A few months ago I got in an argument with someone over Brandon Morrow, I was saying it would be stupid to keep him in the bullpen, the other guy said it would be stupid to move him.
But now I have been thinking and looking at the Mariners farm system to try and figure out where Morrow should play in 2009 and beyond. If it was my decision I would move him to the role of the closer.
When JJ Putz got traded, the Mariners lost one of the best closers in the game. But if Morrow was to fill the void, he might just upgrade over all-star JJ Putz.
If Morrow was to continue as a starter he would block a starting job for a younger minor league pitcher such as Philipe Aumont, Michael Pineda, or Juan Ramirez. As of right now Ryan Rowland- Smith is a better starter than Brandon Morrow. When you look at the stats Ryan Rowland- Smith is a better starter than a lot of players.
Here is how the rotation would look if Brandon Morrow was to not join the rotation this season.
SP. Felix Hernandez
SP. Erik Bedard
SP. Ryan Rowland-Smith
SP. Garret Olson
SP. Jarrod Washburn
That rotation is still solid. With the added defense this season I expect the pitching to excel.
Right now the Mariners have a stockpile of young pitching arms. Including:
For the Mariners to make a five man rotation out of those players is a tough choice because they are too good. We all know that Morrow dominates as a closer, we don't know how well Pineda, Aumont or any of those other guys would do there.
Brandon Morrow is the odd man out of the rotation because he has other very attractive options other than a starter. Jonathan Papelbon is now one of the greatest closers currently and at first he was going to be a starter.
Why not move Morrow back to the closer role?
My main concern for Brandon Morrow is his attitude if he was to move back to the bullpen. But it all depends on what happens during spring training down in Peoria, Arizona.
Honestly I'm not sure how well Morrow and Felix would do together later on. Felix is a few years younger, but better so Morrow might start wondering why he should take advice from someone younger than him.
However in 2009 Morrow, Bedard and Hernandez could start a rotation similar to the 1990's Atlanta Braves'. It consisted of Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Tom Glavine. Who knows what will happen.
Of course it's not up to me on who should go where.
What do you say?