Mike Marshall's Newest Pitch

Don SpielesCorrespondent IMarch 26, 2009

Ahh! The wonders of the modern age. I changed my cable service to include the MLB Network yesterday. I'll let you know what I think of it in days to come, but for now, let me fill you in on the whereabouts of Dr. Mike Marshall, expert kinesiologist and former Cy Young winning closer.

You see, on the networks flagship show, MLB Tonight, I saw last night an interview with Dr. Marshall who with his medical degree, time spent studying the field of kinesiology, and his experiences on the mound, has become a guru in the burgeoning area of protecting pitchers.

It was rather interesting.

First, let's note that Michael "Iron Mike" Marshall pitched for a variety of major league teams between 1967 and 1981, He became well known for his durability, showed in full effect in Cy Young 1974 season with the Dodgers when he pitched in 106 games, a total of 208 innings. 

As Dr. Marshall explained last evening on the show, his ability to do so stemmed from his knowledge of the human body and his particularly well adapted mechanics. 

He applied some of his knowledge to the discussion, but with actual demonstrations by an assistant as well as some detailed analysis of last year's Cy Young winner, San Francisco Giant Tim Lincecum.

You can see the videos on the MLB site:  Video One  Video Two

In the first video, Marshall explains his background and his main issue with Lincecum, that being the movement of his arm. Marshall believe the Lincecum will be a future candidate for Tommy John surgery because the way he throws puts extra strain on his elbow ligaments. 

In the second video, Marshall brings out a protege and has him demonstrate dome throwing techniques that Marshall has developed that are designed to limit damage to pitchers.

Pitcher preservation is believed by many to be the next big key in the major leagues.  The Bill James driven "Money Ball" concept which has proven to work well for many teams (most notably, the Boston Red Sox) is now being emulated by just about every team to some degree*. 

There will be a need for teams to explore a new way to gain advantages and that way might very well be by safeguarding the hurlers.

With all of Mike Marshall's background and logic, he claims to have gotten little or no notice from MLB thus far. Based on what he has to say, I thinking that is going to change soon.