Mariners Analysis

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Morrow's future as a starter

When Brandon Morrow was inserted into the bullpen after Spring training, many of us wondered if the team was really thinking this through. When a young pitcher is thrown into the bullpen with only a single pitch he can't control, the plan for the future becomes murky. Here we stand as the season nears and the future is still just as uncertain.

I have heard many columnists, analysts and sportscasters penciling Morrow in to the rotation next year. They are of course referring to the Mariners rotation.

What they are expecting is for Morrow to magically regain his control AND develop at least one other pitch while at the same time building up his arm strength.

What they are asking for is a miracle.

The odds that Morrow makes the Mariner rotation is actually fairly high next spring. The team is going to want to prove they made the right decision in rushing his professional career and don't want to add fire to the HoRam trade. However, they won't be able to get the rest of baseball to play along with the plan. Once opponents get their eyes on a pitcher who won't be able to throw 98 mph fastballs all game long, and who has no control, what do you think the game plan will be?

He will likely get lit up, and the team will need to send him to the minors again and attempt to rebuild his confidence as well as his pitching ability.

What the team SHOULD do is send him to AA and let him work his way up. If later in the season he has proven AAA hitters no longer present a challenge, THEN they bring him up. I just really question if the team will do this given the PR hit they will take.

What the team is asking Morrow to do sounds simple, but you can take this same plan they have for Morrow and apply it to every pitcher in every teams minor league system.

"If only XXX can develop a new pitch and develop control of his fastball while learning how to face hitters multiple times in a game he will be ready to help the big club..."

The team was eliminated last night from post season play. Next season has already started in many ways.

When you hear someone penciling in Morrow in the Mariners rotation next spring, you can be pretty sure they either haven't thought it through or are a member of the teams PR department.