Matt Wilhite: Former AAA RHP, Angels/Rockies



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

I honestly didn¹t start throwing sidearm until my freshman year in
college at WKU. I came to WKU to play infield and pitch as well, but
infield was going to be first. When I got to WKU, they had a guy that had
just graduated who threw sidearm. Well, somehow I was the lucky one,
probably because I honestly had somewhat of a 3/4 arm slot anyways.


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

Definitely some of the advantages of throwing sidearm are the movement
you get inside to righties and away from lefties. I always stepped across
my body as well, so I felt like this created a little bit of deception as
well. I felt like it gave me an angle that of course hitters don¹t
necessarily see day in and day out. It gave me a better chance of keeping
the ball down in the zone which in turn created more ground balls.



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

No doubt that if I wouldn¹t have dropped down there is no way I would
have had the success I was able to experience in college and
professionally. I would have been an average college infielder as well as
an average college pitcher if I wouldn¹t have ever dropped down. I
wouldn¹t say I wish I would have dropped down earlier, I threw from a
somewhat 3/4 arm slot so I felt that already helped me out in the


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

I would tell someone that it¹s definitely going to help them learning
how to change arm angles. Later on in my pro career I went back to
throwing some over the top with fastballs and curve balls, mixed in with
all of my stuff side arm and experienced success with it. The more pitches
you are able to throw from different arm angles, with consistently
throwing strikes, gives you more weapons against a hitter that they have
to prepare for. I if someone is debating whether to try it then my answer
is no doubt there isn¹t any reason you shouldn¹t try it. Who doesn¹t want
more weapons to throw at a hitter, and what pitcher doesn¹t want more
ground balls!!


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

With mechanics, you have to learn how to stay down and get that
extension. Where I experienced failure was when I raised up in my release
or didn¹t get extension and cut pitches off. This created two things:
balls stayed up in the zone, and I lost movement which created no run in
my fastball and the slider would just spin with do depth.

6. What pitches did you throw?

  Fastball- 83-85, Slider 76-80. Changeup 71-73

7. How did you pitch to lefties/righties?


When pitching to righties I definitely tried to stay inside and then
would go away after trying to bust them inside or making them look inside
quite a bit. Set them up with the fastball in then go to the slider away.
Also, trying to throw the fastball up is a good thing with two strikes to
change the eye level of the hitter. The lefties of course were always a
struggle for me until I was confident enough to throw the changeup in any
count. The changeup is an effective pitch to both righties and lefties,
but it was more of an important pitch to me again lefties. It¹s much
easier for lefties to see and track the ball from that arm angle, so every
weapon or pitch you have is a plus!

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

Favorite part from throwing down there was the ability to be able to
throw every day if I was needed to. It takes so much stress off of the arm
than throwing over the top. That¹s a plus when you can be one of those
guys out of the bullpen each day!