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Mariano Rivera to Drew Storen: “You don’t need my cutter”

Nov 22, 2013, 8:15 PM EDT

Drew Storen Getty Getty Images

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post put together an in-depth look at Drew Storen’s late-season turnaround. It’s a great read, chock full of charts and stats, but perhaps the most interesting part came in the opening paragraph.

Drew Storen had the privilege of meeting Mariano Rivera. Knowing such an opportunity is fleeting, Storen asked Rivera if he could impart wisdom on throwing the cut fastball, the pitch that Rivera lived on for 17 years as the game’s best closer. Rivera sagely replied, “You don’t need my cutter.”

More, via Kilgore:

“Right away, he goes, ‘You don’t need it,’ ” Storen said over the phone Thursday morning, as he drove to a workout in his hometown Indianapolis. “ ‘You got 43 saves at the big league level. You don’t need my cutter.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, okay.’ He goes, ‘You got everything you need. If you make the most of what makes you successful, then you’ll be successful.’ ”

Storen posted a 5.95 ERA through the end of July, prompting a two-week demotion to Triple-A Syracuse. Kilgore writes that, while in Syracuse, Storen changed his delivery to include a quick leg kick, and he changed his arm slot. While his results in Triple-A were not any better, the Nationals called him back up in mid-August. From August 16 through the end of the season, Storen posted a 1.40 ERA. The most staggering change was that he did not allow a home run in 19.1 innings compared to allowing seven in 42.1 innings prior to his demotion.

It is a small sample size with which to work, but the evidence seems to point to Storen having changed for the better. Still, it’d be nice to get the recipe to Rivera’s cutter. It couldn’t hurt.

  1. cackalackyank - Nov 22, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    I think the point Mo was making is that the recipe for his cutter wouldn’t give him the mind set. There is the recipe for Mo’s cutter. Then there is the man that threw it. Its was a package, not just the pitch.

  2. David Proctor - Nov 22, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    I’d argue that Storen’s results after returning were less important than the process. As the charts in that article show, he was going from throwing meatballs right down the middle to hitting the corners with some regularity. That would bode well for the future, even with the small sample.

  3. randomjoeblow - Nov 22, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    Then Rivera also said: “If I showed you how to throw it, everyone could, and I’d no longer be the Greatest of All Time. So, no..”

    • aphillieated - Nov 23, 2013 at 9:14 AM

      hahaha

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