During this off-season one of the more interesting stories is what MLB club Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka will end up on. Matsuzaka is the top pitching prospect in Japan and most recently was the MVP of the World Baseball Classic. The Red Sox are one of numerous teams bidding for the right to sign him, however what may be most intriguing thing about him is a pitch that he may or may not throw, and may or may not even exist.
The Gyropitch was supposedly developed by two Japanese scientists to make a baseball move like never before. The fact that there may be a pitch out there that hasn't been discovered excites me the more and more I think about it.
Wikipedia has the following description of what the ball does:
"At the point of release, instead of having the pitcher's arm move inwards towards the body (the standard method used in the United States), the pitcher rotates his arm so that it moves away from his body, towards 3rd base (for a right-handed pitcher). The unusual method of delivery creates a bullet-like spin on the ball, like a bicycle tire spins when facing the spokes or a perfectly thrown football. When thrown by a right hander, the pitch moves sharply down and away from right handed batters and towards left handed batters."
"he gyroball is thrown with the arm speed of a fastball but goes much slower, and since it has a bullet-like spinning motion, on occasion (perhaps when the seams are hidden from view of the batter) it will make experienced batters swing wildly ahead or behind the ball."
Sounds like some pretty neat stuff. Apparently people who've seen the pitch thrown have compared it to a hard slider, and over on Popular Mechanics they have an interesting article on the pitch that can be read here.
Until I see it thrown at the big league level I'm going to be skeptical, but it sounds nastier then a 2 Live Crew album...