Re: Machines that pitch
The value of the confidence that pitching machines give players should not be underestimated or devalued. If a pitcher "appears" to be throwing fast (intimidating the batters) at 55 mph at 45 feet away at his release point. It helps calm the batters down and give them confidence if they have had success hitting 60 mph balls from a pitching machine at 45 feet away. The confidence factor is invaluable. *In this context*, the "timing" argument against pitching machines becomes irrelevant, especially considering that the "right" timing from the opposition of pitching machines is argued to be even harder coming from a pitching machine that doesn't have a pitcher's arm action queues.
Further, I am skeptical as to the quality of a real pitcher's arm action queses that tee work or soft toss provide. And, soft toss in particular has a strong tendency to reinforce extension swings and other bad rotational hitting mechanics.
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