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The Return of the Babbling Brooks

Subber10 Returns to Babble about Pitching

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Well guys, Subber10 is back!

I’ll probably be saddened by how few of you remember me...if any...but for those who have only been around this awesome community for a few short years, let me introduce myself. I’m Brooks Parker and for several years ran the minor league and draft sections of TCB and handed that off to AstrosFuture as my life got a bit too busy to carry the load and was a bit burned out.

But, life has settled some and bilbos reached out to me to return. I have agreed to take on about as small of a role as I can. I hope to contribute every couple of weeks and when a topic is presented to me that fits my niche. And possibly in this format as our old friend Anthony Boyer recommended as “The Babbling Brooks.”

As for that niche...

My background lends to a particular side of sports that honestly isn’t covered an awful lot. I have a B.S. In Exercise Science and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy with four years experience practicing with the vast majority of that being in the outpatient setting consisting of primarily of orthopedics. I’ve carved a niche in post-operative rehab and sports rehab. Specifically with knees and shoulders. I’ve been fortunate to have two orthopedics refer most of their overhead athletes to me, especially pitchers. I’ve been fortunate to oversee a Tommy John rehab and multiple UCL sprains/partial tears which included a current Division I pitcher.

You can probably gather that my niche is injuries. But, I like to expand a bit beyond that and look at pitching mechanics and have dabbled into swing mechanics as well. Due to the Exercise Science background, hobby in weight training, and of course being around exercises most of my waking hours, training is also a big interest of mine.

Which leads into some Astros related babbling...

Yesterday, our friends over at Beyond the Boxscore posted about Josh James being the last piece to one of the greatest bullpens. They discussed how James went from a Div. II pitcher to a JUCO pitcher, and to a low level contact pitcher. Yet, this year has exploded into one of the hardest throwing relievers in the majors this month.

There’s dozens if not hundreds of big name private pitching coaches/facilities that claim to be able to make you throw harder and better, but only a few actually back that up. For those of you that remember me, you know my promotion of Driveline Baseball and Kyle Boddy. And he’s earned that. I still send my patients and their family to their site as they further their own research. However, there are definitely others that are able to provide guidance in this area.

One such is Eric Cressey at Cressey Performance. Now, the big difference here is that Eric Cressey is not a pitching coach. I don’t pretend to know the intricacies of his business but he does employee some of the best strength and conditioning coaches in the industry and has carved a niche with baseball athletes.

Josh James is one of them.

Dating back to the 80’s and 90’s we saw a huge jump in the number of baseball athletes that actually lifted weights. Prior to that, it was a huge no-no and in some areas, is still that way. But, strength and conditioning has pushed it’s way in and has shown that weight training is an integral part of development. Cressey has been at the forefront of that because his understanding of movement and training especially in how it relates to baseball is elite. Baseball players provide a unique combination of range of motion and strength in able to perform at a high level. That combination is difficult to manage. Very few athletes require well over 100 degrees of external rotation of the shoulder while being able to dynamically stabilize and produce max force from it.

It’s difficult to balance making athletes stronger without sacrificing range of motion. But, think about an engine. We all know that the turbo-charged V6 and V8’s that dominate the muscle cars today are capable of achieving greater torque and horsepower to produce top end speeds that 4-bangers and smaller V6’s can’t. Well, likewise smaller muscle mass and poor ability to produce power from that mass will not produce velocity. But, if you combine dynamic effort lifts, strength training, and full ROM exercise, you can elevate your base force production.

Combine that elevated base force production and sport specific training and you can definitely develop velocity. That’s how you create a Josh James.

You put him in the weight room with people who know what they’re doing and you can create a monster.