Left-handed pitchers have an advantage over right-handed pitchers because they are used to throwing with the opposite arm and so their muscles and nerves work more efficiently. This gives them a competitive edge when pitching, as it is easier for them to throw balls with speed and control.
However, this does not mean that lefties should always pitch against righties; it can be advantageous for a lefty pitcher to face another lefty if he has good breaking pitches such as curveballs or sliders.
This blog post will explore how left-handed pitchers can use their natural skill set to their advantage on the mound by examining why they have an advantage over right-handers, what strategies they should employ when facing other lefties or those who bat from the right side, and the benefits of being a left-handed pitcher in today’s game.
The Advantages of Left-handed Pitchers (Why Left-Handed Pitchers Have An Advantage)
When it comes to pitching, lefties have an advantage over their right-handed counterparts for several reasons.
Firstly, because they are not used to throwing with their opposite arm, their muscles and nerves work more efficiently which gives them greater speed and control.
Left-handed pitchers also have a different view and release point than right-handed pitchers, which can make it more difficult for batters to pick up the rotation of pitches. This makes lefties hard to hit because they are used to throwing from an angle other ballplayers aren’t expecting them at (Szajner, 1993).
In addition, left-handed pitchers are often better at throwing breaking pitches than righties. Curveballs and sliders thrown by southpaws tend to break away from right-handed batters, making it difficult for them to make contact.
When Lefties Face Other Lefties
If a lefty pitcher is facing another lefty batter, he can take advantage of the fact that they are both used to throwing with their opposite arm. By using a variety of pitches, such as fastballs, changeups, and breaking balls, he can keep the batter off-balance and disrupt their timing.
Lefties can also use their natural angle of release to surprise lefty batters who may be expecting them to throw over the top. By throwing pitches from a side-arm angle, lefties can make it difficult for batters to hit the ball squarely and get on base.
When Lefties Face Righties
If a southpaw pitcher is facing a righty batter, he should mix up his pitches and use his fastball more often than his breaking balls. The natural motion and release point of a lefty pitcher can make it difficult for right-handed batters to pick up the ball, especially if they are not used to seeing such angles from other players.
In addition, a lefty pitcher can use his breaking pitches to disrupt the timing of right-handed batters. By throwing curveballs and sliders that break away from righties, southpaws can force them into making poor contact or striking out.
The Benefits of Being a Left-handed Pitcher Today
While there have always been some advantages to being a left-handed pitcher, the benefits are even greater today. With players getting bigger and stronger, and the game becoming more specialized, having a southpaw on your team is an increasingly valuable asset.
Left-handed pitchers have become so dominant in recent years that many teams now carry two or three of them on their roster. This gives managers more flexibility in their pitching rotation and allows them to match up against right-handed batters in key situations.
So if you’re left-handed and thinking about becoming a pitcher, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t make it in baseball. With the right work ethic and some skillful pitching, you too could be joining the ranks of the best left-handed pitchers in Major League Baseball!
The Strategies for Lefties
There are a few different strategies that left-handed pitchers can use to be successful:
Change your grip so you are throwing a fastball, curveball, or slider. This is the primary strategy. If you throw hard enough, it will be difficult for batters to adjust to your slower-than-normal velocity; There are two ways to do this: 1) hold the baseball deep in the palm of your hand (like my old pitching coach used to have me do) for a fastball; or 2) cup your hand and hold the ball near your thumb for a curveball or slider.
Use an underhand motion. This is not as common, but can work well against right-handed batters, who are expecting you to throw over the top;
Throw a sidearm. This is also not as common, but can be effective against right-handed batters;
Throw a screwball. This is an extremely rare pitch, and not many lefties know how to throw it correctly. But if you can master this tricky pitch, it can be very effective against right-handed batters.
Throw a knuckleball. This is a difficult pitch to throw well, but it can be effective if you can control it well.
Mix up your pitches. By using different speeds and throwing a variety of pitches – such as fastballs, changeups, curveballs, and sliders – you can keep the batter off-balance.
Changing your grip and throwing underhand or sidearm are two of the easier strategies to use as a left-handed pitcher. You can still throw hard this way, and it will be difficult for batters to adjust. Throwing a knuckleball is a more difficult strategy, but it can be effective if you can control it well.
Remember, the most important thing is to mix up your pitches and keep the batters guessing. If they know what you are going to throw, it will be much easier for them to hit.
Left-handed pitchers have a choice of three strategies: change your grip so you are throwing a fastball, curveball, or slider. You can also use an underhand motion or throw sidearm. The most important thing is to mix up your pitches and keep the batters guessing. If they know what you are going to throw, it will be much easier for them to hit.
Left-Handed Pitchers In Baseball History
There have been many elite pitchers throughout history who were either naturally left-handed or became southpaws due to injury. Some of the most notable left-handed pitchers in baseball history include Sandy Koufax, Randy Johnson, and Clayton Kershaw.
Koufax is considered by many experts to be one of the greatest pitchers ever to play the game. He was a dominant force during his career with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, winning three Cy Young Awards and leading the league in strikeouts four times.
Randy Johnson was one of the most feared pitchers in baseball for over two decades. He won five Cy Young Awards, was a ten-time All-Star, and led the league in strikeouts nine times.
Most recently, Clayton Kershaw has solidified his place as one of the best left-handed pitchers of all time. He has won three Cy Young Awards and led the league in ERA, strikeouts, complete games five times each, and shutouts four times so far during his career.
Which Hand Is Superior for Pitching a Baseball: Lefty or Righty?
There is no difference in the ultimate performance of left-handed pitchers versus right-handers. According to data compiled by Major League baseball, there are more than twice as many southpaws currently pitching in MLB (95) than righties (44). Yet, most top pitchers in baseball today throw with their right hand (or with both hands). The handedness of a pitcher is not as important as the pitching mechanics.
Pitchers can be effective with either hand, but there are some benefits to being a lefty. A left-handed pitcher has an advantage when pitching to a right-handed batter because the ball appears to be coming in on the batter’s weaker side. However, a left-handed pitcher’s curveball breaks down and into a right-handed hitter, which moves away from the batter’s favored swing plane.
Conversely, the slider breaks down and away from a right-handed hitter, but moves toward the batter when thrown by a lefty. A good pitcher should have command of either hand, but typically the slider is thrown with the dominant hand—right or left.
The need to throw baseballs with speed and accuracy makes it more difficult for a pitcher to throw effectively with his “off” hand than it is for him to deliver slower pitches like curveballs, changeups, and knuckleballs. Most pitchers seem to be able to learn to deliver all pitches with either hand.
Left-handed pitchers can use their natural skill set to their advantage when pitching by employing certain strategies when facing other lefties or hitters who bat from the right side. With so many advantages under their belt, lefties are some of the most feared pitchers in baseball history and continue to be effective players today.
Q: How do I know which hand is my dominant hand?
A: The dominant hand is the one you use to write with. It’s also the hand you use to brush your teeth and comb your hair. In most people, the dominant hand is their right hand.
Q: What if I’m ambidextrous – can I use both hands to throw a baseball?
A: You can use either hand, but typically the slider is thrown with the dominant hand—right or left.
Q: What are some strategies that left-handed pitchers have when pitching?
A: Lefties can use their natural skill set to their advantage in certain situations by employing different strategies. For example, if they are pitching to other lefties or hitters who bat from the right side. Lefties can also use an underhand motion or throw sidearm.