Norberto Gonzalez: LHP Cuban National Team 2004, 2008 Olympics, 2009, 2013 WBC

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0pxLX0OgVM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duHuodBBwmA

 

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

In 2004 to go to the Olympics my pitching coach Pedro Perez suggested it. I wanted to be part of that team, which the council wanted me to pitch to left-handed hitters, this man of great experience told me that he had a Japanese pitcher who had little speed but pitched below the throwing arm. Also rather than step into the home, giving the crossover step when launching to take a step almost to first base, it would be awkward for lefties as the pitch would almost be behind the batter, and very difficult especially the slider.

 

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

This arm angle has a great advantage, since all hitters are used to overhand. The baseball is always falling, rotating down. 

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

I had success with this arm angle because releasing the ball well from down under makes it difficult for both left and right-handed hitters, especially if it's on the outer corner of homeplate.

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

I would say to young pitchers always to throw over the top in the early years and then can gradually keep trying different ways to pitch and that's where this advantage of us pitchers, have several weapons to get hitters out. 

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

As for the mechanics of pitching this way I would give advice to pitch lots of flatgrounds.  It will help get the feel of the release point out in front. 

 

6. What pitches did you throw?

I pitch around 88 MPH, my pitches are slider, curve, fork/splitter, change, screwball 

7. How did you pitch to lefties/righties?

For me, my favorite part is throwing to left-handed hitters mostly because it's my specialty, is what has led to my success, but against right-handed hitters I have a weapon that is in the outside corner for a tough hitter as they want to pull the ball. 

 

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

 My favorite part of pitching down there was to go after the outer corner of the plate and then mix it up, come inside and get the thin part of the bat.