Brandon Morrow: The West Coast Joba Chamberlain

Kip ArneyCorrespondent IJuly 5, 2008

I seriously question how many people know who Brandon Morrow is?

Or Brad Lincoln?

Lincoln is a right handed pitcher drafted number four overall out of the University of Houston by the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 2006 draft. Currently he is pitching in Single-A for the Hickory Crawdads with a 4-4 record and an era of 4.50.

Brandon Morrow is the righty from the University of California the Mariners selected with the 5th pick overall right after Lincoln became unavailable. His numbers this season with the big club, seven for seven in save opportunities with an eye popping era of 0.65 in 27.2 innings of work.

And to think people say that the east coast bias doesn't exist...HA!

Brandon Morrow was groomed as a starter at Cal going 7-4 with a 2.05 era during his senior season, and that's what the Mariners drafted him for. Coming out of spring training, they saw that his stuff was so electric that he was awarded a spot on the major league roster but was stuck in the bullpen.

And he's still there.

I'm not here to deny Joba Chamberlain of his accolades, or say that Brandon Morrow is better. But it's very clear that because Chamberlain is a part of the New York Yankees, he gets more publicized.

Brandon Morrow this season has been unhitable...literally. Ever since J.J. Putz went down with arm issues, Brandon Morrow has stepped up and showed the moxy of a Mariano Rivera, letting nothing phase him.

This being exhibited when he struck out Manny Ramirez with a 100 mph fastball in the 8th inning back on May 27th of this year, when he came into a tie ball game with runners on first and second and nobody out.

He finished the inning by striking out Mike Lowell and getting JD Drew to fly out to left, leaving the runners stranded and allowing the Mariners win the ballgame in the 9th inning, 4-3.

Ever since that May 27th appearance, Morrow's ERA and WHIP continues to drop while the strikeouts and hype (in the Northwest) steadily climb. The stats since and including the game against Boston on May 27 are as follows.

Innings Pitched: 16.2

Saves/Save Opportunities 7/7

Earned Runs: 0

Unearned Runs: 0

Hits Allowed: 2

Walks: 2

Strikeouts: 22

His season numbers aren't too shabby either.

1-1 with a 0.65 era, 0.77 whip and 37 strikeouts in 27.2 innings of work.

The buzz on the streets of Seattle surrounds the question of what to do with this hard throwing right hander who turns 24 later this month. JJ Putz still remains on the DL, and while he probably won't be given closer duties immediately upon his return, it's hard to ignore the man who was 40 for 42 in save chances with a 1.38 ERA last season.

Since the Mariners are not in any position to make a post season run this season, the chants have begun to have Morrow sent down to the minors to get him ready to be a starter in time for spring training 2009.

However, Morrow is about one of the only bright spots the M's have going for them and the front office would like him to remain in Seattle to keep the fans coming out to Safeco Field.

What do I think the Mariners should do? I'm not going to answer that. I just hope they don't trade him away like they did two years ago sending former bullpen flame thrower-Rafael Soriano to Atlanta for a bag of balls who goes by the name of Horacio Ramirez.