Abe Alvarez: Former LHP Boston Red Sox


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

I started dropping down my freshman year in college. Coach Dave Snow told me to try it out so I could have another weapon against LHH. He had me speak with former MLB player Gabe Gonzalez who also went to LBST and was a sidearm pitcher. I didn't pitch a lot my freshman year 3IP to be exact. Dropping down was very difficult to adjust to and it took me all season to gain confidence and control of my pitches.


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

The advantages from dropping down is definitely the angle in which the the ball is released and how the hitters see it. When i was facing a LHH I stood on the far left of the pitching rubber so when I dropped down it looked as if i was throwing the pitch behind the hitter. Pitching from that angle helped me gain deception and also create confusion in the hitters mind because I could come at him with different arm angles.


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

If I didn't drop down I still think I would have success. Well I did, being a starting pitcher I still had a low 3/4 arm delivery so I still created some deception in my delivery. But as a reliever I used the different arm angles to my advantages, because in every game I could come in and face a LHH.


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

If a pitcher was debating on changing their arm angle, I would hope that they exhausted every other efforts to make it work with their current mechanics before making any changes. Pitching mechanics are very difficult to repeat, so having the ability to execute pitches depends on the ability to repeat pitching mechanics. I only used my different arm angles in certain situations as a Sp, but as a reliever I made sure to exhaust all my pitching ability to get an out. So, first work with what you gt and work with you pitching coach on the current mechanics and if that doesn't work, then have patience with making the switch to dropping down because it will take some time.


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

Mechanic tips:

- keep your head down
- keep your fingers over the ball
- finish with a flat back, do not finish standing tall
- use your core to keep yourself hunched over
- shadow your mechanics as much as possible. on flat ground, on the mound, in front of a mirror, etc.


6. What pitches did you throw?

The pitches I throw from my normal slot are:
4seam FB, 2 seam FB, circle ch, curve ball, cutter.
when I drop down:
2 seam/ 4 seam FB, slider, and CH


7. How did you pitch to lefties/righties?

As I stated before I used both my normal pitching angle & my drop down angle to lefties. To righties I never dropped down.
vs LHH stay away early, spin a CB or slider, show something hard inside, but get them out away or soft away
vs. RHH start hard or soft away and try pound the ball inside, but LHP have the advantage of getting RHH out away change up/ 2 seam FB.
A lot depends on the hitters swing and reaction to pitches.


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

My favorite thing about dropping down was the fact that I had another weapon to get an out. Like I said before, a LHH had to be aware that I could come from a different angle from time to time. Inexperienced LHH had a difficult time when I came from that angle.