Andrew Lorraine: Former MLB player with several teams


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

In 1998 during spring training I was approached by then, pitching coach Nardi Contreras about adding throwing from down lower to add to my arsenal. I worked out of the pen that year in Tacoma and found it very effective vs left handed hitters. I never fully dropped down but always kept it in my arsenal at various points of my career and feel it was very beneficial to prolonging my major and minor league durability. We had a veteran lefty named Tony Fossas who told me "not to be afraid to try something different and accept a role which could aid in a nice major league career like he had after doing so.


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

Versus lefties, I didn't lose much velocity and could come from a different angle and the swings were different. I had a pretty good feel for the slider down there as well and it gave me more options against the tough lefties.


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

I think I would have still been successful but I know that there were lots of important outs I got that were because of the different angle.


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

A lot of pitchers are afraid to try something new. I would tell them that you will never know until you go for it. Often they are afraid they are going to "lose" what they do over the top or whatever but the truth is that they can always go back. Another problem is that pitchers assume that they are forever a reliever if they drop down and that's not true. Sometimes it takes desperation to try something new.


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

Don't overhaul the way you throw the ball if you drop down and adjust your torso to angle with your arm. Your arm follows your body and if you lower your arm and stay upright you will put a tremendous amount of stress on your arm and could injure yourself. Practice flat ground work and figure out exactly where the proper slot is for you to throw consistently and effectively. A softball is a great teaching aid to help a pitcher "ride it out" with their arm to get the proper extension from down there. (Be careful with the amount and intensity of the throws with the softball as it is a different type of stress on your arm...use it to get the feel out in front and then add a regular baseball).


6. What pitches did you throw?

I threw fastball, curve, slider and change over the top...From down low, I only threw the fastball and slider.


7. How did you pitch to lefties/righties?

I stayed over the top to right handed hitters. I varied versus lefties but at times dropped down and threw both away and in with my fastball. The slider was mainly away and down when I threw it but I liked to freeze the lefties with the drop down FB on the outside corner, especially if they didn't know I had it.


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

My favorite thing was when I could make a good left handed hitter look bad from down there. Sometimes after I got them out down there, I could get a lot more mileage from over the top with the rest of the lineup.