Yoakum alum Morrow back to pitching, and better than ever
July 29, 2011 at 2:29 a.m.
Covey Morrow's left shoulder took him on a roller coaster ride the past two years.
The cause of the whole ordeal? A partial tear of the labrum in his throwing shoulder.
"It's very frustrating," Morrow said. "You throw for three weeks and it feels great, then all of a sudden your velocity starts going down and you have the same problem again."
Now, many Texas Collegiate League batters are having problems as the Yoakum native has found his form on the mound in a new role as the closer for the Victoria Generals.
After playing for the Generals in 2009 and holding opponents to a miniscule 0.60 ERA, Morrow went back to Texas State University ready for the 2009 season.
Then things took a turn for the worse when he suffered a partial tear of the labrum in his left shoulder. Although he said the injury wasn't painful, it limited his effectiveness.
"I was topping off at 78 (mph) while throwing as hard as I could," Morrow said.
Morrow missed the last two baseball seasons at Texas State, and watched the Bobcats earn a trip to the NCAA Baseball Tournament , playing in the Austin Regional.
Although he used the last two baseball seasons to concentrate on taking classes and school work, Morrow said he wasn't used to that time off.
"It was a lot different, not playing for the first time in 10 to 15 years," he said.
Morrow rejoined the Generals in this season, but to an unfamiliar role. He was asked to come in and close games for the first time in his career. Instead of making his living at the beginning of games, he found himself having to shut down opponents in pressure situations.
"You come into games with one or two runners on, it gets the adrenaline going," he said.
Although he's had to change his mental approach, he's filled in just fine for the Generals.
Morrow has made 23 appearances in relief and had eight saves coming into Tuesday. Morrow has struck out 27 batters and has an ERA of 2.89 and a 1-2 record.
Morrow is regarded highly by Generals coach Ryan Wagner.
"When the game's on the line, you put in your best and Covey's done an excellent job for us this year," Wagner said.
Playing for the Generals has given Morrow a chance to learn from Wagner, someone who shares a common background.
Wagner, like Morrow, is a Yoakum native who stands 6-foot-4 and spent much of his Major League career entering late in games for the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals.
"It's good to have someone that's been up there at the big level," Morrow said.
Although Wagner hadn't seen Morrow pitch before this season, the skipper said he hadn't seen a vast improvement in Morrow's stuff this season.
It's all right because Morrow didn't necessarily need to improve his game.
"He's been very consistent for us all year," Wagner said. "I think he's gotten comfortable on the mound. He now knows his role, he's got a solid role and he's just taken it and run with it."
Morrow makes good use of his natural advantages, being a left-handed pitcher with considerable height. It's enough to throw hitters off on its own.
"It just makes it so tough from that side," said Wagner about the 6-foot-5 junior.
After he completes the 2011 season for the Generals, Morrow will turn his attention back to rejoining Texas State, and, with luck, helping the Bobcats to another NCAA Tournament bid and perhaps more.
"Everyone's got to get better," Morrow said. "If we make it better hopefully we can go further."