Darren Fidge: Former Twins A RHP, former member of Australian National team

 

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

It was the summer of 2012. I had a decent season going on with the Adelaide Bite in the Australian National Baseball League but my velo was down and my fastball was dead straight.  I had great control and kept the ball down but the groundballs kept getting hit hard through the field instead of slowing up enough to get outs.  At the end of one of the games I went in and told the coaches I was done - they suggested I drop down to the side and see if I could get a bit more movement and extend the career for another few years......

 

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

Deception for the hitters – there’s not many sidearmers out there J  the release point is different than what they are used to.  Movement…..my ball now has late sinking movement in to a Righty…..love hearing the sound of timber cracking J  Movement on Breaking ball – I throw a curveball from the side that starts at the Righty’s hip and can sometimes end up on the opposite side of the plate – I get a lot of Strike outs looking with the Curveball.

 

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

Definitely not – it has improved my pitch counts as well as my control.

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

Give it a go……you never know……some guys actually throw harder sidearm than over the top – Velocity isn’t always the thing that gets people out though so the deception and movement might be the answer.  No reason you can’t do both over the top and on the side…..give those pesky hitters more to think about.

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

I tend to start bent forward in my set position which cuts out some movement during my pitch. The arm path is also important, so find out what direction you will take the ball out your glove (back towards the 1st baseman or 2nd baseman) to see what feels the best.

6. What pitches do you throw?

2 and 4 Seam Fastball, Split finger change up , Curveball.

7. How do you pitch to lefties/righties?

Righties tend to get a steady diet of fastballs and curveballs inside.  Lefties; I’ve started to mix in some fastballs and curveballs over the top too as they tend to see the pitches for a bit longer. My curveball goes right into their swing zone so more change ups from the side for them.

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

I love watching the righty hitters flinch when my curveball starts at their hip and then breaks over the inside part of the plate for a strike!!  Snapping bats with the sinker in is fun too.