Turnbow looks to steady the ship

25 02 2008

Adam McCalvy has a very nice write-up on Derrick Turnbow today.  It addresses Turnbow’s need to calm down a little on the mound and truly work on his mechanics.

Turnbow said that he is going to be more vocal about needing a day or two off this season.  I remember last season when he would be up for 6 or 7 days out of 10.  For a maximum-effort pitcher like Derrick, that gets very tiring.  Like the article says, thing to go will be your command.

The signing of David Riske and Salomon Torres should alleviate much of the stress that Turnbow has had to deal with the last couple seasons.  In the past, Turnbow has had no one to pitch for him when he was tired.  Down the stretch, the Crew traded for Linebrink to solve that problem, but Turnbow’s arm was already toast at that point in the year.  This year should be different for Derrick.

McCalvy writes, “That was the key to Turnbow’s successes and failures in 2007, when he pitched as the primary setup man to closer Francisco Cordero and held opponents to a .183 batting average, tied for third in the Majors with 33 “holds” and did not allow a run in 62 of his team- and career-high 77 appearances.

But when Turnbow did allow runs, they seemed to come in bunches, partly because he issued 46 walks in 68 innings. He allowed 12 of his 14 inherited runners to score, and because he almost always was pitching in the late innings of tight games, they almost always scored at the worst time. Turnbow finished the year 4-5 with a 4.63 ERA.”

That is right on.  Command is key to Turnbow’s success.  Derrick simply cannot be hit if he’s throwing strikes, but when his command goes, he lets up an obnoxious amount of runs.  Then again, every Brewers fan that’s watched Derrick pitch knows that.  One day, he’s your favorite pitcher.  The next, he’s your most hated.  And so it goes…

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