A sinker is a fastball that has downward, sinking movement. It’s thrown at the same speed as the four-seam fastball but typically comes out a little bit slower by 2-3%. Sinkers are great for getting hitters to hit the top-half of the pitch, thus creating lots of easy-to-field ground balls and double plays.
The main difference between curveballs and sinkers is in their trajectory as they fly to the home plate. As their names say, curveballs curve, while the sinkers sink. Curveball pitches start high and then break down or diagonally across the hitting zone, creating an arc or “curve”.
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.
The pitch derives its name because upon being released, four seams come into view on the ball with each rotation.
Against groundball hitters, sinkers are an excellent choice of pitch.
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.
Along with four-seamers, sinkers and two-seamers make up the rest of the fastball pitch type family.
Definition. A screwball is a breaking ball designed to move in the opposite direction of just about every other breaking pitch. It is one of the rarest pitches thrown in baseball, mostly because of the tax it can put on a pitcher’s arm.
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.
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.
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 sinker ball can be a tough pitch to command consistently. He is relying on keeping the ball down and letting the action on the ball get you out. When he misses up and over the plate, don’t miss it. Right handed hitters should look to drive the ball back up the middle and stay through the sinker.
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.
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 fastball has less downward acceleration due to the upward Magnus force caused by its backspin. So, a fastball won’t drop as much as a sinker. That is why a sinker is called a sinker! It is not sinking more than gravity requires, but it sinks measurably more than most pitches of equal speed.
Here is the longest verified home run in professional baseball history! In 1987, Joey Meyer, playing for the Triple-A Denver Zephyrs, launched this ball an astonishing 582 FEET!
This 35.1 MPH Frank Schwindel pitch is the slowest (known/measured) MLB pitch to ever get hit for a home run!
By lubricating the ball—with saliva, Vaseline, hair grease, or something else—the pitcher can throw a pitch that slides off his fingers without generating too much backspin. A greased-up pitch behaves kind of like a split-fingered fastball—it drops to the ground faster than a typical pitch.
One of the early nicknames of the curveball was Uncle Charlie, or sometimes, Lord Charles. This was derived from the name of Harvard President Charles Elliot, who was opposed to the adoption of the curveball and considered it to be cheating.
The reason why the spitball was banned was that it was regarded as doctoring a baseball. And everything that was considered doctoring a baseball was banned on this day in 1920. Throwing the spitball before that 10th of February 1920 was a common thing. Many pitchers did it.