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March 15, 2012

Matt Thornton is working on his curveball. And he throws 300ft long tosses. [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 15, 2012 9:30 pm
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From Matt Thornton’s SoxPhone transcript:

Fan 10: Are you working on any new pitches to add to the repertoire?

MT: Yeah, I’ve been trying to get a little bit more consistency in my big breaking ball. It’s kind of more of a curve ball I used towards the end of last year a lot. And then I’ve been trying to get my cutter slash slider we’re going to call it. That’s been my focus for the past couple of weeks.

UPDATE: Here’s the video.

Here are Matt Thornton 2011 pitch data from his player card at BrooksBaseball.com:

Pitch Count Frequency H. Mvt V. Mvt Mph H. Rel V. Rel Spin Θ RPM
Fourseam (FA) 851 83% 2.51 -11.79 96.61 2.44 6.56 165 1,952
Sinker (SI) 29 3% 9.06 -14.84 96.37 2.68 6.35 137 2,085
Slider (SL) 128 13% -2.47 -30.19 87.02 2.61 6.35 218 224
Changeup (CH) 13 1% 4.09 -21.28 89.64 2.66 6.51 147 1,313

MPH data reflect a lengthened (y=55ft) trajectory to better
approximate a major league release point.

Vertical Movement includes the effect of gravity to make data more
easily interpretable.

Pitch F/X data from TexasLeaguers.com and JoeLefkowitz.com don’t identify any curveballs on 2011 either. Maybe their algorithms categorizes them as change-ups.

And another quote from the transcript:

Fan 5: I was just wondering if you do long tossing?

MT: I’m a big believer in long toss, actually. It’s one of those things where I started throwing back in December but I wasn’t getting much farther than 120 feet. And as January goes along about twice a week I would get extreme long tosses out, and I would be pushing tosses up to 300 feet. It’s something I think has helped me maintain velocity in my career. I’m a hard thrower and JJ is a big believer himself. I was more of a basketball player in my youth. I didn’t get into long toss until I was a pro baller. It was something that really helped me as a starter to really get the blood flow and stretch it out. It’s all about reading your body and how you feel and what you get out of it.

UPDATE: Here’s the video.

If you wonder what long tossing in baseball is, here are some videos on Google.

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