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Charlie Morton is a Roy Halladay clone

Apr 18, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates v St. Louis Cardinals Getty Images

Ken Rosenthal’s latest notes column contains an item in which scouts are going on about how Pirates’ starter Charlie Morton has totally restructured his windup and delivery to be exactly like Roy Halladay‘s:

“Roy Halladay now has an absolute clone on the Pittsburgh Pirates,” one rival scout says. “Morton has copied his windup perfectly, from the way he starts to the way he finishes. It’s almost identical.”

I haven’t seen Morton pitch so far this year, so I’ll withhold judgment. I’ll note, however, that while Morton is 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA in three starts, he also has a grand total of six strikeouts in 22 innings. And 12 walks. Halladay had 30 walks all of last season in 33 starts.

Maybe the new windup will bring forth Roy Halladay-like results for Morton. Then again, maybe it will have about the same effect that getting the Jennifer Aniston haircut had on all of those women who got it back in 1995: superficial resemblance, but still one hell of a difference.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Apr 18, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    “Roy Halladay now has an absolute clone on the Pittsburgh Pirates,” one rival scout says. “Morton has copied his windup perfectly, from the way he starts to the way he finishes. It’s almost identical.”

    A comment like this is the reason LOL was invented.

  2. Old Gator - Apr 18, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    Well yeah but really, if you’re going to copy someone, Halladay is one of the pitchers you would want to copy. I mean, how hard would you have laughed if Morton had decided to copy Oliver Perez?

    • heyblueyoustink - Apr 18, 2011 at 3:58 PM

      better yet, at least he’s not trying to imitate Carl Lewis…….or any of the reast of these fine performers http://bleacherreport.com/articles/657450-worst-opening-pitches-in-baseball-history

  3. joeflaccosunibrow - Apr 18, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    I would rather him clone Fernando Valenzela. That was one unique cat.

    • Old Gator - Apr 18, 2011 at 3:31 PM

      I never did figure out how Valenzuela avoided locking his eyeball in the “up” position.

      • scatterbrian - Apr 18, 2011 at 4:00 PM

        Pretty sure the theory that “if you keep making that face it’ll stick that way” has been disproved. Not sure if there was a Myth Busters episode pertaining to it, but I definitely did my own research and testing as a kid…

  4. baseballisboring - Apr 18, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    Hey…give him 100% better control and 3 more plus pitches and we might be onto something!

  5. bobulated - Apr 18, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    It could be history repeating itself for the Bucs; Atlanta also traded them an insecure young pitcher with decent stuff named Jason Schmidt in 1996. I’m not saying Morton will approach that kind of success but even when Charlie was with Atlanta he showed flashes of having ability.
    Even so, lets all repeat it together; “small sample sizes are deceiving.”

  6. spudchukar - Apr 18, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    After watching him completely stymie my Cards, I immediately went out and picked him up where ever I could in Fantasy Leagues. His sinker is nasty, and we could not lay off of his inside movement to righties. He has a nice complement with a sharp slider. I am not suggesting he is the second coming of Roy, but he has shut down a couple of good hitting teams this April. Time will tell, but as Gator noted, if you are going to copy someone, why not Roy.

    • seattlej - Apr 18, 2011 at 8:43 PM

      Yeah… he’s done it against the Reds and Cards – so far two of the better offenses in the NL. Small sample size and all, he appears to have made some mechanical changes and is leading MLB in GB%. No, he’s not going to end up with a sub-2.00 ERA, but maybe he pulled himself off the scrapheap and made himself a viable SP.

      The most interesting thing, though, is that according to Fangraphs, he’s done it while throwing 88% fastballs. I’m no stat expert, but I’m pretty sure there are very few SPs that have succeeded while relying on such a high percentage of a single pitch.

  7. seanmk - Apr 18, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    he pitches away to hitters and keeps the ball down. has a high groundball rate and because he keeps it down has a lot of walks on pitches out of the zone. not a bad way to approach hitters

  8. Andrew - Apr 18, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    Kinda surprised no one went to Morton’s player profile on the Pirates website to confirm this. Anyway, here’s proof: http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=13468833

    … and Doc’s windup just to compare (best example at 0:48): http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=13556135

    • cur68 - Apr 19, 2011 at 12:36 AM

      Thanks for the links Andrew. Morton’s delivery is VERY similar to Doc’s, no doubt about it. Halladay though rarely throws much over 90-92 MPH these days. He can do it, but he doesn’t very often. Morton just deals it, regularly over 94, on past to 96. If he cultivates that wicked cutter Halladay uses, he’ll be the business and save his arm for longer into games.

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