Jay Tessmer: Former Yankees RHP


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

The sidearm pitching angle was my natural arm slot.  I threw from the side all the way back to the Little League days.


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

The advantage for me was a deceptive delivery with increased movement on fastballs and changeups.  I did not throw hard so increased movement was the key to my success.  As a relief pitcher, my delivery enabled me to pitch multiple days in a row without losing effectiveness.  At times, I was more effective when fatigued.


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

I can barely throw a baseball over the top so I would have had no success.


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

I would encourage anyone to add anything they can to their pitching repertoire.  If dropping down provides the greatest opportunity for success then work to develop that skill. 


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

Mechanically the most important thing for me was to stay back and not rush to the plate.  Landing with my front side in a direct line with the front shoulder was also important.  When either of these were off in the delivery, I would lose movement and the ability to locate effectively.

6. What pitches did you throw?

 I threw a 2 seam fastball, slider and changeup.  Fastball velocity was in the 80 – 82 mph range.  Occasionally, I would reach 85 mph, but the desired velocity was the lower range.

7. How did you pitch to lefties/righties?

Right handers was primarily sinkers middle-in and sliders away.  I could locate the fastball away, but there was a greater risk of missing and leaving the ball over the middle of the plate.  Left handers was sinkers away, change-ups away and back door sliders. 

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

My favorite thing about being a sidearm pitcher was being able to provide a “different” look out of the bullpen.  I am certain that if I did not have an unconventional delivery that I would never have had the opportunity to pitch in college or have enough success to get drafted to professional baseball.