Charlie Morton vs. Roy Halladay: Similar mechanics, different windups
During the end of spring training, Charlie Morton made a faithful move that revitalized his major league career.
He agreed to replace his original delivery with Roy Halladay’s delivery.
It was a risky move that required Special Assistant Jim Benedict to seek permission from the Pirates but the team agreed, and Charlie has since transformed into a finesse pitcher.
However, Morton’s new delivery differs from Halladay’s windup in a few ways:
Morton bends his left knee in a 90-degree angle after aligning his left knee with his glove.
In contrast, Halladay’s left knee does not bend when it stomps on the left side of the mound.
Morton lunges his left arm towards the plate when executing his delivery, while positioning the baseball slightly above his head. This does not position the baseball behind his body, which creates less deception in his delivery, while creating less movement on his breaking balls. This mechanical flaw may explain his high walk rate thus far this season.
Halladay, on the other hand, creates an inverted U arm angle on his left elbow by lifting up his left arm, while creating a brief outward U arm angle with his pitching arm. This creates deception because it positions the baseball behind his head. Furthermore, it creates a sharp movement on his breaking balls, allowing to easily pound the strike zone.
Of course, there may be more mechanical differences not readily apparent in these photos but we do not have those pictures to identify those changes yet. This means we could only judge Morton’s delivery with photos from this season so far.
Morton, so far, has mastered Halladay’s basic mechanics of winding his glove, aligning his left leg with his glove and throwing the ball.
So the more Morton repeats his new mechanics, the more it will resemble Halladays’ delivery.
It is a matter of time.
(photo credits top to bottom: Getty Images, Wikipedia, CBS St. Louis, Epoch Times)