Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Duck's Worth

Paul Hagen of the Daily News catches up with new Astro Brandon Duckworth, who admits in a phone interview from his Utah home that he was "taken aback" by his trade from the Phillies so soon after the season ended. Duckworth's claim of disbelief is a bit hard to take; after all, as Hagen notes, Duckworth pitched himself out of the rotation in each of the last two seasons.

Still, he takes the high road, saying the Phils gave him his first shot. And while making the usual noises about being excited to go somewhere with a fresh chance, Duckworth offers a very revealing answer to Hagen's question about whether there's "a strong enough support system in place for a talented young pitcher going through a crisis of confidence": " 'That's a tough one to answer,' he said. 'There was some support there. It was the first time I'd really struggled and there was some support there. I do know that a lot of people were trying to help me.' "

At age 27, Duckworth shouldn't need that much handholding. But his reply to Hagen's query offers another piece of evidence to support an argument of mine: that Larry Bowa is an effective handler of his pitchers.


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