The back-and forth career of Seattle right-hander Brandon Morrow – he’s a starter, no a reliever, no a starter – is about to take another turn.
It will land him, probably by the end of this week, in the starting rotation of the Tacoma Rainiers.
Morrow, the 24-year-old first-round draft pick in 2005, approached the team last month and told them he’d changed his mind about being a reliever. He wanted to be a starting pitcher.
What the Mariners want is a way to use Morrow and his 97 mph velocity, in a capacity that works for him and the team. This spring, when Morrow fell behind because of a tender elbow, he volunteered in the final week of camp to close.
Now that David Aardsma has seized that role, Morrow has used the last month to work on mechanics, especially driving his front foot toward the plate, not first base. After an adjustment period, Morrow seems to have taken to the change.
“It gives me more balance, better location,” Morrow said.
Since Morrow doesn’t have a specific role in the Seattle bullpen, the team appears willing to send him to Class AAA and give him time – plenty of it – to return to the role he had in college.
What’s he need to do in Tacoma? Stay healthy, build his arm strength and pitch effectively.
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.
Within the week, it seems, he’s going to get that chance.
Look for the team to bring up Roy Corcoran and assign Morrow to Tacoma, then feel free to watch Morrow start for the Rainiers over the next month and a half, at least.