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In baseball, a submarine is a pitch delivered with an underhand motion. Some submarine pitchers deliver the ball while almost scraping their knuckles on the dirt. The pitch has a tendency to break more than one delivered with an overhand motion. Pitches thrown via a submarine motion are also generally more difficult for hitters to see relative to pitches thrown via an overhand motion; as such, they are the toughest pitches for same-side batters to hit (if the submarine pitcher is right-handed, then he or she is the most difficult for a right-handed hitter to hit). However, a lot of their breaking balls seem to float to an opposite-side batter.
For example, assume that a right-handed submarine pitcher were to face a right-handed hitter. From the view of the pitcher towards home plate, a submarine style fastball tends to break toward the right of the plate towards the batter. However, against a left-handed hitter, the pitch would break away from the batter, allowing him to wait on the ball for an easy hit. The converse is true for left-handed submarine pitchers: a fastball from southpaw submariner Mike Myers would break towards left-handed hitters, but away from right-handed hitters.
The rarity of submarine pitchers is sometimes attributed to the different technique required, rather than it being an inferior pitching style. The technique is unknown to most coaches simply because the vast majority of pitchers use overarm motions. Thus, most young baseball pitchers are encouraged to throw overhand. Also, the unusual bending motion required to pitch effectively as a submariner means that many submariners develop back problems, and lack the stamina required to be used as starting pitchers. One exception is Byung-Hyun Kim, who started 87 games in his Major League career.
Shunsuke Watanabe of Japan's Chiba Lotte Marines is known as "Mr. Submarine" in Japan. Watanabe has a low release point, even for a typical submarine pitcher, as he drops his pivot knee so low that he scrapes his knee. He now wears a pad under his uniform to not injure his knee. In addition, his release point is so low that the knuckles on his pitching hand occasionally drag on the ground and are scraped raw.
- Chad Bradford of the Tampa Bay Rays
- Randy Choate of the Tampa Bay Rays
- Daniel Davidson of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
- Joey Devine of the Oakland Athletics
- Pedro Feliciano of the New York Mets
- Brian Fuentes of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
- Sean Green of the New York Mets
- Byung-Hyun Kim is a Free-Agent
- Mike Koplove of the Pittsburgh Pirates
- Javier López of the Boston Red Sox
- Carlos Marmol of the Chicago Cubs
- Jay Marshall of the Oakland Athletics
- Cla Meredith of the Baltimore Orioles
- Matt Miller of the Cleveland Indians
- Peter Moylan of the Atlanta Braves
- Mike Myers is a Free-Agent
- Pat Neshek of the Minnesota Twins
- Darren O'Day of the Texas Rangers
- Josh Papelbon of the Boston Red Sox
- Clay Rapada of the Detroit Tigers
- Chris Schroder of the Washington Nationals
- Brian Shouse of the Tampa Bay Rays
- Joe Smith of the Cleveland Indians
- Joe Thatcher of the San Diego Padres
- Ehren Wassermann of the Chicago White Sox
- Brad Ziegler of the Oakland Athletics
- Shunsuke Watanabe of the Chiba Lotte Marines
- Lim Chang-Yong of the Yakult Swallows
- Chong Tae-Hyon of the SK Wyverns
- Liao Yu-cheng of the Brother Elephants