Baseball Magazine

Sprinkler Syndrome

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard

Sprinkler Syndrome is the term used when describing a pitcher who is more horizontal with their movements than vertical.  You typically only see this syndrome at the lower levels because a pitcher who does it will probably never reach the higher levels.  It only works when the pitcher throws a short distance.

When I’m working with a player with the syndrome, I usually have the pitcher visualize a ferris wheel instead.  A ferris wheel spins vertically.

Let’s look at the analogies through photos.  The first set is a sprinkler and a pitcher who may be suffering from the syndrome.  You see by the water direction that the force is projected out to the side instead of forward due to the horizontal movement of the sprinkler.


The second set of photos below show a ferris wheel and a pitcher who is more vertical which allows more of the force to be directed forward (towards the plate) instead of out to the side.


A simple adjustment is for the pitcher to raise his throwing shoulder higher than his glove shoulder at the release point.  Most pitchers do this naturally but some don’t.

Of course, there are extremes on the other side too.  Too much vertical movement and a pitcher’s eyes have trouble staying level as shown in this photo.


Like most other things in the game, it involves a healthy balance between the two extremes.

Tomorrow’s post:  Better hitting with an ankle weight

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