Excellent article from McTaggart on Chris Sampson, and how if Cooper had never made him throw 900IP before the All-Star Break, he never would have perfected his changeup - and that, my friends, is what Chris Sampson has done:
"Had I not gotten sent down, I might not have gotten an opportunity to talk to Roy about his changeup and not learn the changeup. I have a new pitch for this year, and good Lord willing, I'll make this team and do my part in contributing again out of the bullpen in Houston. I'm doing what I can and forgetting about last year and keep looking forward...
..."My game is just missing barrels. I'm not a strikeout pitcher, I'm not a power pitcher. I just go and throw strikes and try to miss barrels and get a lot of ground balls. I've been in the league for three years and hitters know me and know what I have, and if I could add another pitch and set them back and make them think about another pitch, that's to my advantage."
"He's got that sinker and breaking ball that allows him to keep the ball on the ground, and if he's able to do that, we've got guys that can catch it and throw it. That's going to make him better and us better."
Sampson is going to be a major part of the bullpen this year, and the Astros' success is going to have to rely on the bullpen in 2010.