When pitchers want to broaden their pitch selection, they may wonder how to throw a splitter in baseball. After all, the splitter, or split fingered fastball, is a notoriously nasty pitch that dives down low in the strike zone, causing even the best hitters to swing over top of it and miss wildly. Here is how to throw a splitter in baseball.
- Pitching mound
- Target or catcher
- Grip the baseball. When learning how to throw a splitter in baseball, the grip is imperative. Place your index and middle finger on either side of the semi-circle stitching. In this way your fingers are “split” giving the “splitter” the name.
- Rest your thumb on the back lace of the baseball. The tendency might seem to rest the thumb completely under the ball on the front lace, however, Bruce Sutter, one of the greatest splitter pitchers ever, recommends the placement be on the back lace.
- Hold the baseball deep in your hand. When learning how to throw the splitter in baseball, you also want to keep the ball deep in the palm of your hand. This will help with the downward darting action when it is thrown.
- Go into the wind-up. To throw a splitter in baseball, you want to have your wind-up look the exact same as your other pitches. Altering the wind-up could tip the hitter off that something different is about to come their way.
- Release the baseball just above shoulder height. The release point of the baseball is similar to that of the fastball. You do want to make sure you keep your wrist straight and do not twist it in any way. Aim for the lower part of the strike zone so that the baseball dives by the hitter’s ankles.
- Follow through on your wind-up and get ready to field. Pitchers who throw a splitter in baseball tend to get a lot of ground ball outs because hitters make contact with the top half of the baseball chopping it into the dirt. Therefore, you got to get ready to field because the ball might be coming your way.
- Mix the splitter in with other off-speed pitches. The splitter can be thrown at the same speed as the normal fastball. To keep the hitters guessing when you throw a splitter in baseball add in some change-ups and curve balls.
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