Twitter Conversation with MLB Pitcher Reveals…

Written by on July 24, 2013 in Arm Care, Case Studies, Case Studies, Pitching Theory - 12 Comments

My name is Chas Pippitt and I am the Leader of the Baseball Rebellion.  On on June 28th, I was sitting at my computer, and I happened to glance at my Twitter Feed.  I saw a picture of a Tommy John scar with the hashtag

#ChicksDigScars

Chicks Dig Scars

Initially, I was disturbed by the gruesome picture, but more so, I was disturbed by the flippant attitude towards a debilitating and terrible injury.  At the time of my retweet, I had no idea who Daniel Hudson was.  I had no clue he was a current MLB pitcher who hadn’t pitched in 2 years due to BACK to BACK Tommy John Surgeries (two surgeries in less than 12 months).   I simply thought making light of this type of injury was offensive and stupid, so I sent the tweet and the picture over to Justin Orenduff, the Leader of the Baseball Pitching Rebellion, to get his thoughts.

#GMsDontDigScars

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I learned a lot from this exchange. Probably the most important thing I learned was to spell check my hashtags…I misspelled Injuries…not my finest twitter moment.

Before Justin could even respond, “Huddy” fired back, clearly upset at my much more accurate hashtag of #GMsDontDigScars.

Daniel Hudson Tweet to Baseball Rebellion

Daniel Hudson #2

Over the course of the article, I’m going to show the conversation that I (BR_REBEL) had with Daniel Hudson about his injury and how we could help him.  You’ll see how skeptical he was/is towards new and better information and his inability to answer simple questions about the success and failure of his rehabilitation and quest to return to the Majors.  None of this conversation was intended to sell anything or make fun of Daniel Hudson and his injury.  After I found out he was an MLB pitcher, I wanted to bring to light the glaring issues in the culture of injury that has overwhelmed baseball.   What Daniel Hudson is doing in his rehabilitation is clearly not working.  The people and process that has trusted and continues to follow are clearly failing him.

#InjuriesArePreventable

My name is Justin Orenduff, and I’m the leader of the Baseball Pitching Rebellion.  I’m responsible for all of the pitching theory and mechanical breakdowns at Baseball Rebellion.  I’m going to start my section of this article with a direct quote from Daniel Hudson.  You can see the rest of the article here.

“It’s a long process,” Hudson said. “I’m open to try pretty much anything because, well, I broke. Obviously I didn’t have perfect mechanics before. Hopefully this stuff works and I never have to deal with this again.” – Article Here

As you continue to read the conversation below, Hudson is anything but “open” to listen to  our information.  I  contacted Hudson directly to see if he would be willing to contribute to this article but as of right now, we have had no response.  Baseball Rebellion strives to illuminate the growing problems associated with throwing related injuries and shed light on the problematic processes associated with the pre-habilitation and rehabilitation of pitchers at all levels.  A multitude of warning signs presented themselves before each of Hudson’s surgeries, we have highlighted a few below.

#PreviousPain

“The young right-handed thrower said that throughout his career he’s always experienced some amount of elbow soreness after pitching based on his arm and mechanics. He wasn’t sure if his preview shoulder impingement injury that put him on the disabled list for about a month was related to the elbow problem.” – Article Here

#BadMechanics

“Hudson’s arm action when he pitches has always been a slinging across the body motion that could put extra stress on his arm.  To try and combat that, Hudson is trying to make the most of his rehab time to strengthen other areas of his body to help take stress off his shoulder and elbow.  In addition, he’s working on a couple of mechanical changes, including getting the ball out of his glove quicker and not taking his throwing hand back as far during his motion. The further your hand gets behind your body, the more stress is placed on the elbow.  ”It’s just kind of fine tuning and getting more parts of my body incorporated in the mechanical process,” Hudson said. “I’m not changing my arm slot or anything. You do something for 20 years it’s hard to break that habit.”  Even the small changes he’s making are challenging. Hudson has a trainer film his motion when he plays catch and while he thinks he’s making the changes, he’ll look at the video and realize he isn’t.”  - Article Here

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Robert, Billy, and Shell I’d love to hear your argument for as to why there is nothing mechanically wrong.  Fill free to leave a comment on this article so we can all learn from your expertise on the subject of pitching mechanics.  Below you will find both my professional opinion on Huddy’s mechanics, as well as Will Fox’s breakdown on the injurious positions Hudson has exhibited throughout his career.   I hope you guys enjoy the analysis, just liked we enjoyed your comical tweets.  It’s really interesting that Baseball Rebellion gets attacked for trying to help a guy coming off a surgery…

#SameDeliverySameSurgery

DanielHudsonCollegePitching

DanielHudson2013

In preparation for this article I wanted to see if Hudson’s mechanical pattern had truly changed over the years.  In our conversation Hudson says ”I know why I blew out the first time.  We changed a bunch of stuff about me.  I’m just a bad statistic this time around.” 

I would like to know the exact changes Hudson and the Diamondbacks made because I don’t see any significant adjustments made in Hudson’s delivery throughout his career.    The way his arm works in conjunction with his lower half remains identical.    The two clips above showcase Hudson’s mechanics staying consistent from the time he was drafted, until he most recently underwent his second TJ surgery.

Making changes to your delivery can be extremely difficult, especially when you have been throwing a baseball one way your whole life.  The Diamondbacks may or may not have known about the amount of stress Hudson placed on his shoulder/elbow leading to his first TJ surgery but they definitely had the opportunity to implement a solution to fix the problem in his rehabilitation process.

Hudson and the D’Backs legitimately had 6 months of a throwing program where they could allow Hudson to create a new healthy pattern without the stress of a game environment.  But, if you read the article above, Hudson’s trainer was helping him with his slow motion video analysis and that’s the same process that occurred when I was rehabbing from my shoulder surgery.  A pitching coach was not present, only a trainer to monitor the amount of throws and distance I was required to throw that day.  Where is the pitching coach to correct the flaws that led to the injury in the first place?

#MisguidedCulture

The remainder of our twitter conversation with Daniel Hudson can be found below.

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Clearly, he did not want to hear what we had to say…

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Then Huddy attacks our ‘product’ of online lessons…but as you can read for yourself, at no point did either of us mention money, products, or lesson services.  I’ll say it again, this guy has been out so long I didn’t even remember his name.  I had no idea who he was at the time I retweeted his picture.  This was never about sales…it was about information.  I guess the saying holds true:  You can lead a horse to water…but you can’t make him drink.  All I know is Daniel Hudson is really in a bad spot and I’m willing to say that the people in baseball he trusts have proven to be incapable of helping him.  Baseball will move on with or without Daniel Hudson…but can he move on without baseball?  I guess we’ll see.

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Baseball Rebellion repeatedly reached out to Daniel Hudson for input on this article.  We never heard back.  He has made his choice it appears.  We hope it turns out better for him this time around.

Chas Pippitt and Justin Orenduff, Leaders of the Baseball Rebellion

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12 Comments on "Twitter Conversation with MLB Pitcher Reveals…"

  1. Robert July 25, 2013 at 12:35 pm · Reply

    Nice article, I was mentioned and asked to respond do I will. Let me start by saying I agree Daniel or any other player should be open minded enough to at least listen to other ideas. Closed minded people don’t allow themselves to grow or advance beyond anything they don’t know or understand. That being said I do not believe that is Daniel. I think Daniel is one of the best people in the game away from the field and his response to you sounds like one more out of frustration than anything else.

    I still stand beside my belief that his overall arm action is not entirely to be blamed for his injuries. You asked for where my expertise comes from. I am by no means an expert but do consider myself very knowledgable. I am a youth pitching coach, have been for over 10 years, I have dedicated much of the past 10 years in growing and learning and perfecting my craft, I have a few top level 13U prospects I currently work with and coach at the school, little league, club ball and private levels.

    I would be interested to learning about you’re theory but on my opinion Daniel does not create a lot if undue stress on his elbow from his mechanics. The single biggest thing in my experience that causes elbow problems is improper forearm rotation and to much hand action. True Daniels arm does go too far back and across his body but that has been more related to shoulder injuries in my research.

    -Robert

    • Justin Orenduff July 26, 2013 at 11:46 am · Reply

      Robert,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article and we appreciate your feedback. Daniel entrusted the resources around him and now he is coming off his second surgery which is extremely frustrating. He may think he is a victim of bad luck, but we want to let him know he can overcome his previous patterns by accepting new information.

      In response to your thoughts about forearm rotation, it sounds like you have the same thought process as guys like Wolforth. The problem with only looking at this component is that it isn’t the end-all-be-all. Pronation is something that occurs naturally within the body assuming proper arm action, which is why you see really good pronation in people that get over the top a little more. It’s not that they are really good at pronating, but rather it is going to happen regardless as long as you get your arm in the correct position. Without teaching someone how to create the proper trunk rotation axis and adequate thoracic extension, then you’ll be fighting a losing battle. Not saying that pronation doesn’t help reduce stress on the UCL ligament, we’re just saying it isn’t as influential as getting the body in a more optimal throwing position which will allow the body to pronate more naturally and efficiently.

      As far as your “hand action” comment, I really haven’t seen much of this talk out there. Where are you getting your research on this matter?

  2. Owen July 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm · Reply

    Chas, you guys could use a little touch-up proofreading on your articles for grammar and such. Happy to help if you want me to. Also, I am appalled time and again by the number of people in any sport who assume that just because someone has been teaching/rehabbing/training people for a long time, that they’re automatically an expert. There are a LOT of people out there who don’t really know what they’re doing but got to an elevated position through luck, sheer longevity, or both. It’s really a shame. Hope he gets back to you.

    • Chas Pippitt July 25, 2013 at 4:55 pm · Reply

      Owen,

      What grammar stuff did we goof?

      Thanks for checking out our stuff man, always good to hear from you. We’ll see if he’s got enough time to read what we have to say. Actually, we know he’s got enough time…its just a matter of if he’s interested. I hope he is. We can actually help him.

      Chas–

  3. Mike Santoro July 25, 2013 at 1:53 pm · Reply

    Outstanding analysis of Daniel Hudson’s Mechanics! The evidence speaks for itself that the sub-optimal positioning of his body was likely the most significant contributing factor to his arm injuries. I defend Baseball Rebellion because its raising awareness of Baseball’s need for better information. “Uniformed Conventional Wisdom” has plauged the game for too long and too many players (high school, college and professional) have suffered injuries because if it. As a former Professional catcher who spent most of my time in the bullpen catching tens of thousands of pitches from professional pitchers, I don’t think they are connecting the dots between their injuries/pain and their mechanics. I feel bad for Hudson because he chalked it up to bad luck. That doesn’t make sense!
    If you get hit in the face with a line drive, that’s bad luck! If an outfielder steps in a drain and destroys the ligaments in his knee, that’s bad luck! Shoulder injuries, Humerous Fractures, and elbow injuries are NOT bad Luck, they are the result of inefficiencies in movements. Case closed. Thanks for shedding some light Justin!

    Players need to be better educated on healthy movement patterns. I wish someone could have really helped him sooner because I am guessing he has been searching for answers for a long time! Hopefully he will “Join the Rebellion” accept the truth that has been revealed, and be one of its greatest recovery stories.

    If I was an MLB GM, I would hire Justin as an investment to protect my pitching assets and insure a healthier future. Less injuries = Pitchers Staying off the DL = More $. Great companies in the business world are stiving for continual improvement in their processes and cost savings efforts everyday, why is baseball 15 years behind in that regard? MLB should have qualified reahabilitation pitching coaches that work with injured pitchers and work with prospects to optimize their motions to prevent injuries. In only makes sense from a business standpoint.

    Speaking of Arm Care, Justin, are you going to post a link to your healthy arm seminar you did last month? It would be a great followup to this article.

    Also, maybe someone should tweet Tim Lincicum to check out Justin’s thorough analysis of his mechanics from a couple of weeks ago. =)

    Thanks again Baseball Rebellion for seeking excellence in baseball instruction!

    -Mike Santoro

  4. ed kovac July 25, 2013 at 2:09 pm · Reply

    doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is definition of insanity whether it be mechanics or thinking. In his defense, I’m sure he’s gotten many opinions on a solution and has caused his mind to close and lose hope for an answer. You offer him water but I just don’t think he’s thirsty. All avenues have been explored in his eyes. what you have here is a skeptical cynic! I ask this simple question to my clients. I what you know to be true is in fact not true, when would you want to know!!!!!!!
    I hope it all works out for him

    • Chas Pippitt July 26, 2013 at 10:38 am · Reply

      Ed,

      The problem with him thinking he’s gotten ‘advice’ from ’5 different people’ is that he didn’t ACTUALLY CHANGE anything. There’s no telling if someone was telling him the right information or of that person was even capable of changing the pattern even if they knew the right thing.

      As to the water, you’re right, he wasn’t thirsty. It looks like his career is headed to death by dehydration…

      Chas–

  5. Charles Sherrill July 25, 2013 at 10:42 pm · Reply

    The catcher on my son’s 13U team recently had Tommy John surgery… 13U for Pete’s sake!

    Here’s the the thing about Justin Orenduff (who helps my kid with pitching, or throwing, to be more accurate)… not once… not one single time… has he ever verbally or any written communication made any representations to me about making my kid some kind of all-star pitcher. He never “sold” throwing harder, or throwing more pitches, being able to throw a wicked curve or sinker, or being able to locate pitches better. All he has ever sold to me and my kid is being able to keep my kid’s arm healthy for however long he chooses to play. Folks, if Justin was trying to get rich giving baseball advice, this is not the way he would go about it. He is genuinely trying to contribute to the game (at all levels) by helping baseball players stay healthy and avoid Tommy John surgery.

    I can’t speak for college or professional baseball, but youth baseball is chock full of worthless conventional wisdom that is guaranteed short-circuit your kid’s time in the game. Question everything, and keep an open mind!

  6. Owen July 26, 2013 at 11:53 am · Reply

    Justin,

    Just curious, are you familiar with or have you studied Mike Marshall’s theories on pitching motion and how to stay healthy? Marshall got a pHD in kinesiology at Michigan State (I think during his MLB career) and was able to pitch 208 innings across 106 games (the single-season record) in 1974. He also teaches pitching these days, and I think that his methods would be viewed by the establishment as “unorthodox.” Have you looked into similarities/differences between your work and his?

    Owen Ranger

    • Owen July 26, 2013 at 12:07 pm · Reply

      Haha, I’m not myself familiar with his methods, I just know that he was able to pitch more frequently than any reliever, well, ever for five-six years and avoid injury.

      • Chas Pippitt July 28, 2013 at 11:48 am · Reply

        Owen,

        Right, and now he’s convinced his mechanics ruined him…instead of overuse.

        Justin may have analyzed his actual delivery at some point so I defer to him…but he’s basically totally crazy. There is no possible way you can generate the needed force to pitch the way he describes.

        I’d be like me saying, “pitch underhand, it’s safer” in the big leagues…

        Simply crazy.

        Chas–

    • Chas Pippitt July 28, 2013 at 11:46 am · Reply

      OH LORD OWEN…

      Mike Marshall…

      Geez

      Chas–

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