Andy Mitchell: Former RHP AAA Baltimore Orioles


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

I started my college career at georgia tech as a third baseman and pitcher. In the fall of my freshman year i injured my back and was unable to throw much for a month or so. I lost some velocity that season. My sophmore year started the same but while taking ground balls at third, the pitching coach noticed me slinging balls to first and second base from different angles. He came over and asked me if i would try it from the mound. It came pretty naturally andi had instant success throwing sidearm in college. My first season in the orioles organization i was pitching overhand, three-quarters, and sidearm. The following spring training the pitching coordinator came to me and asked for me to try to lower my angle more. I then became closer to submarine for the rest of my career.


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

There are a few advantages to throwing like this. First, hitters just don't see that release point very much. Never do they take b.P. Against that arm angle. Second, it is easier on the arm. I rarely had arm soreness or fatigue. Even the seasons where i had a good amount of starts and racked up over 100 innings, recovery time was quicker and wear & tear is less. Third, you get different movement to work with. Most of the fastballs/changeups i threw had natural sinking action to get groundballs. Good sliders also had movement that you can't get overhand.


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

My first year in pro ball, i was successful from all angles. I feel like i would have still been able to get outs. The advantage with dropping down was that i was set apart from being "just another righty" and therefore moved through the system faster.


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

I would say to try it but continue to throw overhanded as much as possible so that you have that to go back to if you are unable to succeed from under.


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

A lot of the main points to a normal pitcher's mechanics are the same for someone changing angles. Two main things i looked for or felt were hand position at release point and staying down through the pitch and not popping up before finishing.


6. What pitches did you throw?

Fastball/sinker, straight change, and slider "frisbee".


7. How did you pitch to lefties/righties?

I liked to attack righties "in" early and try to get to the slider for an out pitch and if not, come back in late. For lefties, it was tougher. I needed to stay down and away with good sinkers and mix in change-ups. Against lefties it was important to show them the fastball in also. In all of this, i had to stay down in the zone.


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

My favorite part was just being able to get in a lot of games and innings to compete. I have always been a position player by heart and i enjoyed being that guy who could pitch everyday and would save other pitchers' arms by eating up a lot of innings each season.