Can You Pitch Underhand in Baseball? Discover the Secrets to This Rare Technique!

Yes, underhand pitching is allowed in baseball. It is not commonly used due to its unusual technique, as most pitchers are encouraged to throw overhand.

However, there have been rare instances of MLB pitchers using an underhand or submarine delivery. While underhand throwing is essential in softball pitching, it is not typically seen in baseball.

1. Understanding Underhand Pitching In Baseball

Understanding Underhand Pitching in Baseball

Underhand pitching, also known as submarine pitching, is a unique technique used by some baseball pitchers. While overhand pitching is the standard method, underhand pitching involves releasing the ball with a sidearm motion, closer to the ground. This style of pitching can provide pitchers with distinct advantages and challenges. Let’s dive deeper into the world of underhand pitching and explore its history in baseball.

1.1 What Is Underhand Pitching?

Underhand pitching in baseball refers to a pitching technique where the pitcher releases the ball from a sidearm position, closer to the ground. Instead of throwing with an overhand motion, underhand pitchers use a more natural and fluid sidearm motion, creating a unique angle of attack.

1.2 History Of Underhand Pitching In Baseball

The history of underhand pitching in baseball dates back to the early days of the sport. In fact, underhand pitching was the norm during the early development of baseball in the 19th century. Pitchers would throw the ball in a more natural and fluid sidearm motion, creating a distinct style of play.

However, as the game evolved and rules changed, overhand pitching became the standard. With the introduction of the overhand pitching motion, underhand pitching became less common, but it has still persisted in some niche cases, with a few professional pitchers utilizing the technique.

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Can You Pitch Underhand in Baseball? Discover the Secrets to This Rare Technique!


2. The Techniques And Mechanics Of Underhand Pitching

Underhand pitching is a unique and often overlooked technique in baseball, but it has its own set of mechanics and techniques that can be quite effective when used correctly. In this section, we will explore the fundamental mechanics of underhand pitching, the different types of underhand pitches, and the advantages and disadvantages of using this technique.

2.1 Fundamental Mechanics Of Underhand Pitching

Underhand pitching involves a distinct throwing motion that differs from the traditional overhand style. The fundamental mechanics of underhand pitching include:

  • Stance: The pitcher usually starts in a slightly crouched or upright position with their feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Grip: The grip on the ball varies depending on the desired pitch, but it generally involves holding the ball with the palm facing upwards.
  • Windup: The windup for underhand pitching is typically simpler and more compact compared to overhand pitching. It involves a smooth backward movement of the arm and body to generate momentum.
  • Release: The ball is released from a low point, near the hip or knee, with a flick of the wrist and a follow-through motion.

2.2 Different Types Of Underhand Pitches

Underhand pitching offers pitchers the ability to throw a variety of pitches with different movements and speeds. Some common types of underhand pitches include:

Pitch Type Description
Riseball A pitch that appears to rise as it approaches the batter, creating deception and making it challenging to hit.
Dropball A pitch that drops suddenly as it reaches the plate, aiming to induce the batter to swing over the top of the ball.
Changeup A slower pitch with reduced velocity, designed to disrupt the batter’s timing and induce weak contact.

2.3 Advantages And Disadvantages Of Underhand Pitching

Like any pitching technique, underhand pitching has its advantages and disadvantages:

  • Advantages:
    • Deception: Underhand pitching can be deceptive due to the unique angle and release point, making it difficult for batters to anticipate the pitch.
    • Movement: Certain underhand pitches, such as riseballs and dropballs, can have significant movement, making them challenging to hit.
    • Less stress on the arm: Underhand pitching generally puts less stress on the shoulder and elbow compared to overhand pitching, which can be advantageous for players with injury concerns.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Limited velocity: Underhand pitching generally sacrifices velocity in favor of control and movement, making it easier for experienced batters to react and adjust.
    • Limited pitch repertoire: While there are different types of underhand pitches, the variety and versatility may be more limited compared to overhand pitching.
    • Dependent on accuracy and control: Underhand pitching relies heavily on pinpoint accuracy and control, as any mistakes in location can lead to easily hittable pitches.
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Understanding the techniques and mechanics of underhand pitching can provide players and coaches with alternative options to explore on the field. While it may not be as commonly utilized as overhand pitching, underhand pitching can be a valuable tool in certain situations, offering a different approach to challenging batters and finding success on the mound.

3. Exploring The Role Of Underhand Pitching In Modern Baseball

Can You Pitch Underhand in Baseball?

Underhand pitching has a long history in baseball, with the first curveball being thrown underhand in the early days of the sport. However, in modern baseball, underhand pitching is a rarity. In this section, we will delve into the role of underhand pitching in professional baseball, why it is not commonly used, and the potential benefits and applications of underhand pitching.

3.1 Underhand Pitching In Professional Baseball

Underhand pitching is seldom seen in professional baseball. It is an unconventional style of throwing that requires specific techniques and a unique arm angle. However, there have been a few notable pitchers in Major League Baseball who have used underhand pitching, such as Tyler Rogers, Adam Cimber, Darren O’Day, Chad Bradford, Dan Quisenberry, and Kent Tekulve.

These pitchers have successfully incorporated underhand pitching into their repertoire and have found success by utilizing different arm angles and varying speeds. While underhand pitching may not be as prevalent in professional baseball, these pitchers have shown that it can be an effective strategy when executed correctly.

3.2 Why Underhand Pitching Is Rare In Baseball

Underhand pitching is rare in baseball for several reasons. Firstly, it is not a natural throwing motion for most pitchers. The majority of pitchers are taught and encouraged to throw overhand from a young age, making the underhand technique less common.

Additionally, the mechanics of underhand pitching can put strain on the arm and shoulder, potentially leading to injuries. The overhand motion provides more power and velocity, making it the preferred choice for most pitchers.

Furthermore, the strategic advantages of underhand pitching are not as widely recognized in modern baseball. The overhand motion allows for greater pitch variety and deception, while underhand pitching tends to be limited in terms of pitch selection.

3.3 Potential Benefits And Applications Of Underhand Pitching

Although underhand pitching may be rare in baseball, it does have potential benefits and applications. One advantage is the element of surprise. Since underhand pitchers are not as common in the game, batters may struggle to adjust to the unique arm angle and delivery, giving the pitcher an advantage.

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Furthermore, underhand pitching can be effective against certain types of hitters. For example, batters who struggle with low pitches or have difficulty picking up the ball from underhand angles may be particularly vulnerable to underhand pitching.

Another potential application of underhand pitching is as a changeup or alternative pitch for a pitcher’s arsenal. By incorporating underhand pitches into their repertoire, pitchers can add an additional layer of variation and unpredictability to keep hitters off balance.

Overall, while underhand pitching may not be commonly used in modern baseball, it can still play a role in specific situations and provide advantages when utilized effectively.

Can You Pitch Underhand in Baseball? Discover the Secrets to This Rare Technique!


Can You Pitch Underhand in Baseball? Discover the Secrets to This Rare Technique!


Frequently Asked Questions Of Can You Pitch Underhand In Baseball?

Why Do Mlb Pitchers Not Throw Underhand?

MLB pitchers do not throw underhand because it is an uncommon pitching style. Most pitchers are taught to throw overhand, and the underhand motion is usually learned in softball. Submarine pitchers who use a sidearm motion are rare in baseball.

Can You Throw A Ball Underhand?

Yes, underhand throwing is commonly used in softball pitching and can be used in baseball for close distance plays. However, it is not typically used by MLB pitchers, as the majority use an overarm motion.

Can You Pitch A Baseball Like A Softball?

No, MLB pitchers do not pitch underhand like in softball. The majority of pitchers use an overhand motion in baseball. While there are rare submarine pitchers who use a sidearm motion, underhand pitching is not common in baseball.

How Fast Can Men Pitch Underhand?

Men can pitch underhand in baseball, but it is not commonly seen in professional games. The majority of pitchers use an overarm motion, so throwing underhand is not a natural style for most pitchers. However, there have been professional pitchers who use a submarine delivery, such as Tyler Rogers, Adam Cimber, and Darren O’Day.

The speed of pitching underhand can vary depending on the individual pitcher.


While it is technically allowed to pitch underhand in baseball, it is not a common technique used by professional pitchers. The rarity of submarine pitchers can be attributed to its unusual and learned style, with most young pitchers being encouraged to throw overhand.

Underhand throwing is more commonly associated with softball pitching. While some modern pitchers have used a submarine delivery, it is not the norm in professional baseball.