The Mockingbird

How to throw the Shuuto (not cut)

with 50 comments

Just because evidently this is the only reason anybody comes to my blog (and in increasingly ridiculous numbers), here are the joke-free instructions on how to throw the Shutto. After this, I will speak no more of it. Begone!

1) Start with a two-seam fastball grip:


2) Grip the ball a little tighter and deeper in the hand than you would a 4-seamer. You can try moving your fingers closer together between the seams if you don’t get enough movement, but that makes it harder to control.

2) Practice throwing this pitch low, hard, and on a downward angle until you can get it to sink (if you get under the ball, it won’t). It’s called, appropriately enough, a sinker. It will probably tail away a little from your body, too.

3) As you deliver your new sinker, put pressure on the ball with your index finger and snap your elbow outward. You don’t want to fully snap/pronate your wrist like a screwball- let the grip do most of the work and just pull down a little.

Et voila! The Shuuto! It’s not quite an offspeed pitch, but a little slower than a fastball. A right handed pitcher should throw it in on the hands of righties, and at the hip of a left handed batter so it darts back to the inside corner. Just don’t hang it to either side because then it’s a meatball. And remember:

“The dumber a pitcher is, the better. When he gets smart and begins to experiment with a lot of different pitches, he’s in trouble. All I ever had was a fastball, a curve and a changeup and I did pretty good.” -Dizzy Dean.

Written by halejon

April 7, 2007 at 8:09 am

50 Responses

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  1. “I use my single windup, my double windup, my triple windup, my hesitation windup, my no windup. I also use my step-n-pitch-it, my submariner, my sidearmer, and my bat dodger. Man’s got to do what he’s got to do.”

    -Satchel Paige

    But what of this mysterious “cut shuuto” you speak of. I wonder if I say it more often you’ll get more hits for it: cut shuuto, cut shuuto, cut shuuto, cut shuuto, cut shuuto, cut shuuto, cut shuuto, cut shuuto……phew, glad I got that out of my system.

    Looks like I may be able to drum up a couple extra guys for tonight. What do you say, Sports Cafe around 6:30ish. Give me a call later this aft.,+ON,+Canada&radius=0.0&latlng=43723057,-79392486,8257905254073866488&sa=X&oi=local&ct=authority&cd=1


    April 7, 2007 at 4:34 pm

  2. That quote from Dizzy is fabulous.


    April 8, 2007 at 2:37 pm

  3. I would like to report that this post has moved The Mockingbird up to #8 on a google search for “shuuto”, just behind the “Shuuto World Cup” TV series:


    April 10, 2007 at 6:14 pm

  4. Maybe one more post will take me over the top!

    Aha- but I’m 3rd on “the shuuto”!!! Here’s today:

    shuuto 2
    how to throw a shuuto pitch 2
    how to throw the shuuto 2
    How to throw the Gyroball 1
    how to pitch a shuuto 1
    How to throw a shuuto ball? 1
    translate+Mocking bird 1
    japanese magic pitch 1
    japanese shuuto pitch 1
    how do you throw a miracle pitch 1


    April 10, 2007 at 6:36 pm

  5. Are you scouting the Gyroball tonight? Sam Cosentino tells us it is a change up that breaks depending on how you put pressure on the ball with your fingers.


    April 17, 2007 at 11:08 pm

  6. It actually looks like a fastball, but quite erratic – usually up in the zone. Effective for bases loaded walks, or handing Adam Lind and Royce Clayton shiny hat tricks.

    For Lind – the first pitcher to ever strike him out twice in a game in his budding career. And a couple of those swings looked real ugly.


    April 18, 2007 at 2:46 pm

  7. Rance & Jamie, while commentating, were talking about the a website that chronicles the Dice man, and the trouble he’s having gripping the ball MLB uses.

    In Japan, the baseball is physically smaller in size, they rub it down with sand (as opposed to mud), and the seams are located lower on the ball. This makes the Japanese baseball easier to grip; moreover, the air will cause more drag on the ball, causing it to break harder.

    Either way, he looked good on the mound. The Jays seemed late on his fastball… though I imagine it has more to do with his deceptive delivery than sheer overwhelming power.

    New nickname for Matsuzaka:

    The Dice-Man Cometh.


    April 18, 2007 at 3:35 pm

  8. He was good, but the Jays swung at a lot of high pitches…should not have been 3 hits/10 k’s. Same thing happened in spring training- he threw a no-hitter through 5 and wasn’t great. It will be interesting how he does the second time through the league. I wonder which turns out more important: him adjusting to the new ball or the league adjusting to him.


    April 18, 2007 at 6:02 pm

  9. I’ll second that – the Jays hitters were very impatient. Either he’s mixing speeds well or doing something subtle that’s confusing hitters timing – but I couldn’t believe that so many Jays just went up hacking at so many bad pitches out of the zone.

    I have a suspicion on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th time he see’s the Jays it may be a different story.

    Especially if the Big Hurt remembers how to hit.


    April 18, 2007 at 6:50 pm

  10. He was throwing mostly 92-93 and then pumping it up to 95 for eye-high fastballs from what I saw. Zaun was going on how he likes how he keeps a little left in the tank rather than having to go offspeed for an out pitch.

    He’s definitely got good stuff and pitches well, but not quite the second coming of Cy (though still very young). It will be interesting to see if he wears down this season and how well he adjusts to the league adjusting to him.


    April 18, 2007 at 9:21 pm

  11. Man!!! Who posted these directions??? this is nothing but a two seamer thats packed back in your hand to slow down the ball!!! C’mon do some research person who wrote these directions!! I throw the REAL shuuto and ill give some real directions to this awesome pitch.

    Ok here it is people. . . .

    1) Start with the two seam grip in the picture above.

    2) Move your index finger to the right seam if you’re lefty and to the left seam if you’re righty.

    3) Move your middle finger to about halfway up and down the ball on the side.

    The ball should roll off the side of your finger creating a reverse slider spin. Its crazy its like the sickest two seam in your life. 😀 I throw this often and i found that you can throw it slow to make a reverse curve or fast to have a great reverse-slider. If you’ve got a third breaking ball you can confound batters with pitches that curve in three directions!!! For example, I throw a curve first, then the shuuto, then a splitter. Also if you throw hard like me, then the shuuto can also act like a pitch that freezes batters because they think that its a fastball high and tight and they lean back, then it breaks back over the plate for a strike.

    Jamichael Oxley

    June 4, 2007 at 4:35 pm

  12. But…but…that’s just a different two seamer grip. You don’t pronate your wrist at all?


    June 4, 2007 at 6:30 pm

  13. No pronation at all. . .Just let the ball roll off the side of the finger and just watch wat it do lol. This pitch is a great pitch for anybody to use. Im a fastball pitcher mostly and I throw 92. I throw the pitch anywhere from 80-88 depending on the situation. If i need a demorilizing strike or a ground ball out I throw the “slow shuuto” (as i call it; or in more simple terms, a reverse curve)either inside for the strikeout that freezes batters or outside for the ground ball. The use of the “slow shuuto” is great for two strike situations mostly, but use at your discretion depending on how good you are with it. Remember that the hitter is trying to protect the plate so dont leave the “slow shuuto” too exposed over the middle of the plate because its subject to get slapped opposite field. Thats why i said outside because the majority of the time if the batter does not miss it completely, then the result is a weak ground ball because the ball is tailing toward the end of the bat.
    oops lol i described this from a left handed point of view sorry 😀 (Ill continue to use the left handed description but if righties see my description all they have to to is switch the titles of the batter lefty to righty and vice versa) , but in a right handers situation the above description would be used for left handed batters. The best way to use this for right handed hitters is to use it as a pitch that looks out side but “curves” back to hit the outside corner. To get ahead in the count or to come back from like a 2-0 or 3-0 situation use the”fast shuuto” (or reverse slider) to freeze the batter on the inside corner or cause a swing-and-miss on the outside corner. The batter will try to go yard if they see a pitch that seems to be over the middle of the plate but will swing and miss the “fast shuuto’s” late reverse slider movement. Oh yea the “fast shuuto” is a great right handed batter brush of pitch for lefty pitchers. 😀 lol u use it often.

    Jamichael Oxley

    June 6, 2007 at 3:56 pm

  14. Oh yea and the more tail the better it is. . . .so if anyone out there works on this pitch, try to maximize your tail on this pitch. Working on this will help you if you choose to throw the fast version of this pitch. Also the “slow shuuto” would be amazing for all my junk pitching homies out there :D. Have fun with it people!!!!

    Jamichael Oxley

    June 7, 2007 at 3:27 pm

  15. What? You’re a lefty, that throws 92? Where do you play?

    And wtf is a “demorilizing strike”?


    June 7, 2007 at 6:09 pm

  16. Yes sir i throw 92. . . . I play in Los Angeles California and I have games at El Segundo park at the present time. I practice at the Compton Baseball Academy at Compton College.
    Lol and a “demoralizing strike” is a strike that scares the batter into thinking it will hit them but still falls in for a strike. Its like a righty throwing a curveball and the batter leans back because it seems like its gonna hit him but the pitch breaks back in for a strike. Making a batter do this is extremely embarrasing and demoralizing especially if they cant hit your stuff anyway!! Which is true in my case 🙂 .

    Jamichael Oxley

    June 8, 2007 at 4:32 am

  17. BTW im 17 😀

    Jamichael Oxley

    June 8, 2007 at 4:47 am

  18. what does it mean when you say “Move your middle finger to about halfway up and down the ball on the side.” Halfway up and down?


    June 10, 2007 at 10:58 pm

  19. I think he means halfway down the side of the ball (since if you’re moving your index finger over to the other seam it’s almost there anyway) and halfway up the ball towards you.

    That did nothing for me, though. There are a lot of wacky grips out there, but I still say throw a good old fashioned two seamer and tweak it a little (if you must) once you get good at it.


    June 11, 2007 at 1:54 am

  20. Sigh. . . . .People!!!!!! Lemme make it EVEN MORE simple!! Point your index finger straight out in front of you. . . Now put the ball in your hand with the extended index finger on the left seam if youre righty or the right seam if youre lefty. Now throw. The ball should come off your hand with rotation opposite a slider. Any more questions?? Lemme know so more people can throw this too.

    Jamichael Oxley

    June 11, 2007 at 3:32 am

  21. Q: What round do you expect to be drafted in next year?


    June 11, 2007 at 4:12 am

  22. Lefty, mid 90s, a variety of pitches. I’d say top 5 rounds based on high-school stats, pedigree, competition and how heavily he’s scouted/recrutied.

    But who knows, all this shuuto stuff at an early might be becoming to an awkward delivery, prone to injury.

    My bro used to toss one hell of a knee buckling curve, but not only was it easy to spot because of his delivery. They made him stop it because he was going to blow out his shoulder.

    Just a guess.


    June 11, 2007 at 2:55 pm

  23. Idk. . . . .Ive been scouted alot (Angels, A’s, Astros, Marlins, Mariners, White Sox, Tigers, Rockies, Have yet to see those Blue Jays lol). . .um ive recently been practicing with the Astros at the Compton Baseball Academy and i get props from them because i hold the record for most MPH gained in a month, 76 to 92. Ive got good mechanics, I throw over the top and i dont deviate depending on the pitch. Ive got a pretty live arm too. Ive got excellent stamina too, only losing about an average of two mph over 7 innings. Did you work on that second set of directions Halejon??

    Jamichael Oxley

    June 11, 2007 at 3:36 pm

  24. Oh boy people look what i found!! Joey Niezer the fabled gyroball thrower taught by Will Carrol (i think thas his name) sent this guy from ESPN an email regarding the gyroball. Will get back later!!

    > From: Niezer, Joseph

    > To: Hruby, Patrick



    The thing is I’ve never thrown a gyroball in a game. I don’t really know anything about the physics of the pitch or even exactly how to throw it.

    The few times I messed around with it in practice it seemed like just a different way to throw a slider. It definitely broke a little bit, but no more than my slider did.

    To answer your question, it was more of a sideways spin and break. I don’t ever remember a downward break. I throw kind of sidearm as it is, so a 12-6 type downward break would be almost impossible for me to create. I do not really remember throwing it in BP. I may have a couple of times, but I don’t remember any specific results.

    The batter Bill described was probably just reacting to my slider breaking from behind him over the plate.

    Hope this helps!


    Jamichael Oxley

    June 11, 2007 at 4:46 pm

  25. 16 mph in a month….wow- were you throwing with the wrong arm or something?

    Second set? I thought it was all there.


    June 11, 2007 at 5:03 pm

  26. Hmmm, doesn’t sound like something that is exactly duplicatable, which means the 9 times out of the 10 that it’s just a flat, slowball – it’ll get hit about 400ft.


    June 11, 2007 at 5:36 pm

  27. I know that email…it’s from the “chasing the demon sphere” article from which I stole the first picture for my post that started all this gyro/shuuto silliness…

    Before you get everyone all excited-like, that’s Niezer admitting he doesn’t throw it and doesn’t even really know what it is. And you forgot the sentence juuuuuust before it that reads: “Niezer stuff fell through.” And the whole article is a big joke about how it doesn’t exist, anyway.


    June 11, 2007 at 5:53 pm

  28. Dam lol i thought i had stumbled onto some awesome stuff!!! O well. . . . .no i wasnt throwing with the wrong arm lol i started using the Jaeger Sports “J-Bands” and using the workout that the inventor himself (Tim Jaeger) showed me personally. In the first week I went from 76 to 79 and was encouraged so i worked and worked until now.

    Jamichael Oxley

    June 11, 2007 at 8:29 pm

  29. Perhaps puberty was a factor in this newfound velocity?


    June 11, 2007 at 8:53 pm

  30. Cmon Dan the Man, I used those bands that i just talked about an it was like my body just fired itself up. BTW i went through puberty at 13 so automatically rule that out. . . .I kno im just a baby compared to the baseball world but Im comin up. . . .and the bands just gave this baby a booster seat!!! lol

    Jamichael Oxley

    June 12, 2007 at 3:41 am

  31. jk, Jamichael. Good luck in your future baseball endavours. Hopefully your name will get called early in the draft next year. Though if you get any good scholarship offers, take it!


    June 12, 2007 at 1:50 pm

  32. Thanx Dan. My buddies David Bromberg and Cole Cook were picked in the third round (i think) yesterday. They did the arm bands just like i did but theyre righty and both throw 95. Im encouraged by their accomplishment and im gonna work harder to follow them into the bigs. But I might try to go to Ohio State or Florida St. to get an computer engineering degree before i try to go pro.

    Jamichael Oxley

    June 12, 2007 at 3:27 pm

  33. They’re messing with you if they told you they got picked in the third round- or that they can throw 95…


    June 12, 2007 at 4:06 pm

  34. They were not messing with me halejon, you act like ima lie blatantly. . . i discussed this with them all night yesterday. And i saw your post from the other forum. . .i am not lying about anything i just said, including the mph gain. . . .no im not on steroids no i did not go through a second puberty, i just worked hard and got good results. none of this is rediculous because it is true. i even posted where i play to show proof.

    Jamichael Oxley

    June 12, 2007 at 7:47 pm

  35. Don’t mean to doubt you man, but you gotta admit that 16 mph in a month is pretty insane. I just meant that poor ol’ Josh would have to undergo a similarly ridiculous transformation at the age of 30 if he wanted to become a dominating 2nd rotation guy with a 2.x ERA. But heck if you’re a lefty, you don’t even NEED to throw 95. Just develop enough command to piece together a couple good starts in the majors and for the rest of your career there will probably be some team willing to take a chance on you…

    Cole Cook went #1090 overall- that’s like the 37th round or something. And his scouting report says he throws 91 (though in his video he only touches that once or twice). If he threw 95 in highschool he would probably be a very rich man right now. The other guy from Palisades is named Johnny Bromberg, no?


    June 12, 2007 at 9:23 pm

  36. Dam what a liar. . . .No the other dudes name is David Bromberg. But u dont need to search him. . .If Coles lying im sure he is too. . . .Sigh. . . .duma**** makin me look stupid on here grrrr. Sorry bout that halejon but other than that everything else is true. . . .the place i said i practice at is where i go every sunday to work with the bands. Thats also where i get clocked at. . . .Sigh I feel stupid but at least i know something about the shuuto huh?

    Jamichael Oxley

    June 13, 2007 at 2:17 am

  37. Hey, it’s all good- just remember me when you’re famous. I can see it now…

    Here comes the “Ox” out to shut down the Jays in the ninth…wait, now there’s a fan, must be drunk, running on to the field. Ooh- down he goes. Now they’re carrying him off, it sounds like he’s shouting something…”beware the chute? beware the judo?” Can you make that out, Rance?


    June 13, 2007 at 4:07 am

  38. lmao . . . . . . .lets get bak to this shuuto business lol. Soooo ive been killing teams with this pitch. I just tossed a 1 hitter against a pretty good hitting scout team. The team they play before us was absolutely crushed. . .17 hits 6 homers. Score? 18-4.
    But against me? Where the only pitches i used were four seam fastball and shuuto? 8-0 us. They watched my pitches when i spotted up on the inside, and either grounded out or completely missed the pitch i named the “slow shuuto”. I was basically throwing like a righty with a good curve from a left handed angle. Theyre best hitters, who had above average bat speed basically reacted like the shuuto was a change. They either swung way early or reached and hit little ground balls that i could clean up myself by taking a few steps off the mound. Tomorrow ive got another baseball game and i taught my righty friend the shuuto so ill give you some righty analysis of the “fast shuuto”. Friday ill tell you how the fast shuuto works from my lefty perspective bcuz ive got another game on thursday.

    Jamichael Oxley

    June 13, 2007 at 3:48 pm

  39. Excellent advise from Dizzy! This is so true! Pitchers shouldn’t try to experiment with too many pitches; they should just throw the pitches that they have most control over and are confident in.


    July 11, 2007 at 4:34 am

  40. The name Miguel Batista comes to mind…messing around with 10 pitches instead of listening to his catcher and trusting his 95 mph fastball.

    I said somewhere else on this site that people are irresistably attracted breaking balls because they seem to defy physicslike magic. But the best pitchers in the league aren’t showy- they’re the ones with ruthless command of what they’ve got.


    July 11, 2007 at 5:00 am

  41. the thing about leftys no throwing to fast billy wagner closer for the mets can reach over 100mph and hes lefty

    mets r the best

    August 7, 2007 at 9:52 pm

  42. Didn’t mean to say that lefties can’t throw as fast…but they usually don’t need to throw as fast to have a career in the big leagues.


    August 8, 2007 at 12:33 am

  43. Great except the picture you show is not a two-seam grip. It’s a “with the seam grip”. The two seam grip and the four seam grip are both ACROSS certain seams.

    coach w

    April 26, 2009 at 4:01 pm

  44. You are mistaken – that is indeed a two-seamer grip.


    April 27, 2009 at 12:28 am

  45. Jamichael,

    I’m the pitching coach for an 8th-grade team and am always searching for “safe” pitches so my guys can mix it up a little.

    Let’s see if I’ve got this right:

    You start out with your index (pointer) finger between the two narrow seams.

    Your middle finger is placed on the outside of the other narrow seam about halfway down the ball.

    Thumb – directly under the ball?

    Release straight down with the ball releasing from between your fingers – finishing with fingers down.

    Is that correct?

    Thanks and good luck! Make sure you find someone you can trust to guide you – sounds like you have a lot of gifts.

    James F. Rogers

    June 5, 2009 at 1:09 pm

  46. That was a long time ago, about two years, so I doubt he’ll get back to you. Oxley was playing for West LA College last year, not sure if he’s playing this season. And he’s 6′ 7 and 210 pounds! Yikes…

    If I was a coach, I would just teach my kids the changeup. Safe, deadly, the way of the future. Just call it a “Vulcan Change”, or refer to the movement on it as “Screwball Action”, because kids hate the idea of throwing something slow that doesn’t break 6 feet.


    June 6, 2009 at 10:32 am

  47. Thanks, halejon. I didn’t notice the dates.

    My hard throwers have a difficult time getting their changeups to travel slowly enough. Some have gone to the knuckleball quite effectively.

    Have you found anyplace that clearly explains / illustrates the shuuto? Is that what Brandon Webb is throwing?

    James F. Rogers

    June 15, 2009 at 10:20 am

    • no you dumbass its a sinker do you not know anything?


      April 11, 2010 at 4:35 am

  48. Webb just throws a really, really, good sinker. The Shuuto seems to be a sort of sinker/changeup that is a pet pitch in Japan but has not really caught on in North America. There’s such a grey area between all these fading offspeed pitches, it’s actually kind of silly to name it something different unless it’s held in a specific way. Which it ain’t. It’s just like a changeup that relies more on the movement aspect than the change in speeds to be effective. Which as I showed here:

    Probably isn’t the most effective idea at the major league level.


    May 13, 2010 at 1:48 pm

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