PITTSBURGH — Michael Ryan had his game card in front of him. The then-manager for the Altoona Curve had just watched his starter, James Marvel, spin a seven inning gem in late June, 2019, and was praising his outing. He had a good game plan. Good command. The fastball and curve were working.
He got a lot of outs on three pitches or less.
That arbitrary number and result had been part of the discourse around Pirates pitchers for years. It fit in with the overarching ideologies of the previous regime. Pitch to contact, rely on the fastball, especially sinkers and two-seamers. For a brief period, it was successful, but as the game evolved, the Pirates were left behind. That’s why so many pitchers -- including Charlie Morton and Tyler Glasnow, who will be pitching for the Rays in the World Series -- found success elsewhere rather than with the Pirates.
Those ideologies and mindsets changed in the majors last year with the hiring of Oscar Marin as pitching coach. There will be change in player development too, as senior pitching coordinator Scott Mitchell and assistant pitching coordinator Tom Filer are no longer with the front office, DK Pittsburgh Sports has learned.