The Tale of Tim’s Delivery

Whenever the Marauders add a player (and for players on opposing teams) the first thing I do to learn a bit about them is turn to Google.  The goal is to find any article written about them that can lend some insight about who these guys are.  The next thing I do is open up my handy Baseball America Prospect Handbook.  None of this stuff is the Bible…but it’s a good starting point.

So Tim Alderson comes down to the Marauders from Double-A Altoona and to the “Handbook” I went.  One of the intriguing things I found was this:

“He’s still had success because of his deceptive delivery…”


Tim%20Alderson.jpgThe obvious question follows — What is his delivery.  Is he Dontrelle Willis?  Is he Orlando Hernandez?  What does this thing look like?  Well the deception comes from the leg kick…and here it is…

I had a chance to talk with Alderson and got the scoop on his delivery.

“When I’m bringing my leg back down to go to home plate my knee and my lower calf and everything underneath my knee goes parallel to the ground.  It’s very different and I don’t know where I learned it and I feel I’m being as smooth as can be.  I saw it for the first time on film when I was a senior in high school and I had no idea what was going on.  I don’t know idea where it started or how it came about, it’s just something my body does.”

One of the things I head read about Alderson was that he doesn’t think he could bend his body the way he does to pitch if he wasn’t actually throwing a baseball.  It’s something he said to me as well.

“If you told me to do it [while not pitching] I probably couldn’t do it because it comes natural…It’s just a matter of being comfortable.  It gets me in a good position to throw the ball so that’s all that matters.”

The delivery got me thinking about some other guys with interesting hitches in their stride to home.  In no order and I know I’m missing some big ones (Fernandomania and Oil Can Boyd)…but some from the current era…

1 — Ryan Dempster

I’ve always been curious what this silly hand flip thing was that Dempster does.  When a minor league hitter told the pitcher he was tipping his split finger during spring training a few years back he began “fluttering” his glove.  Once in his windup, Dempster shifts his glove back and forth over his pitching hand.  The motion covers his grip and distracts the batter.  Dempster’s joking reaction to the New York Times when asked what he tells people about the motion: “I tell people I do it to fan myself, because I’m a sweater and I get hot out there.”

2 — Hideo Nomo

His delivery coined the name “Tornado” with the way Nomo lifted his arms back over his head, twisted so his back faced the plate and then unfolded himself to fire home.  Just about every kid growing up in the 19990’s tried to imitate Nomo at some point, right?  I did…kind of thought what he did was normal.

3 — Dontrelle Willis

Another guy I imitated once or twice when he first burst on the scene, Willis does something that resembles pitching.  Flailing himself back into his windup with a huge leg kick, Willis caught eyes when he debuted for the Marlins earlier this decade.  The Tigers tried to dim down the action, but it returned.

4 — Orlando Hernandez

I always marveled as a kid that El Duque never kneed himself in the face while going home with a pitch.  A leg kick so high it looked like he could lick his knee, Hernandez was a Yankees sensation before bouncing around baseball.

5 — Tim Lincecum

A hero to me because I too am a 4-foot-6, 117 pound 14 year old (really 5-9, 150 and 23…but you get the idea), Lincecum’s delivery helps him generate nasty velocity for his tiny frame.  Tom Verducci wrote a story for Sports Illustrated that says an average pitcher’s stride to home plate is about as long as 77% to 87% of his height.  Lincecum’s in 129% covering seven and a half feet.

OTHER NOTES 

Austin McClune had another OF assist last night.  It was his 15th of the year and he passes Clearwater’s Anthony Gose for the FSL lead…Jeremy Farrell, out since mid-June with a left leg injury, was at batting practice in his warm-ups Saturday…Eric Fryer, out since the July 2nd with facial fractures, took BP for the first time Saturday.  Fryer wore a face guard attached to his batting helmet…Nate Baker made his Marauders debut Saturday throwing a quality start

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About Joel Godett
Joel Godett is in his secod year broadcasting Bradenton Marauders baseball. His career has carried him from Syracuse to Buffalo, Roanoke, Cape Cod, Tampa and Bradenton. He is originally from New Jersey and somehow grew up an Atlanta Braves fan.

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