Timing

Definition:

The time from initial movement of the pitcher’s hands from the set position until impact of the ball with the catcher’s mitt (or impact with a net if throwing into a net).

On-field Impact:

This time is important because the less time it takes for a pitcher to get the ball to the catcher, the less time a runner has to steal a base. Time to Plate is made up of delivery time and ball flight time (the time it takes the ball to get from pitcher’s hand at release to the catcher). A pitcher can focus on controlling his delivery time to reduce the total time to plate.

Real Life Example:

On a field with 90-foot base paths, it takes a runner just over 3 seconds to steal second base. If a pitcher can keep his time to plate to 1.3 seconds instead of 1.5, then the catcher has  more time to throw out the runner.

Definition:

Delivery time is the total time the ball is in the player’s hand from initial movement to the release of the ball. It can be broken down into segments, namely set to reach back time and reach back to release time.

On-field Impact:

Reducing delivery time helps to reduce time to plate and makes it harder for runners to steal bases. In addition, it is important for a pitcher to keep his delivery the same across different pitch types. This makes it harder for batters to pick up on different pitches being thrown.

For position players, reducing time to deliver the ball to the base reduces the distance a baserunner travels while the fielder has the ball in his hands.

Real Life Example:

If a pitcher has a different movement between say, his fastball and curveball deliveries, it may be detectable by the batter so that he will know what pitch is coming.

Definition:

The time from the cocking point in the delivery until release of the ball.

On-field Impact:

This is the second phase of the pitch and can tip a pitch if there is different time for different pitch types. It also contributes to total Time to Plate when trying to hold runners on base.

Real Life Example:

If a player tries to throw a change-up by slowing down his arm (instead of with the grip), this can be detected by the batter.