The Advantages of Ambidextrous Pitching over using just one arm: With the new MLB rule limiting pitcher-changes to once every 3 batters click here fore rule, some smart organizations (Marlins come to mind with the signing of Pat Venditte) will figure out switch-pitching is a good tool to have on the bench.

  1. Increased confidence from being able to switch to “other side”.  Dad always has said I am the only pitcher allowed to "relieve myself" on the mound ha ha.  While that would be crazy, I can always switch if I don't "feel it" pitching on one side -- and usually do!

  2. Temporary arm rest while pitching from the “other side” against the next batter or batters.  Ever notice you can do a bunch of push ups in a row, but eventually you temporarily tire out?  But once you rest for a minute or so, you can do a lot more push ups, right?  Well, pitchers get tired too.  Once I rest the other side, I feel rejuvenated and can pitch again from the other side.   

  3. I pitch a batter from one side the first and second time through the lineup, and then pitch a batter from the “other side” the third time through the batting order.  I read the MLB is more and more transitioning from a "starting pitcher" type of game to a "bull penning" type of game.  Well, I can last twice as long for any manager who wants to limit the exposure to a batter to only twice.  This link is an interesting article about 2018 post-season successes relating to "bull penning" .   

  4. I have double the pitches for the opposing team to master = 2 Times 4-seam, 2-seam, split finger, 12-6 curve, slider, and change up. I definitely have more endurance on the mound: A few years ago, I pitched ~150 pitches over a weekend.  That is not to say I have unlimited endurance.  Pitching uses both legs (albeit differently), but as I become more fit, I have more endurance.   

  5. My body maintains natural symmetry as it develops.  This has huge benefits extending beyond baseball.

  6. If the opposing team gains momentum from a hit or hits, I just switch sides and watch as the other team’s momentum totally stops.

  7. I learn pitching mechanics and techniques on one-side, and then I apply them to the other side.  

  8. So having two arms is like an insurance policy -- I always have a backup arm.  If I have an arm injury or sore arm from too much infield work, I just limit my pitching on that  side.  At Cary, NC during TEAM USA, they pitched me two days in a row.  The second day, my left was spent so I pitched righty-only. 

  9. I love the attention I get, but sometimes hear it's just as a gimmick.  This is not a gimmick.  If managed correctly, this is a competitive tool.  I am humbled that Perfect Game in 2019 called me a "legit both-handed pitcher touching 82 with both sides".  My long term goal is to touch 100mph, and I will touch 90 by this year-end 2020.  I already run-n-gunned 90 summer 2019. 

  10. I play 3rd base during long tournaments.  My left arm remains fresh while others' arms are tired due to position playing over several games.

  11. New MLB Rule Changes in 2020 require that a pitcher stay in for at least 3 batters (click here for explanation) -- which means I can switch while other pitchers must ignore splits stats for at least 3 batters at a time.  This is a significant advantage to switch pitching.  Though at my age, pitching lefty has an advantage over pitching righty if for no other reason because batters see lefty pitching a lot less.  But, the third time I go through the line up, I usually start switching to more righty for several reasons. 

Side note: It is funny how coaches freak out thinking they must control which side I pitch, and a scout told my parents some coaches just don't want to deal with it.  But based on my 10-years of switch pitching experience, the only smart strategy is to understand 1) the individual batter I am facing, 2) my strengths at that particular time in the game, and only after then 3) make a decision which side to use at that time.  Of course, only I have the inherent ability to know how I feel at that moment in the game, but the coach can --and should for what it is worth coming from me -- keep stats and watch each opposing batter to help me with the other half of the equation.  Background: I usually pitch lefty if I face a lefty hitter or if there is a guy on first base, unless some other reason is overwhelming.

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©2019 BY JON MORGAN SHIELDS, AMBIDEXTROUS PITCHER. PROUDLY CREATED WITH WIX.COM

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