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Adios to El Duque's trademark kick


Boy Howdy

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Man, as a fan of baseball -particularly pitching and guys that do it with flair- this is sad news to me.

From the time I saw him toy with O's in 7/98 to watching him shut down Barry Bonds in what may prove to be the slugger's last ever game in NY, El Duque was truly a "joy to watch"...especially when he got away from those Bronx pinstripers.

"..."El Duque" admits he either has to alter the knee-to-chin portion of his windup or eliminate it completely if he wants to continue to pitch in the major leagues.

Hernandez has multiple problems with his right foot, notably a bunion issue that causes significant pain on his instep near his big toe. When he brings his right (sic. - I think they mean left) knee toward his face in his standard delivery, Hernandez is forced to take his heel off the ground, which places greater strain on the instep and toe areas. So Hernandez needs to modify his delivery to allow him to keep his heel flat as a way to alleviate pain..."

http://www.nypost.com/seven/03042008/sports/mets/el_duques_leg_lift_kicks_the_bucket_100402.htm

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Agreed, he's fun to watch pitch. The high leg kick style of pitching is fun to watch in general, got lots of flair as you say and I would think it adds deception. Also, it just seems like you would get more power out of a high leg kick but I guess more pitchers would be doing it if that were so.

Who are the current players with the closest style to his? The only one I can think of is Dontrelle Willis. I've see him kick his leg out more than not, like in the first pic.

<img src=http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/news/2003/07/13/first_half_ap/lg_willis_ap.jpg></img>

<img src=http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l248/ninetimesblue/ladies/stare/DontrelleWillis.jpg></img>

Although not current, Hideo Nomo had a high leg kick as well.

<img src=http://www.japantimes.co.jp/images/photos2007/sb20070414c1a.jpg></img>

El Duque's was much more exaggerated:

<img src=http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/sports/elduque.jpg></img>

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