Posted by: Jeremy | September 3, 2010

Yanks close the book on Morrow


Morrow's final start of the year was far from his finest

I’m gonna miss you Brandon Morrow. Well, I’ll miss the way you pitch sometimes, at least. The righty made his final start of the season this afternoon in New York, rearing his shaky side to the tune of five runs over three innings in a 7-3 loss to the Yankees. For the year, Morrow wraps at 10-7 with a 4.49 ERA — 8-1 and 2.74 at home and 2-6, 6.72 on the road.

Morrow’s shutdown is purely cautionary and not health-related, and the same action taken last year on rookie lefties Brett Cecil and Marc Rzepczynski. His 146 innings are an increase of 21 over the amount he threw last year between the majors and minors with the Mariners, and near the max of what teams will allow these days because of the fear of young arms falling off. All in all, Morrow turned in a fine 2010 after a bit of hellish start — after going 3-4 with a 6.66 ERA through 10 starts, he finished 7-3 with a 3.17 ERA over his final 16. His 10.9 K/9 rate currently sits atop the majors, nearly a strikeout ahead of the closest runner-up. Stretch the guy’s arm out a bit and throw in a tad of consistency and we’ve got potentially one of the league’s top starters on our hands.

Back to this afternoon, though: Morrow struggled from the get-go, giving up a pair of runs in the first and second on RBI doubles from Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson and was done to start the fourth with a 5-1 deficit. Toronto got back in with a pair of runs behind Lyle Overbay and Aaron Hill doubles in the fourth, but a triple from Brett Gardner and Granderson’s second double in the sixth was enough to put it to bed for New York. Travis Snider hit the game’s only bomb, a solo shot off Ivan Nova in the first.

The loss is the Jays’ third in four games of the current trip, with a couple more in the Bronx before coming home to the Rangers on Monday. Rzepczynski (1-3, 6.03) gets the ball tomorrow afternoon against Javier Vazquez’s dead arm (10-9, 4.86).

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Responses

  1. My advice for the Jays next year. Start Morrow at home and don’t include him in the rotation for any road starts. If they follow this method, he should finish the 10/11 season off a perfect 15-0 with a 2.00 ERA and a mere 14.3 K’s/9! I should be managing the Jays, seriously.

  2. I like it. And have Brett Cecil start every game against New York.

  3. Haha. Seriously though. You watch almost every game and I’ve only seen about half. What does this new GM need to do to make this a better team. If you were GM, where would you start? Who would you trade? What players would you go after?

  4. If I’m charge, I’m looking to get better this off-season, without necessarily making a push for winning it in 2011 (because, realistically, it isn’t gonna happen). I’d take a look at Carl Crawford. I’d also look to lock up Bautista, though the price is probably gonna be massive (but hey, for the money we’ve paid some guys the past five years, I can live with whatever they give him). A third baseman would be nice, and a starter and a bit of bullpen depth would help.

    Of course, not all of that is gonna happen. First of all, money will likely be scarce, and the fact that the only big league free agent we’ve signed since 2008 is Kevin Gregg doesn’t really bode well for expectations.

    A lot of it will have to do with the big four arms improving and Lind and Hill bouncing back. Still, with the pieces already in place, I think a few upgrades will at least have this team hanging tough next year.

  5. Carl Crawford is a great suggestion. Too bad he’s not going to want to come and lose in T.O.

    You’re right.. they are going to have to put together a winning team with minor adjustments and then maybe some bigger name guys will enjoy coming to play ball in T.O. (like the good old days).

  6. There’s always trade possibilities too — Prince Fielder and Matt Kemp are a couple guys that may be available and worth a look at. Kemp is having a down year (average-wise, at least — he’s hitting .251 but has 22 homers and speed never slumps), but I think he’d be a great addition, plus he’d bring Rihanna to town.

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