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Thread: Charlie Morton's sinker (Joe Kerrigan strikes again)

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    Default Charlie Morton's sinker (Joe Kerrigan strikes again)

    Through all the talk about Morton's struggles last year, I always thought back to a quick little note I saw in the spring that said Charlie Morton was no longer going to be throwing a sinker and focus only on the 4 seam fastball. It struck me as weird at the time because he had always been a groundball guy who mixed a 2 seamer and a 4 seamer and had some MLB success with it the previous year. Whenever a Morton topic would come up I'd go and look for that little blurb, but I could never track it down again. Eventually I just thought imagined it or something. Fast forward to today:

    We’ve already established that former pitching coach Joe Kerrigan wasn’t the right fit last year for Brad Lincoln. It turns out fellow righty Charlie Morton also owes some of his struggles last year to decisions made by his ex-mentor.

    Morton’s sinker has been very effective so far this spring, and was a big reason he breezed through three innings today on just 25 pitches (19 strikes).

    “I’ve noticed when you have a sinker and a four-seamer it gives the hitter something else to look at,” Morton said. “I can use the four-seamer to get ahead or to steal a strike here and there. When I’m behind, I’ll throw that sinker and pitch to contact. And since I’m throwing the cutter and am back to throwing the sinker, lefties are having a hard time.”

    Morton has induced three double plays in five innings. Today, he got the Blue Jays’ Adam Lind to bounce into one to get out of a jam in the first inning.

    “Those double plays aren’t well-placed pitches,” Morton said. “Those are just down in the zone with good action and they’re hitting them on the ground.”

    Morton used the sinker at every level as he rose through the Braves’ farm system. Where was the sinker last year?

    “I wasn’t throwing it,” Morton said. “I threw it in ‘08 and ‘09. Last year, we just … we scrapped it.”

    Morton did not point a finger at Kerrigan. But when asked why the sinker was scrapped last year, Morton didn’t say a word. That was enough of an indictment for me.

    Now obviously there was more to Morton struggling last year than the lack of a sinker, but it certainly didn't help. I don't see any reason to make a change like that when a guy has been using the pitch effectively for his entire career. It just seems like such a strange move.
    Last edited by jnn123; Mar-03-2011 at 05:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Charlie Morton's sinker (Joe Kerrigan strikes again)

    There so many corroborating stories of the damage Kerrigan caused to young pitchers last year. I think his negative impact is undeniable and its a wonder they kept him around as long as they did. He simply was not the right fit for a young staff.

    If Morton turns it around this year and is successful that will be a strong, public indictment of the mess Kerrigan made of our young pitching staff last year. Fortunately, he won't get a chance to screw up Tailion and Allie.

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    Sad. Im the tech nerd and web master and xant fivure how or if i can use multi-quotes with the mobile app .

    I remember like Jnn when they talked about Morron not throwing the sinker but i had assumed it was just temporarily. Kerrigan did something similar with Ohlendorf in 2009. I cant remember if he made Dorf not use a certaim pitch or keep him from using it... But there was something similar. It worked for Dorf so i think they just let anything Kerrigan wanted to do go without question.

    Tocchet was pretty much on with the Kerrigan criticisms last year. This is now Lincoln and Morton that have publicly mentioned something.... Wait didnt paul maholm mention something about Kerrigan altering something that threw him off laat year? I swear it was recent
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    Default Re: Charlie Morton's sinker (Joe Kerrigan strikes again)

    Jen Langosch also mentioned this ....

    Morton began throwing the sinker again when he was sent down to the Minors following his 1-9 start with the Pirates. Morton used it, as well, when he returned to Pittsburgh for the final month of the season. There are no plans to harness the pitch again.

    Basically the only time he wasn't throwing the sinker was when he was getting shelled. There would be times in the first 2 months last year where he looked fine and then about the 2nd time through the lineup he was figured out and it was like the opposition knew what he was throwing.

    Checking out his pitches and I really can't remember at close to 1AM what fangraphs throws a sinker under, there's some radical changes ...

    That jump in Slider use is ridiculous and the fall back on the changeup by 5% is pretty steep too. Digging further Morton seemed to be most unaffective using his FB. I doubt that slider was fooling anyone and making people zero in on his fastball more
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