Results tagged ‘ right-hand pitcher ’
Pirates play-by-play annoucer Tim Neverett interviewed Right-hand pitcher Charlie Morton prior to Tuesday’s game against the Phillies. Here is what they discussed:
Tim Neverett: “Charlie, an interesting 365 days I guess when you look back at the last year for yourself. You head into the season last year with high hopes. Things don’t go your way. You end up going down to Triple-A. Had all kinds of things happen…From where you were a year ago, to where you are now, how far do you think you’ve come?”
Charlie Morton: “I think the struggles forced me to move forward. And taught me a lot about myself, taught me a lot about what really is important. Not only in the game [but] off the field. Going to the Dominican [for winter ball], getting to spend time and play with the guys that I’ve known, a culture that I haven’t really been too familiar with, and getting to see where guys that I’m playing with all these years are coming from. At this time last year, I thought I was ready. I was excited. I worked hard, prepared. To be honest with you, I really don’t know what more I could have done last year coming into the season. Like you said, it just didn’t work out. But what I’m doing is moving on and learning from it.”
Neverett: “Well I know last year certainly was full of disappointments. You probably had some of those moments where you thought you were doing everything right and then, the results weren’t there. How tough was that on you mentally?”
Morton: “It was hard because I know for a fact last year I put more into baseball emotionally, physically and mentally than I ever had before…It wasn’t one of those things were you kind of shake it off. You hit a wall, you get back up and you go again and you go through it. It wasn’t like that. It was like, I hit a wall and I didn’t know what to do because I had put so much time into it, I invested so much time into it –In between starts, bullpens and video studying, working out. I really didn’t have much more to offer to preparation or anything like that. It was more like I was beating my head against the wall opposed to run through it. In that sense it was really difficult. There was a lot of soul searching. I wondered what I wanted to do with my life. If this was where me dedicating everything I had to baseball was going to leave me, what am I going to do? If it’s not working out, what am I going to do? The one thing that I did learn was despite struggling, guys from the other side were telling me that I have all the talent in the world to do what I want to do in this game…The direction I wanted to go was made more clear especially when I came back and had some success at the end of the year. Trying to figure out what worked and what kind of individual I wanted to be on the field. Who I wanted to be. What kind of pitcher I wanted to be. And in that sense, I guess it was kind of necessary because up into that point last year, I was trying to be what other people thought I was trying to be, what other people wanted me to be. As opposed to really embracing what I could do with a baseball. The results have yet to be seen but I’m really looking forward to this year because I feel like I’ve kind of been given the reins a little bit more. I feel like I’m more in a position to do what I feel is right and what I feel I am and who I am. Last year definitely forced me to determine who I was because it was sink or swim.”
Neverett: “Your spring this year, a lot of folks said you approached it like a different guy, like a different pitcher. What have you done differently in terms of the mental preparation. I know last year one of the criticisms that maybe you thought a little bit much. You had a too much in your head instead of going out there and pitching…What have you done differently this year that has turned into a very good results in spring training heading into the season?”
Morton: “I think I kind of narrowed down what I wanted to be, who I wanted to be…There are so many things that happened last year…I basically lived at the ballpark. Even when I wasn’t there, I was thinking about baseball, how to get better. I think it was necessary for me to think about things…I think in terms of, ‘don’t think just throw’, theoretically you can do that but I wouldn’t be learning anything. There were times last year where that’s what I was doing. It didn’t work out. You can’t really change the nature of a person. I understand the desire for people to perceive me as an over thinker or overly analytical and that leading to struggles. Really the only thing that’s going to allow me to fully get to where I want to be is for me to do it. Is for me, not someone else to do it. Would it be nice to go out there with a blank mind, not remember what happened before. Not be thinking about mistakes. Not to be thinking about possible negative outcomes. Would that be great? Yeah. It would be great, but it wouldn’t be human. I learned last year that it’s okay to have fears and to be anxious and all that stuff. Whereas before it was perceived as some type of weakness or something like that. I learned you really have to embrace what you are and allow that to give you what you need to succeed. You have to take those failures and embrace what happened as opposed to trying to shut them away somewhere. For me, Yeah, I wish I could have. I wish I could have come to the ballpark after giving up 10 runs in an inning or two innings, or whatever it was, and just move on but it’s not realistic.”
Neverett: “We’ve seen some really good results already this year. We’ve seen a guy who’s out there determined to win. Working with pitching coach Ray Searage, what has he told you? What advice has he given you going into the season?”
Morton: “One of the things we’ve been working on early in spring training was my mechanics. Ray and Jim Benedict, our pitching coordinator, they got together, I’m not sure who else was involved but we lowered my arm angle a little bit. Trying to make the way I was throwing a little more natural. Get my timing better because mechanically I’m rotational except for my arm angle which is trying to be over the top. I’m trying to be 6’5″, 230. I throw 95, so let it fly. But the thing is, I tried that last year and it just didn’t work. We dropped my arm angle a little bit. Ray has kind of stepped back and give me some space. I think he knows I care. I think everybody here that knows me, knows I care. I almost care so much that it might not be beneficial. What Ray has done is focused on one or two things. And that was fastball down and away to a righty, a go-to pitch when I’m behind in the count and just staying aggressive. I’ve been throwing a lot of sinkers down in the zone and getting a lot of ground balls.”
*Photo credit: Pittsburgh-Post Gazette, 1490 News blog
MLB.com writer Jonathan Mayo rated Jameson Taillon the sixth best right-handed pitching prospect (You can check out the entire top 10 list here).
6. Jameson Taillon, Pirates: High school pitchers like this don’t come around often. Taillon has size (he’s 6-foot-6), stuff (he can throw four pitches for strikes), command and makeup. Three of those pitches are plus at times, and the changeup isn’t far behind. He’s yet to make his pro debut, but he has the type of arm at his age that could move him fairly quickly through the Pittsburgh system.
Right-hander Kris Benson has announced his retirement.
The 36-year-old, and former #1 selection by the Pirates in the 1996 draft, decides to leave the game after nine big league seasons.
“I’m done,” Benson told the FOXSports.com via phone from his home near Atlanta. “I decided pretty much after this past season that I wasn’t going to pursue anything. I’ve been putting way too much into it and not getting enough out of it, as far as the rehab, working out, training, and then not getting the type of results I expect from myself.”
“I wanted to make this decision now, rather than go into another season on another Minor League deal. I didn’t want to go through the head games of, ‘Am I going to make the team?’ I don’t mind the pressure. I just don’t want to fall into another situation like I had the last couple years, where I busted my tail getting back and then got hurt again shortly after I made the team.”
“This is a chance for me to be at home with my kids and enjoy the family life, which I’m not used to,” Benson told FOXSports.com. “It’s something a lot of guys welcome once their career is over.”
Benson spent most of his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1999-04). He also played with the New York Mets (2004-05), Baltimore Orioles (2006-07), Texas Rangers (2009) and Arizona Diamondbacks (2010).
Benson’s best year came in 2000, when he posted career high’s in strikeouts (184), innings pitched (217.2) and games pitched (32). Benson finished with a 3.85 ERA that year –his best over his nine major league seasons. He also broke the record for most strikeouts in Pirates history for a right handed pitcher.
Injury plagued seasons, shoulder and elbow injuries have prevented him from continuing his career. Benson had a 70-75 record with a 4.42 ERA in 206 games (200 starts).
On Tuesday, the Pirates traded right-hander Joe Martinez to the Cleveland Indians for cash considerations or a player to be named later.
Martinez was designated for assignment on December 22nd after his short stay in Pittsburgh.
Acquired by the San Francisco Giants in the trade that sent left-hander Javier Lopez to the bay for outfielder John Bowker and Martinez.
He spent a month in Triple-A Indianapolis before he joined the Bucs after September call ups.
In five appearances with the Pirates during the 2010 season, he allowed 11 hits, five runs (three earned) through 8.2 innings pitched. Martinez also walked three and struck out six.