Brandon Morrow Is A Starter Again

Dave · June 9, 2009 at 8:01 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Want some more good news? Morrow’s tired of being a reliever, and he’s headed back to Tacoma to convert back into the starting rotation. DivishLaRue has the story at histhe TNT blog.

Whether Morrow can learn how to be an effective starter or not is still up for grabs, but I’m glad to see him try.


46 Responses to “Brandon Morrow Is A Starter Again”

  1. msb on June 9th, 2009 8:04 pm

    Brandon really hates 300.

  2. TheMsfan on June 9th, 2009 8:04 pm

    This is great, great news. Very glad to hear the right decision is being made. Theres so little downside in him trying, as long as he feels healthy out there.

  3. The Ancient Mariner on June 9th, 2009 8:06 pm

    Here’s hoping Aumont follows suit . . . soon.

  4. Mike Snow on June 9th, 2009 8:06 pm

    Hallelujah! I hereby retract my earlier wisecrack in the draft reaction thread.

  5. lailaihei on June 9th, 2009 8:06 pm

    Yes! Best news of today!!

    I think one of the problems Morrow has is the lack of innings. He still has a ton to learn that he lost by not starting often in college, and then pitching very little since signing with the Mariners. He’s still a raw talent in my mind and still has #3ish upside as a starter as long as he gets his work in down in Tacoma.

  6. Typical Idiot Fan on June 9th, 2009 8:08 pm

    Good draft. Good news. Nothing bad at all happened today!

    Wait… what game?

  7. msb on June 9th, 2009 8:12 pm

    This has been a very interesting day.

  8. Sports on a Schtick on June 9th, 2009 8:16 pm

    About fucking time Brandon.

  9. Slurve on June 9th, 2009 8:18 pm

    This is revenge for Mark Lowe not letting him touch the Spartan helmet.

  10. patl on June 9th, 2009 8:19 pm

    Fantastic news, it’s a great decision for him to swallow a bit of pride and go down to learn a different skill set.

  11. Go Felix on June 9th, 2009 8:22 pm

    How long until he decides he doesn’t want to be a starter anymore? F’ing A, make up your mind already.

  12. Aaron on June 9th, 2009 8:22 pm

    Baker was trying to be coy about it earlier, but this was my first and only guess what he could be talking about. Really opens the door for Aardsma to get a few more saves before getting the team a decent haul in a few weeks, and Fields to get his feet wet in the Bigs this year before being ready for prime time in 2010 and beyond.

    This just makes the team better on so many levels…

  13. Eugene on June 9th, 2009 8:23 pm

    [did not read posts]

  14. cdowley on June 9th, 2009 8:26 pm

    Yay for good news, but good grief. Can we just call him the human yo-yo and get it over with?

  15. twoodard on June 9th, 2009 8:35 pm

    I was pretty disappointed when the M’s didn’t draft Scheppers at 27 or 33 but given his history of shoulder problems I’d definitely prefer to have Morrow as a starter in the organization as opposed to scheppers. This makes me feel a lot better about our draft as my only problem was the lack of a quality arm. Now hopefully Aumont will make the same decision and today’s draft will look even better.

  16. greymstreet on June 9th, 2009 8:38 pm

    How much longer is Morrow under club control? I feel like by the time he’s turned into anything useful, he’ll be outta here.

  17. SpokaneDan on June 9th, 2009 8:51 pm

    I think this is a good move and we should all be happy with this decision. However, why is Morrow getting to determine his fate? Shouldn’t the organization determine how he should be utilized? Another 3 months of his potential development has been wasted because he decided he wanted to be a closer. If starting doesn’t work out for him this season will they ask him what he wants to try next season too?

  18. DAMellen on June 9th, 2009 9:01 pm

    When does the draft start up again tomorrow and how many rounds will there be?

  19. Mike Snow on June 9th, 2009 9:05 pm

    Three months of his development lost (just over two, really) is actually not the worst possible thing that could have happened in this situation. Keep in mind that Morrow still has only exceeded 100 IP twice in his life, and that just barely – the season he was drafted (counting college) and last year during his initial reconversion to starting. And if they’re going to be properly cautious with his arm, as they were in spring training and when he ran into trouble as the closer, he was likely to pitch some short stints at some point anyway. Whether it’s a two-inning “start” or a two-inning relief appearance doesn’t matter that much. Really this is decent timing, and this is the time of year when he should have been sent out last year.

  20. beef on June 9th, 2009 9:14 pm

    good lord! i’m still amazed that he chose the closer role this season. no real logic imposed but even as a mediocre starter he has a chance at this age to increase his potential earnings exponentially over the closer role.

    thanks you, brandon. you are way more valuable as a starter.

  21. bilbo27 on June 9th, 2009 9:14 pm

    Sweet so the M’s more or less “drafted” that front end rotation guy after all that most people were complaining we didn’t pick up today. And he’s going straight to Tacoma and should be up at the end of the year for a look. 😉

    It’s been a good day in Mariner-ville all things considered. 🙂

  22. bilbo27 on June 9th, 2009 9:17 pm

    “Here’s hoping Aumont follows suit . . . soon.”

    I’ve always got the impression that Aumont is closing simply as a way to better control his innings this year and stretch his arm out safely innings wise. In his lifetime before being signed by the M’s his arm hasn’t seen a lot of innings and from what i’ve heard he’s been struggling that way. Please correct me if i’m wrong here, but that’s just the impression I got from the various snippets from the media outlets on the decision to move Aumont to the bullpen.

  23. profmac on June 9th, 2009 9:30 pm

    Do you really want the guy who has blown three games for the Mariners actually starting those games…. yikes!

  24. tmac9311 on June 9th, 2009 9:31 pm

    I always had the feeling we would make Morrow be a starter after the all star break. He said he didn’t have confidence of being healthy a whole year, and my immediate thought was, how about start half the year? Glad to know that wasn’t just wishful thinking.

  25. wabbles on June 9th, 2009 9:39 pm

    YEEEEE!!!!! HAAAAA!!!!!! Or to put it more graphically:

  26. TranquilPsychosis on June 9th, 2009 9:43 pm

    I’m sort of torn on this. Morrow is having some serious control issues. Yes, maybe, that’s due to him trying to hit 98 on practically every pitch. But he isn’t exactly tearing it up with his offspeed stuff either.

    So how does him going to a longer outing help now? It was stated, by Morrow himself, that he couldn’t physically deal with starting. He said that his sugars precluded him from being a starter.

    So, has his body chemistry suddenly had a drastic conversion? Or is it that he has finally figured out his diet?

    Again, is it a good thing or kind of a “meh” thing? My bet is the latter.

  27. Sidi on June 9th, 2009 9:50 pm

    TranquilPsychosis the blood sugar thing is a bit silly. Diabetes is going to make his life more difficult, but he isn’t a marathon runner. They have the money to get him the best nutritionist possible. And after every inning take a glucose reading and keep him optimal. Hell, instead of “manager approaches the mound to talk to the pitcher” we could have “snack time.”

    The closer has become a status position. Teams have five starters. Maybe two good ones…but they only have one closer for the most part. I think he wanted to be the guy who gets the scary music and fan adoration.

  28. TomTuttle on June 9th, 2009 10:00 pm


  29. TranquilPsychosis on June 9th, 2009 10:05 pm

    but they only have one closer for the most part. I think he wanted to be the guy who gets the scary music and fan adoration

    I agree totally. He himself stated that his “imbalances” caused his issues before getting the closer role. He actually brought up the fact that they eat too soon before the starts, and used it as an excuse reason for his failures.

    So has he now figured it all out?

    Don’t get me wrong. I would love to see him succeed as much as anyone not related to him directly. I just wonder if he has it in him yet.

    I see him now like I do the Gil Meche we had a few years ago. Granted, he has physical reasons, but still…

  30. TranquilPsychosis on June 9th, 2009 10:08 pm

    Also, I rooted hard for Meche to get it. As I will for Morrow.

    I’m just not sold.

  31. Sidi on June 9th, 2009 10:18 pm

    I can agree on the fact that he may be soon sharing a beer with Ken Cloude. Pitching prospects fail at a huge rate, which is part of the reason I’m not too freaked out by the draft.

    But at this point…everyone wanted him to stretch out as a starter. He resisted, and looked wasted as a reliever. Then he fell apart as a reliever. Now he’s going to spend a couple months in games that don’t matter trying to become a starter. At worst, he just doesn’t play as a Mariner again.

  32. Catherwood on June 9th, 2009 10:23 pm

    There are no guarantees. But we’ve all seen Morrow throw nasty stuff, so we know it’s in there. Somewhere. Sometime. We can hope that he’ll relax and find it and bring it back next year. I’m sure we’re all pulling for him.

    BTW, did any other team take exactly zero pitchers in the draft so far? Or are we it? I’m cool with that, since we seem to have a fair amount of arm talent coming on, but it’s pretty striking, isn’t it?

  33. Catherwood on June 9th, 2009 10:23 pm

    Oh, ugh. “Striking”. No pun intended.

  34. wrob4343 on June 9th, 2009 10:28 pm

    I literally just yelled in joy for that news. Good news is he presumably has diminished his value to where he can stay under club control a bit longer than if he would have stuck with the starter stuff and continued from where he left off at the end of last year. Today was a good day in the words of Ice Cube.

  35. bilbo27 on June 9th, 2009 11:29 pm

    “It was stated, by Morrow himself, that he couldn’t physically deal with starting. He said that his sugars precluded him from being a starter.”

    That is an issue, but from recent accounts (including statements by Morrow himeself), his decision to try to become the closer had more to do with the fact that he knew near the end of spring training that if he wanted to be a starter he was going to have to spend some time in Tacoma. He did not want to go to the minors so used his diabetes as an excuse reason for picking closing. So while his diabetes was a bit of a problem, recent comments by him seem to indicate that it was much more of an issue of not wanting to go to Tacoma.

    I’m very happy about this. The only thing being lost is Morrow in the pen for the rest of the year (not an issue considering how strong the pen is, especially after the all star break barring additional injuries). The potential gain is a solid #3 and maybe above starter. If it doesn’t work out, he’ll just be that much better in the pen next year having worked on his secondary pitches more.

  36. Breadbaker on June 9th, 2009 11:35 pm

    I’d like the Brandon Morrow bobblehead one day to be a collector’s item in a very, very good way. Good luck, Brandon. Remember how you pitched in Yankee Stadium last year or, better, pitch that way without thinking about it.

  37. JMHawkins on June 10th, 2009 12:02 am

    This is great news. If nothing else, it will force Morrow to develop secondary pitches and better control of his fastball. His development was horribly stalled by just trying to throw 98mph fastballs past everyone with no secondary pitches. That doesn’t work for anyone. If he ends up back in the bullpen later on, he’ll be a better reliever for having learned to pitch not just throw.

    And if he sticks in the rotation and can consistently be the guy we saw against the Hated Yankees last year…

    Whoo. Hooo.

  38. Dixoner on June 10th, 2009 12:26 am

    I would definitely have to say that this is a good move. I was starting to worry when it seemed like all the talent was turning into bullpen help. I think Randy Messenger deserves another chance at the big league level while Morrow is getting some REAL work in at AAA. Messenger (1.73ERA in 26IP with 5BB and 16K.) has pitched well for the Rainiers this season.

  39. Jeff Nye on June 10th, 2009 1:53 am

    I’m sure none of you made stupid mistakes in your early 20s, either!

    Now you can say that the org shouldn’t have let him make this decision for himself, and you’d be right, but I don’t know that I’d have the heart to say to a kid with diabetes, “I know you feel like you’re about to die, but you need to suck it up and go out there for six innings again in five days, whether you like it or not.”

    It’s frustrating to be sure, but all of these people are only human, and they’re not making decisions in the vacuum we get to evaluate them in.

  40. xxtinynickxx on June 10th, 2009 5:25 am

    I’ve got tickets for the TR on July 10th! I hope he pitches against the Portland Beavers…………

  41. homi on June 10th, 2009 6:39 am

    and it’s NOT april fools day!?!?!? i nearly fell out of my chair. between this and ackley being drafted it’s the best news all year!

  42. Nate on June 10th, 2009 11:19 am

    I don’t know if we’re ever going to figure who is responsible for this yo-yo of starter/closer/starter. From the TNT blog:

    Right or wrong, the team is concerned with his diabetes and isn’t certain Morrow can stand up to the rigors of, say, 175 innings a season. Morrow doesn’t doubt he can start regularly and wants the chance to prove it.

    So who pushed Morrow to be a closer, who brought up the diabetes? Who knows?

    I have a good friend with diabetes who now has an implanted insulin pump with an electronic monitor that he wears on his belt (it communicates electro-magnetically–through his skin–to monitor his blood sugar levels and give him the right amount of insulin). He raves about it; it’s made his diabetes a non-issue. He can eat much more freely than he used to, and lives a very active life. Why isn’t this a solution for Morrow? Or more importantly, why hasn’t any reporter asked Morrow or the M’s about this?

  43. msb on June 10th, 2009 12:09 pm

    Is this different from the regular insulin pump that Morrow wears?

  44. cdowley on June 10th, 2009 2:27 pm

    Paul Byrd was (sorta) successful starting with an insulin pump for years. That’s been the biggest thing for me in the whole “Brandon can’t start because of his diabetes” argument, especially since Brandon supposedly has one he can use. If Byrd, who had mediocre stuff, can do it, why can’t Brandon?

  45. joser on June 10th, 2009 4:12 pm

    You know, I once asked an MD friend about a health issue with a player (not Morrow). My friend said “I’m not his doctor, I haven’t seen his charts, I don’t know.”

    And I said, “Yeah, but you know in general for those kinds of injuries…” and his response was “Yeah, in general. But for this particular case, I just don’t know. Individual cases can vary a lot from the textbook, and there can be all sorts of confounding factors. Speculating without the facts is simply foolish.”

    So while I could reason from the diabetes experience of my friend’s brother’s wife’s aunt’s boyfriend… I think it’s kind of pointless. Morrow thought it was an issue at one point. Maybe it was genuinely a problem for a while and how it isn’t; maybe now that he’s had some time with it and it’s just a routine; maybe it was a psychological barrier for him until he adjusted. And maybe it was just an easy excuse to allow him to stick with the team in a sexy role that didn’t require all the work of being a starter. We’ll probably never know and, unless it comes up again, it really doesn’t matter.

    Yes, he’s wasted a few months but that’s not a huge deal in the scheme of things; for all we know, this may work out better when he comes up to help the team in ’10. And if he’s now really motivated to go back down and learn what he needs to be a starter, who cares what weird path he took to get there?

  46. joser on June 10th, 2009 4:19 pm

    BTW, Drayer interviewed Morrow before the game. I just caught the tail end on the radio, but he said something to the effect that he wasn’t looking for the quick path back and he was going to do what it takes to come back up as a starter.

    Hopefully this is not just his latest notion but a sign of the new (more mature?) Morrow who genuinely wants to make the most of his talent. In some ways this parallels the situation with Yuni. While it’s true the team could’ve just told Morrow he was going to be a starter, it’s unclear how good a pitcher he’d be if he was, essentially, pitching under protest. Just as with Yuni, he has to want it. Yuni has to want to do the extra BP and fielding practice; Morrow has to want to go down and endure the bus rides and crappy hotels while he learns to pitch like a starter.

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