GODDYEAR, Ariz. -- There was a retired screwball pitcher Hector Santiago once met who had a couple of fingers on his pitching hand permanently twisted because of the wear and tear from the pitch. But that particular hurler threw his pitch as a two-seamer, causing the eventual problems, while Santiago throws the screwball more like a circle change.
Santiago also doesn't intend to or need to throw the screwball more than 15 or 20 times in the course of a prescribed 100 pitches. So, he has no worries that this rarely thrown offering could lead to some sort of physical issue.
"I haven't had any kind of different soreness on the way," Santiago said. "The only way I feel like it will affect me is if I try to do it too much.
"If I try to make it better and turn my shoulder over and try to get too much behind it or try to do too much, then maybe," said Santiago, referring to overthrowing the pitch for greater affect. "As long as I stay within myself and throw it the way I'm supposed to throw it, I should be fine."