Late Rise: Why it's a red flag for pitchers and what can cause it

Wed Jan 20, 2021 by OnBaseU

Late Rise is a pitching characteristic that refers to a pitcher whose throwing hand is still below their throwing elbow at foot touch.  As Dr. Rose demonstrates in the video above, Late Rise can be identified by drawing a line parallel to the ground that bisects the pitcher's elbow when they are at foot touch.  If the hand/ball is below the line, they are a Late Riser.

In our Certification programs, we're purposeful about referring to technical elements as characteristics - not faults - because they don't preclude a hitter or pitcher from being effective, but may cause inefficiencies in other athletes.  Though Late Rise is no exception, it is considered to be a red flag by many MLB organizations.  Because the hand is late to rise into layback, it has to move faster over a shorter period of time, causing more stress on the elbow. 


This relationship between the Late Rise pitching characteristic and torque on the elbow has also been observed by Dr. Glenn Fleisig of ASMI.  He discussed it on our Q&A Webinar over the summer.


Though Late Rise can be related to physical limitations such as shoulder external rotation or spine disassociation, it's commonly observed in pitchers who also have a pitching characteristic called Short Stride.  Most MLB pitchers stride at least 110% of their height.  If they don't, we refer to it as a Short Stride.

We covered how we screen for physical limitations associated with Short Stride in a past article, but the important takeaway here is that technical inefficiencies are usually multifactorial.  One of the most consistent themes of our Certification curriculum is encouraging coaches, S&C and medical professionals need to look beyond the site of dysfunction or inefficiency to find the cause of dysfunction or inefficiency.  Assess, don't guess.