Two-seam fastball / sinker
The two-seamer and sinker are the main variations. They’re pretty similar, so we group them together. Two-seamers and sinkers have basically the same speed as a four-seamer; the big difference is the way they move. A four-seamer is straight, sometimes so straight it looks like it’s rising.
The sinker drops 6 to 9 inches more than a typical four seam fastball, which causes batters to hit ground balls more often than other fastballs, mostly due to the tilted sidespin on the ball. Horizontal movement also occurs when sinkers are thrown.
The “sinker” is thrown with a grip-and-wrist motion that gives the ball sidespin instead of backspin. Forkballs and split-finger fastballs minimize backspin because the fingers are placed along the sides of the ball instead of over the top. All of these pitches “sink” only because of gravity.
What is a Sinker? The sinker is a pitch that, as its name says, sinks heavily as it approaches the hitter. It’s a weapon often used by pitchers for inducing ground balls.
The most significant difference between the sinker and curveball pitch is their flight path and trajectory. Sink balls sink, curveballs curve. Sinkers keep a straight flight path until the very end, when they take a sharp dip down.
Another difference in movement is that the sinker features a more gradual curve downwards, while the splitter acts more like a breaking pitch and suddenly drops. Both pitches are hurled at high velocity, with the splitter slightly slower of the two.
Does throwing a sinker hurt your arm? No. The sinker has a similar arm slot and grip as the two-seam fastball.
2-seam fastball (sinker)
This pitch moves arm side of the pitcher and down. This movement is a result of the seams catching the air in a way that pushes the ball down and in to righties from a right handed pitcher. 1-3 mph slower than the 4-seamer.
It is far easier for a hitter to adjust up and down during his swing than in or out. So, a sinker is far more difficult to hit on the sweet spot than a fastball or even a curve. Hitting a sinker more often results in an off sweet spot collision.
Use in the Major Leagues
The forkball has been favored by several current and former major league pitchers, including Tom Henke, Kevin Appier, Hideo Nomo, José Valverde, José Arredondo, Ken Hill, Justin Speier, Kazuhiro Sasaki, José Contreras, Chien-Ming Wang, Junichi Tazawa, Robert Coello, and Edwar Ramírez.
The main differences when comparing sinker vs slider are the velocity and the trajectory of the ball. As the sinker is a type of fastball, it travels towards the home plate at a greater speed. The slider pitch is typically 6 to 8 mph slower.
A perfect sinker can be thrown by using a 2-seam fastball grip while putting a spin on the ball at the last minute before release, causing the ball to spin downwards as it is thrown. A perfect sinker is thrown at waist level to the batter so that it ends up slightly inside and low to a righthanded batter.
Aroldis Chapman’s fastball is widely regarded as the fastest pitch in MLB today. In fact, even after more than 575 career innings and countless pitches hitting 100-plus mph, he also holds the title this season.
Greg Maddux’s 2-Seam Fastball.
Sandy Alcantara And Jack Flaherty Throw MLB’s Best Two-Seam Fastballs/Sinkers. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
The heavy, usually refers to a late sink the ball has, resulting in hitters not hitting it squarely… usually on the top half of the ball. A good way to see if your ball is “heavy” is to see your flyball to ground ball ratio. A good groundball ratio would be anything over 1.5.
Bill James cites Curt Simmons as the first pitcher to be able to throw both sinking and hopping fastballs, apparently indicating that it was now known how to make a pitch sink and how to make one hop.
Splitters are often referred to as “split-finger fastballs,” but because of their break and lower velocity, they don’t hold much in common with a typical fastball. They’re generally thrown in the same situations that would see a pitcher throw his breaking and off-speed pitches.
An illegal pitch may be quick pitch (i.e. a pitch made before the batter is properly set in the batter’s box), a pitch made while the pitcher is not in contact with the pitching rubber, or one in which he takes an extra step while making his delivery.
A breaking ball (aka breaking pitch) is a pitch in which the pitcher snaps or breaks his wrist to give the ball spin and movement. This includes the curveball, slider, and slurve, but not the various kinds of fastball and change-up or trick pitches like the knuckleball.
If a righty is pitching to a lefty, and throws a breaking ball that starts outside and breaks to catch the outside corner, that’s a backdoor breaking pitch.
The sinker and the change-up are the only pitches that have arm-side run, really. The splitter is a change-up for all intents and purposes (often called a split-change), and the two-seamer and sinker are similar if not the same pitch. And yet the platoon splits on the two pitches are fairly different. Lefties had a .