Jeff Ballard: Former LHP Orioles and Pirates


1. Could you tell us your story on dropping down?

I didn't drop down very often.  I only used it against left handed hitters since I was a left handed pitcher.  I had thrown some side arm at the very early age of 12 but I didn't use it very much.  I really didn't start using it until I was playing pro ball.


2. What are some of the advantages you had from your arm angle?

The main advantage it gave me against left-handed hitters was the different angle the ball came from and the different break on the slurve. 


3. If you didn't drop down, do you think you would have had the same success?



4. What would you tell someone debating on changing their arm angle?

Basic pitching is the ability to keep the hitters off balance.  By dropping down to left-handed hitters, I was able to change what the hitters were seeing and keep them guessing. 


5. Are there any mechanical tips that you'd give to someone throwing sidearm/submarine?

The main mechanical tip I can give is that when you are planning on dropping down you need to make sure you bend at the waste in order to maintain the proper arm to body angle as if you were throwing over hand.  This accomplishes a couple of things.  One, you can maintain the power behind the pitch better and two, it helps you hide the ball from the hitter better. 


6. What pitches did you throw?

 I only threw 2 pitches when I dropped down.  I threw a fastball and a very big breaking slurve. 


7. How did you pitch to lefties/righties?



8. Lastly what was your favorite part about pitching from down there?

My favorite part about dropping down was that occasionally you could make the hitter look silly, which is always enjoyable as a pitcher.