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Morrow was expected to be one of the front-line starters on Toronto’s staff this season. Instead, he’s been one of the team’s biggest early season disappointments.
In three starts, Morrow has gone 1-1 and posted an ERA of 5.52—the highest on the starting rotation.
It’s not pretty whichever way you look at it. Morrow has thrown 14.2 innings and given up 16 hits and six walks during that span.
Throwing strikes has been the biggest concern for the 29-year-old, and he’s often falling behind opposing batters. Not only does this force Morrow to pitch into hitter counts where he’s most likely to give up hits or walks, but it also raises his total pitch count.
This was on display during his last start against the Minnesota Twins, when the right-hander lasted just 3.2 innings before being forced to leave the game after throwing 98 pitches.
While his early struggles are a concern, it’s important to note that Morrow might not be pitching at full-strength right now.
After he missed most of last season with an entrapped radial nerve in his right forearm, the Blue Jays made sure to limit his workload until the final week of spring training this year.
Therefore, it could take Morrow a few more starts before he starts to get into a groove on the mound.
Based on his 2012 numbers, when he posted a 2.96 ERA in 124.2 innings pitched, Morrow has shown that he can be a successful pitcher when he’s healthy and in form.
The Blue Jays will need him to pitch near that level again this season or the starting rotation will suddenly start to look a lot more vulnerable.