Dustin Pease: Former LHP AA, San Diego Padres



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

When I was in high school I was a normal pitcher. Tom Vaeth was a baseball instructor in the Baltimore area when I was in school and I was recommended to him to take pitching lessons. After a short time taking lessons with him he said he thought it would be better if I were to throw sidearm. At that time prior to the present day fad of specialty pitchers he taught me to throw sidearm and bred me to get left handed hitters out in particular. He told me prior to the change that I wasn't going to be big enough, was going to be tall enough, wouldn't be able to throw hard enough or have my ball move enough if I threw over the top. I took a week to think it over with my family and I decided that I wanted to do it. So from that point on I switched. I was 13.


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

The advantages of my arm angle is that not many pitchers in general throw sidearm, not to mention left handers. Running into a lefty sidearm is something that does not happen very often. Left handed hitters do not like facing this type of angle either because it is different and deceptive. My angle creates deception and movement.


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

Its hard to predict if I would have had the same success but I would have to say that I may not have opened as many eyes. Being different, unique, and quirky are things that get people to look at you. If you can get people to look at you then you have a chance to gain their attention and watch. I think that not blending in with the normal arm angle crowd has helped me tremendously from that standpoint as far as opportunity. Yet I still don't think I would have been as successful just pitching over the top either. My angle and deceptive delivery makes me harder to hit and that is what helps me get hitters out.


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

I would tell them that it is a big decision and something they would really need to be sure they want to do. Changing arm slots isn't something you just do with the snap of your fingers. It takes time to develop a proper sidearm delivery that can give you a comfort zone good enough to perform in games. Deciding just to "switch" isn't that easy because it can start mechanical issues because your body is not used to the new motion. Having someone make sure your in the proper spots and in a healthy motion is the most important thing. However I would most definitely encourage it to anyone who was thinking about moving their slot. Anything that is more deceptive to a hitter is a good thing.


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

The main mechanical thing is to make sure that you still have good balance all throughout the delivery. The other most important thing is the arm action itself. I was taught not to change my arm angle but my body angle. The bend at the torso is what creates the sidearm slot, not the actual change of dropping down. I also think that having a long arm motion if you are going submarine or sidearm is not beneficial either. When that happens you become more of a slinger and you don't have much strength behind each pitch. Keeping your arm at a 90 degree angle all the way through the arm action works much better for anyone learning to throw sidearm or submarine.


6. What pitches did you throw?

Pitches. I throw a standard 4 seam, 2 seam - sinker, changeup, slider.


7. How did you pitch to lefties/righties?

I pitch as best I can to both types of hitters. However when lefties come up I consider them automatic outs. If I execute the pitch the way I usually do the result of the at bat in most cases goes in my favor. I'm confident I can get righties out too however I do lock myself in mentally more so when left handed hitters come up. I do mix up how I start out lefties however most at bats usually end with me throwing sliders until they either strike out or show me they can lay off it and I'll either bust them in or out with a fastball. This past summer I faced 24 innings worth of lefties and gave up 12 hits. Only one of the 12 hits was off my slider. I like to throw more changeups to righties as they have trouble picking up my arm action so fastballs in and changes away work well with them.


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

My favorite part about throwing down there is that it's different and unique to myself. I haven't met anyone else that throws anything remotely like me. I've seen other lefty sidearms but none that look just like me so that is a cool thing. It is also cool to have other teammates imitate my motion and try to pitch like me its kinda funny and in a way I take it as a compliment!