One of the two players the Padres received in return for traded shortstop Khalil Greene (the other player has yet to be named), reliever Mark Worrell has quite the backstory.
Drafted in 2004, Worrell saw success in the Cardinal farm system. Throwing a fastball and slider combination with a changeup mixed in against lefties, Worrell’s 2.96 and 4.07 tRA the past two AAA seasons demonstrates promise. Unfortunately for him, the Cards only gave him 13 innings to show is stuff at the show before shipping him back to AAA for the remainder of last year.
In a recent interview, the guy comes across as more than just a little unhappy about his playing time. Every response, regardless of the actual subject, seems to conclude with, “…and screw the Cardinals!”
I have to say it’s refreshing to see that kind of blatant honesty.
DM: You have an interesting delivery. How did your submarine delivery come about?
MW: I would drop down on occasions and as I grew older I realized how uncomfortable batters were when I did drop down. So I just stuck to it and guys aren’t squaring the ball against me. Look at the average against me. My average against left-handed batters opposed to right-handed batters is lower. I have done everything they have asked of me; I’ve worked hard on and off the field, like I said, and it is a little bit frustrating. Actually, it’s not a little but very frustrating.
So, about that submarine delivery. If I had to guess, I would say it was his unique delivery that held the right-hander from a meaningful opportunity from the Cards. They’re a traditional organization that has been less welcoming to submariners.
I had only heard reports on the funkyness of Mark’s delivery, until I was recently pointed toward a video showing the pitcher in action. I broke with my usual routine of making animated bouncing boob .GIFs to slow down and demonstrate Worrell’s delivery for maximum seeability.
Something about these animations pulls me in and hypnotizes my brain for a good few minutes.
My favorite frame:
You can see how well Worrell hides the ball, how his body seems further ahead in the delivery motion than his arm, and just how goofy he looks. A plus on all accounts in my book.
I definitely look forward to seeing what Worrell can accomplish given an opportunity, and would love to read more of his fantastic interviews. Except he isn’t allowed to get angry at the Padres. That’s the fans’ job.