According to Chisox.com's Scott Merkin, Don Cooper feels that he can fix Matt Thornton.
Although Thornton doesn't consider himself a "drop and drive" sort of pitcher, he believes the change will bring the ball down in the zone and give it more sink. In turn, the walk total could be reduced for a pitcher who consistently throws in the mid-90s and has fanned almost one batter per inning over his career.
I sent an email to him, asking what the Mariners have worked on with Thornton in their attempts to straighten him out over the years. Here is his response.
While I can understand why it might be helpful for the job, I find the majority of pitching coaches to be a pretty arrogant, overconfident breed. They love projects because they all think they can be the ones to fix a bad pitcher. Very few of them are actually capable, though, and history is littered with guys like Thornton who couldn't cut it despite all the instruction in the world. I guess the question is, how confident are you in Cooper? And is focusing on Thornton really worth the effort?
It would be another story if Thornton had options left, or would slide through waivers, but since he's going to have to learn on the fly in the big leagues, I don't like our prospects at all. (I'll have another post on that before I head to bed tonight.)