it, would it give the pitcher a big advantage? So far the evidence suggests not; as pointed out in the article, Jordan Walden has had good but still mixed results doing it. More importantly, you don’t see a lot of other pitchers jumping on the bandwagon, so apparently a lot of pitchers don’t see a big advantage to it.
3. Will it cause injury? That remains to be seen.

ReuschelCakes
Guest
ReuschelCakes
1 year 1 month ago

you say: “Jordan Walden has had good but still mixed results doing it”

Two questions:

1. How can you assert this when you have no idea what kind of pitcher Capps/Walden would be without this delivery?

2. Are you aware that Walden posted an 127 ERA+, 2.79 FIP and 11.2 K/9 last year? What were you projecting him at – better than Kimbrel?

Gino
Guest
Gino
1 year 1 month ago

The problem I see with Capps delivery is that he appears to push off with his back foot a second time. He pushes once when he jumps forward and then the back foot appears to land and he pushes off slightly a second time. There’s no way this should be legal.
The basis for any rule is to keep a player from gaining an advantage. Well, shortening the distance a pitch travels by a few feet is definitely gaining an advantage.

Green Mountain Boy
Guest
Green Mountain Boy
1 year 1 month ago

Just use the eye test!!! Was the Brady tuck rule a fumble? Yes! Did Dez Bryant make a catch against Green Bay? Yes! Was the whole transfer/possession flap last year necessary? No! Should this delivery be allowed? No! I know a catch or a fumble when I see one and so does everyone else. Look, most guys are actually marginally off the rubber when they release the ball, but this is ridiculous. To me, it’s the hesitation that makes it wrong. So make a rule against it!! How hard can that be?

Yirmiyahu
Member
1 year 1 month ago

So we’ll just change all sports rules to “I know it when I see it. I’m sure that’ll be really easy to consistently enforce.

Rick
Guest
Rick
1 year 1 month ago

I can’t see how replanting your plant/push off foot can be legal. The purpose of the rubber is to plant and push off from. There is a rule in softball that a pitcher can’t re-plant their push off foot, and I can’t see why in MLB it would be allowed. It gives an unfair advantage to the pitcher in releasing the ball 2-3 feet closer to the plate. To me, it’s a cheat. But that’s just my two cents…

florida ron
Guest
florida ron
1 year 1 month ago

Rule 8.02 under set position. A pitcher must deliver the ball without “alteration or interruption”. The whole point of the rule was to make it illegal for the jump step pitch like they used to do in fast pitch softball.
He and Walden are clearly altering their pivot foot.They are not dragging the pivot foot, they are replanting it.They are also interrupting their delivery by delaying their arm action. Time for Joe Torre and Randy Marsh to get off their butts and do their job. They are violating the rules.

Buck Rotgut
Guest
Buck Rotgut
1 year 1 month ago

I thinks this will be great until his knee snaps.

Peter Rabbit
Guest
Peter Rabbit
1 year 1 month ago

I taught him everything he knows!

Mike13
Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Jumping is awesome, I can completely see how it adds an extra kick into the pitch

Captain Kinesiology Kangaroo
Guest
Captain Kinesiology Kangaroo
1 year 1 month ago

The Captain Kangaroo school of pitching discourages the bunny hop in the pea-patch due to bad mechanics. Since biometrics, a data break down and analysis focused approach preferred by this site, I will refer you to evidence in spirit with this.

Generally, so-called “hopping” done by frogs rabbits kangaroos, can be done by humans, but to avoid leg injury or injury to knees, ankles, feets, and toes (no worries about one’s head or shoulders) http://tinyurl.com/m6vmkgp specific attention to mechanics can reduce the chance of chronic injury. Or as the author perhaps asserts better, “…it is possible to hop in such a way that could potentially be unbeneficial over time and lead to chronic injury.” http://tinyurl.com/lzllapq “An Advanced Look at the Mechanics of Hopping”

1. Avoid lower body stiffness
“In hopping, it is a common error in execution to see children (and even individuals of other age groups) land with a stiff lower body. The best procedure to correct this error is to allow the center of mass to be brought down towards the ground as one lands from a hop.”

2. Balanced and low impact landing
“a disregard for proper landing maneuver appears to result in minimal damage (if any at all), such continual forces over the span of one’s life will likely lead to chronic injury, in particularly to the knees.”

3. Address flat feet and avoid joint stiffness
Talk to Dr. Scholls because a “…lack of joint action of the ankles and toes. These are the individuals who execute the hop with flat feet.”

4. Don’t attempt injured or compensatory hops!
“…one should not only extend the hip and knees but also plantar flex the ankles and flex the toes. Obviously, though, if an individual has any weak or injured muscles associated with hip and knee extension, or plantar flexion, hopping will not be an easy task. Hopping will also be more difficult to do with the arms extended and/or abducted away from the center of mass, the core of the individual.

5. Plyo with an expert!
“Hopping can still be made difficult, however, even for those with strong or uninjured activity-associated muscles. Though an activity more common in the younger population, hopping can be altered to be used as a plyometric exercise for people of an older population. This type of exercise is advanced and should not be attempted by the untrained—those who are not accustomed to less intense lower body exercises.”

6. Hop Smart!
“Whatever the age of the individual interested in hopping, it is important that they be educated on how to perform the physical activity in the most biomechanically efficient way. By being active through physical activities such as hopping and many others, individuals are able to build greater lower body muscle strength (which is helpful since the lower body contributes to the body’s locomotion)”

For more in-depth analysis of hopping mechanics I refer you to http://tinyurl.com/lqgl8a8 but please note it’s not going to cover hopping.

Gregf
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Gregf
1 year 1 month ago

Please read Official Rules of Major League Baseball, Rule Two, Definition of “Illegal Pitch” on page 27 and then tell me again that nothing in the rules says your back foot has to remain in contact with the rubber. The “Definitions” section is the most overlooked and most helpful (in my opinion) section of the Baseball Rule book. Always start there.

Michael
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Michael
1 year 6 days ago

If this isn’t cheating, then I encourage all pitchers to skip half way to home plate and call it part of their wind-up. Who wouldn’t want to pitch even a few feet closer?

Howard Lynch
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Howard Lynch
1 year 6 days ago

4/13/15: Braves broadcasters analyze Marlins pitcher Carter Capps’ unusual hop-step delivery

http://m.mlb.com/video/v73287783/miaatl-capps-hopstep-delivery-analyzed/?c_id=mlb

Seems like it should be illegal to me.

Steve
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Steve
10 months 8 days ago

This would have gotten me kicked out of all the leagues I pitched in over my 51 years including pee wee league, little league, senior little league, high school, NBC league, Babe Ruth, JC, Community League, MSBL/MABL, and Frontier.
However, he’s in the show somehow so they are “analyzing it” for appropriateness.

How does he do from the stretch?

B.
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B.
10 months 8 days ago

He doesn’t start his delivery untill after he replants his foot , this clearly makes it illegal . If it happened during his release then it would be ok . Basically he sets up 2 or 3 feet closer to home plate then starts his throwing motion . Idk why major league baseball can not see this .

B.
Guest
B.
10 months 8 days ago

If it’s leagle then you would start on the mound then do a long jump tword the plate then pitch . Long jumpers might get a look at pitching now.

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