Velocity School: Where Pitchers Pay to Throw Harder

But in 2014, his shoulder ached. His velocity fell sharply, and hitters hammered his mistakes. He was sent to the minors, traded to the Chicago Cubs, then dealt to Houston, where he barely pitched. With the blessing of the Astros — whose general manager, Jeff Luhnow, has toured Driveline and consulted with Boddy — Straily went to Driveline after the 2015 season to strengthen his shoulder. He knew that harder throwers always get more chances, and hoped to raise his minimum velocity back to respectability.

“If I would have just walked into Kyle’s and said, ‘Make me throw 95,’” Straily said, “he would have said, ‘All right, there’s the door, we’ll see you later.’”

From Driveline, Straily said, he simply wanted a foundation, so he could map out his ideal delivery to put his arm in its strongest, most stable position. The adjustments have turned around his career: In the two seasons before starting Boddy’s program, he went 1-4 in the majors. In the two seasons since, he is 23-17, and he said his arm was never sore.

“The most important stuff is the boring recovery work,” Boddy said. “They do tons of stuff that you would do in rehab if you get…

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