View Full Version : Morton's recovery throws a curve at Pirates' foes

08-27-2013, 08:27 AM
Recovery from Tommy John ligament replacement surgery does not end when a pitcher returns to the mound. It's a process, and one that Charlie Morton is still going through.

"I think I'm still a little hesitant on some curveballs," Morton said after his most recent start in which he held the San Francisco Giants to one run in 7 2/3 innings. "It's really hard to trust it fully. Overall, my elbow's felt really, really good on curveballs. It's just like my sinker, it's a feel pitch as well."

The improved sensations in Morton's reconstructed right elbow have corresponded with better performances. In his past four starts, he has a 2.28 ERA in 27 2/3 innings. He has allowed two or fewer runs in each of those starts and hasn't given up a home run since July 22.

Considering Morton's past 15 months, it's understandable that he would experience hesitation with his curveball. In the winter, while still rehabilitating after surgery, Morton said of his 2012 arsenal: "Four-seam, changeup. Curveball that hurt and a sinker that hurt. Am I really doing anything for anybody?"

Now, Morton is starting to regain the touch needed not only on his curve but his two-seam sinking fastball, his main weapon and the pitch that induces so many ground balls.

"I have less odd sensations in my arm, better feel, and that allows me to feel it more in my fingers," Morton said. "It sounds weird, but it really is a feel pitch, even though I try to let it go."

Morton also understands that merely throwing the sinker isn't enough of a trump card. He has to pitch, and that starts with getting ahead in the count.

"It's not a free pass," he said. "Just getting ground balls is not necessarily going to equate to me getting free outs. That's the game plan, that's what I go into every game trying to do is get the ball on the ground."

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/pirates/mortons-recovery-throws-a-curve-at-foes-700905/#ixzz2dAxGYBWt