Grahame Cassel: Former RHP Australian National team-member Australian Baseball Hall of Fame


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

  I was the shortstop for NSW for 12 years and a part time relief pitcher. I had several knee operations and my agility decreased. So at the age of 32 I went to the bullpen because I didn't want to give the game away or play at a lower level. I used to drop down every now and then as a surprise to the hitter and give him a different arm slot to contend with. Doug Ault ( Toronto Blue Jays ) liked it and convinced me to go full time from down there. 


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

I used to get some decent sink on the fastball. I also didn't step straight, I stepped across myself which added another angle. Because I was a short relief guy most of the hitters didn't face me more than once in a game. 


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

No, definitely not. I always threw conventional but didn't have the velocity to beat hitters of a good calibre without something else. 

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

I would say that if you find it works then do it. Some guys can drop down naturally with no problems. Others get soreness, and others haven't got the control required to
succeed. But if you can do it and you like it, then do it.

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

Pretty much the same mechanics as conventional pitching, just at a different angle. Make sure you bend at the waist as well as your arm being low. Don't stand up and try it. A strong lead arm, staying side on as long as possible, and a good follow through with fingers going through the ball. This will enhance the sink. 

6. What pitches did you throw?

I threw a fastball (sinker ). A sweeping, roundhouse curve ball. A change up

7. How did you pitch to lefties/righties?

I believed in strike one!  I liked to start fastball, especially against someone who hadn't seen me too often. Once ahead I would then throw my off speed pitches on the plate and finishing off it. Against righties I liked to use the big sweeping curveball. Against lefties I preferred to step straighter and throw a harder, tighter curveball to back door them. This could have been classed as a slider I suppose. My change up worked well against the bigger power guys. 

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

I suppose my favourite part was the deception, the little game of cat and mouse with the hitter. I wasn't a power pitcher so I had to rely on keeping them off balance.