Cody Morrison: Former AA RHP Seattle Mariners


1. Could you tell us your story on dropping down?

I dropped down after high school, when it became apparent that even though I had a "good arm" I didn't have the requisite stuff to get hitters out consistently. My first year at junior college was spent red shirting, and then our second year we were lucky enough to have San Diego Padres manager Bud Black help out our pitching staff. He had played with Dan Quisenberry and without Bud's help, I never would have moved onto the next level.


2. What are some of the advantages you had from your arm angle?

I would say the biggest advantage to my arm angle is that pitching finally made sense to me from that angle. I stopped worrying about my mechanics, and I felt a natural flow and rhythm to pitching that I hadn't felt before.


3. If you didn't drop down, do you think you would have had the same success?

I can say without a doubt, had I not dropped down, I wouldn't have had the success I had in college and for a short while in the minor leagues.


4. What would you tell someone debating on changing their arm angle?

I would tell someone debating dropping down to be patient. Don't rush into the process if you're just starting considering it. I spent hours and hours in the back yard with my Dad before I ever brought it out to the field at practice. Take your time and learn how to move your body at the new angle. The various pitches will obviously take time to learn, but the most important thing is to learn to move your body differently and effectively.


5. Are there any mechanical tips that you'd give to someone throwing sidearm/submarine?

One of the things I regret when I was playing is not focusing enough on flexibility. I think throwing from the side (and pitching in general) requires a tremendous amount of flexibility and you can really benefit by maximizing your own flexibility. I would also say to really try to incorporate your lower body into your delivery. I see many side-arm pitchers (even big leaguers) lose velocity or action on the ball when they drop down because their lower body is out of rhythm with their upper body.


6. What pitches did you throw?

 I started my career down under as a 2 seem fastball, 4 seem fastball and slider guy and that worked well until I got to the minor leagues and needed a change up. I threw a couple different kinds of sliders, and not always on purpose :) I threw one slider that had a typical Frisbee/horizontal movement, and occasionally I would be able to throw a "rising" slider that really just appeared to rise as it was more like a cutter up in the zone.


7. How did you pitch to lefties/righties?

I felt like I needed to own the inside corner to a righty. That was my turf. I was going to make a righty get inside that pitch or he would hook it foul. My slider was my strikeout/out pitch versus righty's. Against lefties, I also tried to establish the outside corner, but I used my change up more and found later in my career I was most effective against lefties when I showed 4 seem fastballs up in the zone. 


8. Lastly what was your favorite part about pitching from down there?

My favorite part about throwing down under was probably the fact that it felt natural to me. It was fun, kind of like skipping rocks :)
Also, the terrible swings and misses or having a right hander totally bail out on my slider was fun too.