My Take on the Mariners' Brandon Morrow Issue

Griffin CooperAnalyst IMay 19, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 11:  Brandon Morrow #35 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angels Stadium September 11, 2008 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

It's quite clear that Brandon Morrow isn't doing well. This much has been obvious since he came off of the DL a little over a week ago.

The burning question is: What needs to be done about him?

Everyone has an opinion as to what the answer of this question is, and one very popular one seems to be: "Make him a starter."

Now don't get me wrong, no one would be happier to see Brandon Morrow starting than I would, but his career path isn't up to the fans. Towards the end of spring training this year, Morrow stated that he had made a decision, not to be a starter, but to go back to being a closer...permanently.

News of this statement was devastating to a large portion of Mariners fans, myself included, but certainly not because we expected him to be blowing saves left and right. We were upset because this team needs another dominant starter in a much bigger way than it needs a good closer.

The Mariners already have several pitchers capable of being effective closers, two notable ones being David Aardsma and Chad Cordero. Aardsma has consistently proven that he's up to the task, and Chad Cordero has played the dominant closer role as recently as 2007.

With the closer spot secured by one of those two and Morrow in the rotation, the Mariners would easily have one of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball, if not the best.

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Now, back to the issue at hand. I feel like the ideal course of action would be to option Morrow to Tacoma, and go back to stretching him out to be a starter. Sadly, I don't think this is going to happen.

If it doesn't, than it's fairly obvious as to what needs to be done. Morrow needs to spot his pitches better, and rely much less on his fastball.

It's absolutely clear that Brandon Morrow has a ton of talent, but he also needs to put in the work—primarily on getting comfortable with his other pitches. He has a devastating breaking ball, and it's currently going to waste.

As for the rest of the bullpen, I'm not too worried. The returns of Sean Kelley, Cesar Jimenez, and Chad Cordero should solidify our bullpen to the point of being above average—and having an above average bullpen is nothing to take lightly, considering how much little money was spent on it.

Don't worry Mariners fans, the Morrow situation will improve, something's gotta give pretty soon.


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