Monday, April 23, 2007

Cardinals' prospect Tyler Norrick forgets the Ks

The Dugout recently sat down with Palm Beach pitcher Tyler Norrick for an article that ran in the Palm Beach Post. Norrick is off to a fantastic start. He's off to a 3-0 start in four games and has allowed just one run in 24 innings.

The reason for the strong start? Up until a couple of weeks ago Norrick thought he was a power pitcher. The lefty, whose fastball has been clocked as high as 93, tried to overpower hitters, especially when he was in a jam.

That changed during spring training. The Cardinals have been working on teaching Norrick to pitch, not throw. From the things he said during the interview, he's buying into their philosophy.

One of the benefits of writing online is that there is essentially an unlimited amount of space to tell a story. That is not the case with print. The following are some interesting quotes that didn't make it into the print article.

What's working for him: I'm throwing the fastball for a strike, both the four seamer and the two seamer and throwing good sliders off that. I'm getting bad swings out of my fastball and slider right now. If I had to say that was my go to pitches.

On his lower strikeout totals: I decided it's not even worth the effort. I can get the ground balls and the pop-ups early in the count and go deep into games, and maybe punch guys out when the situation presents itself. If I get ahead of a guy and need a strikeout, maybe I go for it, but other than that I don't worry about it until I get an 0-2, 1-2 count.

What the Cardinals are looking for in a pitcher: In the higher levels, particularly the big league level, the organization spent all their money on their infielders to catch ground balls. Their philosophy on pitching is to throw ground balls. They don’t have a lot of strike out pitchers.

No comments: