The Brewers made baseball history of sorts on Friday when they began putting their Major League pitchers through a motion analysis exercise in a batting cage-turned laboratory at Maryvale Baseball Park.
Yovani Gallardo, Dave Bush and Doug Davis were among the pitchers stripped to their skivvies and strapped with sensors for a 10-pitch throwing session. The sensors recorded more than 40 individual measurements in the pitchers’ delivery and compare those readings to normative rangers established over the past two decades at Dr. James Andrews’ lab in Birmingham, Ala. The idea is to identify potential areas of injury risk.
It’s part of a program that new pitching coach Rick Peterson calls his “life’s work,” but the Brewers have been interested in biomechanics for at least the past five years. The team’s head physician, Dr. William Raasch, established a portable lab in Milwaukee — the only such in-house setup in baseball, the Brewers believe — and has used it to analyze pitchers in Milwaukee’s Minor League system. Friday marked the first time that the team began running all of their Major League pitchers through the process.
“Probably my fifth time doing it,” said Yovani Gallardo, who came up through the Brewers’ system. “It’s nice to know the certain points you may be putting more stress, like your shoulder or your elbow or whatever it is.”
The program likes Gallardo. He went through a test last year in Milwaukee and found that of all the pitchers tested, he put the least stress both on his shoulder and his elbow.
“It’s good to hear that,” he said. “It makes you want to work even more on keeping your mechanics.”
Said Bush: “It’s a little bit awkward because you’re standing there without any clothes on but your sliders, but it’s going to be pretty cool to see what it says. I have an open mind about everything. I’m not saying I’m going to go along with everything it says, but I’m definitely open to talking about it.”
For more on this, see my story at Brewers.com later today. John Steinmiller of the Brewers took some photos of the activity and posted them on his outstanding MLBlog, John and Cait Plus Nine
. Here are a few of them:
Thanks to John for passing those shots along. Check out his blog