Rick Adair: Former pitching coach Baltimore Orioles



In doing my research online about sidearm/submarine pitchers, Rick Adair's name kept coming up in various articles. Seemed like he had coached a lot of them in his coaching career.

1. During your coaching career how many guys did you drop down? Who are some of the pitchers you dropped down? Most successful?

2. Was it difficult for players to buy into it? What were some of the roadblocks you noticed?

3. Did you look for anything in particular when dropping someone down?

4. Are there any mechanical tips that you have? Mental tips?

5. What would you tell someone debating on dropping down?

6. During your career, did you pitch at all from there?

7. Lastly, how important is it to have a sidearm/submarine pitcher in your pen?


All of your question are great questions.
Up front, I don't think there are definitive answers to any of the questions.
I don't remember anyone that I specifically dropped down.
Most guys I worked with were already at some lower slot.
Others that made the conversion , it was mostly a group effort, with the player willing to try.
All of the ones converted were unsuccessful pitchers at a higher minor league level or struggled at ML level.
In trying to determine a slot , more importantly a posture that is natural, we would ask the pitcher to pretend he was a 2nd baseman, get a feed from the SS, and throw to first forcing a runner to slide early.
Usually, you can see where a pitches body goes naturally.
Do that drill enough so the pitcher has a feel before going to the mound.
Danny Clark, who is the current pitching coordinator, coached at a small college, limited funds. I hired him as a pitching coach in Texas, several years ago.
While he was in college ball, to potentially drop a guy down , he would take him to a pond, to see if he could skip rocks across the water.
Thought that was ingenious .
Anyway, it takes creativity , and willingness.
Controlling posture , for me is the most important part of dropping down.
Core strength and flexibility are essential.
Many guys have a difficult time with a load changing posture and then transferring energy to create power.
In my experience, an upbeat leg lift is important.
The longer and slower the leg kick, the more difficult it is to maintain posture , which changes the arm path and arm speed.
I never pitched from a lower slot, was hurt at an early age.
When I was young and healthy, could throw from a lower slot but never pitched that way.
For me, it is difficult to force a guy to drop down, it basicslly is a last resort for most.
It's great to have a side arm guy in the pen.
If RHed , they need to have weapons to combat a lefty and visa versa.
O'Day is the best I've been with.
His biggest assets are his competitive nature, and his ability to elevate.
Steve Olin, closer we had in Cleveland was good also.
I appreciate what you are doing, wish I could help more .
Never had 2 side arm guys that were alike.
Oh, Wes Littleton, was good for a period of time.