ha, we all have our blind spots (and nitpicks). Don't really have occasion to type his name often enough to learn it I guess! (Unlike MacPhail).
And yes, Ed, Houston gets the lion's share of the credit for Morton's ascension, as well as Verlander's resurgence and Cole going to an even higher level. And yet they still didn't want him back. But what kind of year do you think he would have had under Klentak, Kapler and Chris Young?
Here's what Morton said about the Phillies, just this past fall:
“In Philly with Rick Kranitz and Bob McClure, those were some guys that saw what I’d done recently as a sinkerballer and sat me down and they looked at the curveball data and they told me, hey, you might want to throw this a little more,” Morton remembered last week. “They were some of the first guys to push me to increase my curveball usage, which you’ve seen carry over into this year — a ton of curveballs, and it’s working out.”
Morton pushed his curveball usage from 10 percent in Atlanta to a career-high 29 percent in Philadelphia in 2016. His strikeout rate responded well.
(He also started throwing harder while with the Phillies)
The Astros noticed that — even in a short season with the Phillies — Morton was throwing harder. And that he had a high spin-rate curveball, which is something they had admitted to liking in the past, when they picked up Collin McHugh. They pounced and signed Morton to a two-year, $14 million contract.