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Re: Casting -- from Dec. 2000

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Mon Jan 1 18:03:17 2001

>>>Hi. I have been practicing the rotational swing and have often times come across the problem of casting. Sometimes my swing is smooth and fast, others it is not becuase i am casting. I was just wondering what causes casting, and how it can be corrected. Also, my swing quality varies from time to time. I am not sure why. Is there a way to build muscle memory or something to help make a rotational swing more natural to me? Thanks once more, and Happy 2001! Joe C. <<<

Hi Joe C.

Casting is usually associated with a wide arcing hand-path and a lead arm that has moved far away from the chest. This occurs when batters have less shoulder rotation and must fully or near fully extend the back-arm to bring the bat-head to contact. A certain amount of casing is required for a batter to reach pitches on the outside part of the plate. But for pitches from the middle-in, the lead arm should be close to the chest with the back-arm still in the "L" position (not extended) at contact.

Joe, it is impossible to 'cast' while keeping the lead arm across your chest and fully rotating your shoulders to bring the hands to the contact zone. This can only produce a very tight hand-path. This is why I have stressed time and again not to use the arms to accelerate the hands. Shoving forward with the top hand will slow shoulder rotation and push the lead arm away from the body. Once this happens, it is almost impossible to have the lead shoulder pulling back toward the catcher at contact. So now you will have to depend on extending the back arm to accelerate the bat-head instead of using the more powerful body rotation. This is why casting on a middle-in pitch cost you a lot of bat speed and pop.

Note #1: Hitters like Big Mac can hit outside pitches with authority while using less shoulder rotation and a straighter back arm. They make up for the lack of rotation by initiating the swing with a great deal of top-hand-torque. --- Topic for another time.

Note #2: Never make assessments of back-arm extension in live or even slow motion. Always use stop or frozen video frame. The arm always appears more extended in slow motion.

Jack Mankin


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