FanShot

The Long Toss Fallacy

There was a lot of discussion circa last years draft that the Pirates don't allow long tossing beyond 120 feet. Dylan Bundy allegedly cited this as a reason why he'd prefer they didn't draft him. I've seen this repeated since as evidence of the Pirates being inept, inflexible you name it. But let's put this one to to rest for good. The Pirates DO NOT prohibit long tossing beyond a 120 feet. From Tim's post about Tim Alderson's reemergence as a prospect: The Pirates have never been against long toss. Plenty of players in the system go beyond 120 feet, including top prospects Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole. Over the off-season, Alderson got back on a long toss program that he used in high school. He would throw from 300-350 feet every day, trying to build arm strength and arm speed. The right-hander decided he wanted to bring the program in to camp. "I just decided, I’ve been through the loop four or five years now," Alderson said. "I had to take my career in to my own hands and wanted to do what was comfortable. And thankfully Mitch [Scott Mitchell], our pitching coordinator, has been really supportive, and every pitching coach is supportive. They want to do what’s going to help me. I decided this off-season to stick with it, and not just do it when I was home, bring it in to camp." "We have our guidelines of 120 feet," Mitchell explained. "We can go past 120 feet once a pitcher’s proven health, and that he’s maintaining proper mechanics throughout. He’s hit all of those checkpoints, and says he feels good, so we’ll continue to do it."

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