- A slider is a pitch in baseball that resembles a fast-bending ball due to its speed and breaking motion.
- Sliders are also known as “break balls” due to the path the slider takes from the pitcher to the main board.
- The slider has been a part of baseball for about 100 years but has recently gained more prominence with the development of the closing pitcher.
- To throw a successful slider, pitchers use a similar arm angle and quick forward motion until the moment they deliver the ball.
- To release, the pitcher must have a firm grip on the ball with the thumb and middle finger, then flick the wrist down, almost like a snap of the fingers.
- 1 Throwing a slider
- 2 What is a slider pitch?
- 3 Why is it called a slider pitch?
- 4 How to Throw a Slider Pitch: 4 Steps.
- 5 When to throw a slider pitch
- 6 How does a slider pitch move?
- 7 Why is a slider pitch hard to hit?
- 8 Additional Tips
- 9 FAQs
- 10 Conclusion
Throwing a slider
Because of its speed and breaking motion, the slider is a pitch similar to a fast, curving ball. Like the curveball, the slider is also known as a “breaker” because of its path from the pitcher to the platter.
The slider has been a part of baseball for about 100 years but has recently gained more prominence with the development of the closing pitcher.
See Also: How to Throw a Changeup Pitch?
What is a slider pitch?
A slider pitch is a hybrid of a fastball and a curveball. To clarify, sliders are thrown at a higher velocity than curveballs and are similar to the velocity of a regular fastball.
Second, the slight spin of the ball during release breaks down like a curveball, but the overall motion isn’t as good as a curveball. These two qualities make it a hybrid pitch, although it’s technically called a breaking pitch rather than a fastball.
Why is it called a slider pitch?
The exact origin of the name is unknown, but the first reference to it appears in a written work in 1936. Sportswriter John Ward wrote in Baseball Magazine about a young pitcher named George Bleinhold: “Bleinhold’s forte is his fastball.” He usually throws it with a sidearm motion, as the ball crosses home plate, the ball sweeps oddly to one side. the batters named it the ‘slider’.
Since then, the name “slider” has become synonymous with the sport of the court. When the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand, it follows a straight line to home plate. Once the ball is a few inches from the plate, it breaks like a curveball, but with less movement. When you look at the slider at normal speed, it looks like the ball is “sliding down” at the end, hence the name of the course.
How to Throw a Slider Pitch: 4 Steps.
How a pitcher holds the ball to throw a slider, is similar to a traditional curveball grip. There are many variations, and pitchers have different grips, but traditional sliders are mostly taught one way. First, place your thumb and middle finger over the seam of the baseball around the center of the ball. Then place your index finger next to your middle finger with slightly less pressure on the ball to help with rotation.
2. Arm Angle.
Similar to the fastball, the slider can be thrown from various angles, from the sidearm to the overhead. However, the purpose of the slider is to trick hitters into thinking they’re seeing a fastball. Therefore, pitchers are trained to use the same arm angle and pitching motion as the fastball until they release. The less time the batter has to react to the ball, the more successful the pitcher will be.
3. Spin Movement
The success of a slider depends on how fast a pitcher can spin on a baseball. Typically, the slider should be disguised as a fastball until the last minute, when the pitcher slams down on the wrist and pulls their arm across the body. This action spins the ball so rapidly that it cracks slightly as it reaches home plate.
The release of the slider sets it apart from the fastball. When a pitcher prepares to throw a slider, their motion should mimic that of a fastball. This state is maintained until the moment the pitcher throws the ball. At that moment, the pitcher should grab the ball very firmly with the thumb and middle finger, then flick the wrist down, as if snapping the fingers.
When to throw a slider pitch
The rule of thumb is that if a pitcher successfully throws a slider that day, they are free to throw. As a more traditional and conservative approach, pitchers typically throw sliders when the count leads.
The ideal slider looks like a fastball that goes over the outer edge of home plate for the batter to use. Once the ball reaches home plate on the outer rim, it breaks a few more inches outside the strike zone, causing the batter to miss the ball.
How does a slider pitch move?
Slider pitches start from the path straight to home plate. Once the ball reaches home plate, it cracks, or bends, slightly downward and away from the pitcher’s throwing hand. In other words, if the pitcher is right-handed, their slider will break away from the right-handed batter and break into the left-handed batter’s hand.
Why is a slider pitch hard to hit?
A well-disguised slider pitch is hard to hit. Since the wrist has to flick down, the pitcher can’t throw the slider as hard as a fastball, but it can come close and be much faster than a traditional curveball. The key to making it hard to hit is making the hitter think the fastball is coming.
One trick to a successful slider pitch is to set it up with a high-speed fastball. The purpose of this is to confuse the batsman and mess up their timing. Ideally, the slider should be 8-10 mph slower than the fastball for this purpose.
See Also: How to Throw a Sinker Pitch?
Who invented the slider pitch?
There is no general consensus on who invented the slider because baseball teachings were not well documented in the early 20th century. However, MLB Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller was quoted in 1948 as saying: “The late George Blaeholder is often credited with developing the pitch in the early thirties, but I cannot testify to the truth of this.”.
How do I grip the ball for a slider pitch?
To grip the ball for a slider pitch, place your index and middle fingers on top of the ball, with the middle finger slightly off-center. Your thumb should be underneath the ball, and your other two fingers should be tucked against the side of the ball. This grip will allow you to create the necessary spin for the pitch.
What are some tips for throwing a slider pitch?
Some tips for throwing a slider pitch include keeping your wrist loose and relaxed, focusing on your release point, and using your lower body to generate power. It’s also important to practice the pitch regularly and to be patient with yourself as you learn.
How can I avoid injuring myself while throwing a slider pitch?
To avoid injuring yourself while throwing a slider pitch, it’s important to warm up properly before pitching and to listen to your body if you feel any pain or discomfort. You should also work on building strength and flexibility in your arm and shoulder through exercises and stretching.
How can I improve my slider pitch?
To improve your slider pitch, you can work on refining your grip and release, experimenting with different arm angles and speeds, and studying the techniques of successful pitchers. It’s also important to practice regularly and to seek feedback from coaches or experienced players.
In conclusion, throwing a slider pitch can be a challenging but rewarding skill to master in baseball. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this article, you can improve your slider pitch and become a more effective pitcher on the field. Remember to practice regularly and seek feedback from coaches and teammates to continue refining your technique. With dedication and hard work, you can become a slider pitch pro in no time! Happy pitching!