I don’t have much more to offer on this topic than the question posed by the headline of this post, but here goes…

Before last night’s game, Alex Anthopoulos had a lengthy chat with the media hordes on a variety of topics, one of which was the status of Brandon Morrow, who seemed to fall off the face of the earth after his early exit from a May 28th start.

By way of John Lott’s piece in the National Post, Anthopoulos explains:

Asked if he is optimistic that Morrow can pitch again this season, Anthopoulos replied: “It’s hard to be at this point. I’m just being honest. He just hasn’t been able to get it going.

“He feels better. It’s certainly improved from where he was but he just doesn’t feel 100%. I ask our trainers: ‘It seems like we’ve given him so much rest. Should he not be 100% at this point?’ It’s tough to know how everyone’s body recovers and so on. We’ve taken MRIs multiple times and all we’ve seen is inflammation.”

Morrow is undergoing further tests, Anthopoulos said.

So it’s some kind of mystery injury, right?

Not so fast. Lott’s piece was updated after the fact to include information that had surfaced in a Shi Davidi report at Sportsnet that surfaced just before 1 AM ET:

Brandon Morrow has an entrapped radial nerve in his right forearm and is likely out for the rest of the season, a source told Wednesday night.

The Toronto Blue Jays right-hander visited Dr. James Andrews earlier in the day where the renowned specialist confirmed a diagnosis made during two previous exams by other doctors in May and June.

Later Davidi adds that “a course of treatment is being finalized – at this point surgery isn’t being considered an option – and is likely to include an extended rest period that will prevent him from being ready before the season’s end.”

So… Morrow’s probably not going to be back until 2014. Apart from any worry that the injury will still be impacting him then– worry that I think existed back when it was a merely a mystery injury– that doesn’t really matter. Neither does Anthopoulos evading the truth about it, in the grand scheme of things, but… why?

Are they so cynical as to be trying to keep hope alive that he’ll be back and part of some miracle comeback? Do they not want other teams to know that they’re more desperate to add a starter than they may actually be?

I don’t know if I buy any of that. Y’know… because it’d be pretty dumb.


Hey, and all of a sudden they’re being quite a bit more open about it, as friend of the blog Clint (aka the must-follow @StivBators) is listening to John Gibbons on Jim Duquette’s Sirius XM radio show, and (among other nuggets I’ll be writing about after this one) tweets the following:

So… six weeks of no throwing means he can get started on his spring-like program at the tail end of August. Maybe they’ll be able to get him some action at the end of the year, but for all intents and purposes, his season is over.

Why not just say that?

Comments (94)

  1. I like Morrow.

  2. Fuck.

  3. Put Morrow in the pen next year so they can get a triple digit throwing guy that wont spend half or more of every season on the DL. His ability to stay healthy and start is a thing of the past.

    • He’d provide more value in only 20 starts than he would if he was in the bullpen and healthy all year.

      Not to mention how good our bullpen is.

      • 10 starts this season, most of which were real bad, 21 starts last season with an almost polar opposite between starts, either he was lights out or got lit up. I am not saying it’s time now to put him in the pen but if he comes out next season and has another 10-15 start season then what?

        Also, where did I say replace him with an inferior starter? Why not sign a FA that is capable of pitching a proper amount of innings instead of getting hurt or having an innings limit for the season.

    • Move McGowan to the rotation, and keep Morrow in the rotation. Hope for good health from both.

    • thats a great idea.

      so have a far inferior starter go 4 innings letting 6 runs in, then bring Morrow in for a clean 5th.

      a sound winning strategy

  4. Just another storm from the black cloud of bad luck thats been hanging over this organization for years. What a fucking bummer of a season this turned out to be.

    • Tired of the excuses. All teams deal with injuries and bad luck. The good teams push through that shit.

      • so,
        hypothetical situation,
        they come back next year with a similar roster and contend.
        what reason will you come up with as to why it happened ?

        • I hate hypothetical questions because these teams don’t play in a vacuum. How are the other teams doing? What moves did they make in the offseason? etc., etc.

        • That they were actually good. However they need to actually make it to the postseason (or even closely contend) for your statement to be true, so we can wait on that first.

      • Good teams are good precisely because they have good players. When said good players aren’t playing, the team isn’t as good.

    • It wasn’t all terrible. There was a point towards the end of the 11 game streak where anything seemed possible. No matter what happens, nobody can take away that warm glow of hope that I had for 2 or 3 days in June.

  5. Completely agree, why not just say it?

    Reading this morning that the Brett Lawrie 2B experiment is over. Wow, they sure seen that one through. Nothing like committing to a decision…..

  6. I could see your second idea being entirely plausible. If you are actively shopping for a starter (or any other player for that matter) I wouldn’t want the sellers knowing that Morrow wasn’t coming back.

    Not necessarily lying, just not telling the truth.

  7. It’s not a lie if *we* know the truth.

  8. This is terrible news, from what I can tell from a quick search this condition is not very common.

    See Vincente Padilla and Eric Gagne for precedents from the last ten years (hint: the result was not positive). Obviously do not know how severe Morrow’s entrapped nerve condition is relative to their cases but… holy fuck this sucks.

  9. a 2014 rotation:

    Morrow (???)
    Johnson (???)
    Dickey (benefit of the doubt)
    Buerhle (??)
    Romero/Happ/Rogers/Hutchinson (???)

    i feel like you can have max 1 ??? guy and still content, not 4-5

    • why is Happ ???

      • @dc
        “why is Happ ???”

        That sounds like an existential philosphy exam question.

        Why not??

        • Happ hasn’t shown much inconsistency the last few years, he isn’t an ace, but he was slowly developing into a pretty decent mid to back rotation starter before he took one off the head.

          Which he’s recovered from.. so again, not sure why he’s a question mark next year. on a good team, you could pencil him in to the 4 or 5 starter spot and be pretty confident in that.

          The 1-3/4 spots are going to be the issue.

          • Dickey should still be a #2 pitcher if they install a constant north wind at Rogers centre to keep balls in the park. Can’t they installl some ultraquiet fans where Windows used to be to generate a stiff north wind, but only in the top half of innings.

            Dickey is definitely a #1 pitcher, on the road. Dickey has one more home run / game at home (17) than on the road (6).

            Buehrle is having his worst year and I suspect that he will be better as a #3 pitcher next year. Happ is a #4 – #5 starter. One of Romero / Drabek / Weber / Jenkins can be the #5 starter next year. That leaves the 2 spot (which was supposed to be Johnson) to fill. Josh was hurt earlier this year and probably still has something lingering going on.

            Given how the season is going (it’s over) there’s no immediate need for AA to get a number 2 starter except to save his bullpen which has suddenly turned mostly to shit.

            • Buehrle is having the same year he had last year. And pretty much the same year he had in 2006.

              • Happ was the best starter we had all season up until his injury. Not bad for the #6 guy at the time.

    • I still hold out hope for Drabek. Has a 1.06 whip in 32 innings and ONLY 6 walks.
      If he keeps the rehab going well I’d like to see him get a start or two in late September.

      • It is only “A” ball but encouraging.

        • Always liked him. The guy’s a horse. Hopefully he can still throw 95mph and maybe
          the surgeon attached the tendon in a way that compensated for his tendancy to fall off to the left.

  10. At this point is there a reason to have him come back at all?

    let him rest to a point, no rush.

    Its sad, I wish this year was more about injuries and bad luck instead of having the worst (performing) rotation in baseball, with no fix in site.

  11. Why is it all our pitchers suck after they sign extensions

  12. who’s the bigger health concern in 2014, dustin or brandon?

  13. I like what the Oakland A’s have handled their pitching staff in the past. They develop well and have a new set of arms to reload on after they trade away their guys nearing free agency or let them go. I wish the Blue Jays could adopt this way but obviously easier said than done.

    • It’s a shame the Jays decided to go all-in and rush the rebuild… they were setting themselves up for a similar situation with the Lansing 3.

  14. Watched baseball central today and was pretty depressed. Morrow is going to have to have surgery (if there is a procedure for that) or play through the pain. Hayhurst doesn’t want him to have more rest.

    He’s done for 2013. Happ will be back and that will send Redmond to Buffalo.

    I see AA moving Lind or Rasmus and/or Cecil/Delabar/Oliver/Janssen for a starter and a 2B, if possible. Lind and Rasmus are at max value right now. DFA Bonifacio if they manage to get a 2B. Play Davis for the rest of the season in LF and let Cabrera DH if Lind is traded. Split Davis and Boni in CF if Rasmus gets traded, or bring up Pillar or Sierra.

    Then bring up Jenkins / Weber / Wagner or Lincoln for a long middle relief role which the Jays sorely need.

    Fucking armchair GMs.

    • Agreed that Lind should go if AA can get anything worthwhile for him. Not sure why 26 year old Rasmus can’t repeat what he’s done thus far this year. Not going to get a better CF for cheaper.

      • We have no one internally who is going to step in and provide what Rasmus is currently providing this year. They may decide to move him due to salary concerns.

        • There is NO WAY gose can replace Rasmus’ production anytime in the near future. Colby’s a stud.

          • According to Blair this morning, even the Gose proponents in the organization that wanted Colby traded have taken a step back on Gose. He’s not having a great year.

    • We probably need to trade for a good starter, the only problem is that to get one we`d probably need to give up one of the players who have actually been good for us not the shit that usually get`s mentioned.

      If the Jays want a top 2 guy we`d probably have to say goodbye to Edwin or someone of that ilk.

      • What’s the point? The offense hasn’t exactly been lighting the world on fire, and you’re going to trade your best hitter?

  15. Well we sure will have a multitude of pitchers to choose from next year. Especially if Johnson accepts a QO.

    I actually think all we need between now and next year is: 1) Get Johnson back on a QO, 2) Get a catcher that offers no offensive improvement but can catch and lead pitchers better, and 3) add an ace – like a 7 year 140M type guy (don’t ask me who).

    An ace plus the best 4 out of: Morrow, Dickey, Johnson, Happ, Romero, Drabek, Hutchison. Not to mention other prospects. And a better catcher for them. Done. World Series.

    • Best of luck convincing Rogers to pony up another 140 million to a starter after this clusterfuck disaster of a year.

      • Just need to pony enough for Cliff Lee.

        • Cliff Lee is having a 2.8WAR season right now. So add 3 wins to the fucking Jays… are they contenders now? Get real. This team needs a lot more than one fucking Cliff Lee.

          • Correct, they need either health or bounce back from the other starter they have invested in.

            I’m sure that of the 8 guys mentioned in this tread 3 or 4 can have a good year.

            But yes, no guarantees.

          • I generally like WAR as a stat, but a case like this needs more information.

            All other things being equal, Cliff Lee adds 3ish more wins. But all other things aren’t equal. He would pitch more innings than whoever he replaced, a giving the bullpen more rest. With the amount of short outings by starters this year, that alone is worth more than a couple games.

            • For arguments sake, he adds 8 fucking wins. The Jays are now tied with the Yankees for last place.

              Or is he somehow adding 20 wins? Should we go through that thought experiment?

              The Jays don’t need 1 pitcher. They need 5.

              • I agree that Cliff Lee alone doesn’t put the Jay’s into the playoffs, but he’d go a long way towards fixing our rotation, which is our biggest problem right now.

      • Yeah it’s interesting. Alot of people felt that Rogers wasn’t going to spend a shitload in the offseason last year and they did. The result is that attendance is up 4,293/game over last year which brings in $9.5M / year but the TV revenue will be down (viewers are watching 9% less than last year). At the same time, MLB will be giving each team an extra 27 million next year due to the new national TV contracts and will change the revenue sharing rules slightly.

        What will be interesting is the budget they set for the Jays next year. I can’t see AA justifying a QO to Johnson given his performance. I even think that RA might be a very tradable commodity (despite his contract) because I think he would be far more valuable in a pitcher friendly ball park where a knuckleball left right over the plate would end up as a fly ball rather than a HR. This might make sense to Rogers if they are looking at shrinking the budget.

        • A lot of that attendance increase is probably due to people buying tickets before the season started thinking that this team would be good. Let’s see if this carries over into next year.

          I don’t think it will.

          • Come on. Who was buying 35k Tues/Wed night tix for games in July back in Feb? The attendance has been up for a few years running. There is a younger crowd now IMO. I’ve been watching the Jays for 25+ years and there are definite marketable features to the team and the ballpark that will keep people coming. Even if it declines they’re still miles from the announced 13k games of 5 years ago.

    • Cliff Lee is the name you were looking for.

    • I believe that Jose Molina is a FA this year.

    • No QA for JJ and put that 14 mil towards Cliff Lee.


        Next year’s salary is going to be pushing 140. TV ratings are down… attendance is probably going down next year following this shitshow. Why the fuck is Rogers spending anymore money on payroll?

        • Some savings with JPA, EB and a sell high on Jansen. apx $10 mil. Have Philiy take and guy to balance out some money (you pick)…..

          And yes, I expect the team to be in the 150/160 mil territory for a few years.

          A market the size of all of California that will watch and show up if they win, along with a discount on the tv contract to the parent company, oh yeah, they have money.

          If they win, they will make a profit, if it fails, fire sale in 2 years.

          • This is corporate ownership. This isn’t some Mark Cuban-style owner living out his boyhood fantasies. They are beholden to their shareholders. How do you justify having a payroll like this, when in 2010 they were 85-77 with half the payroll?

            The Blue Jays need to look at teams like the Athletics and the Rays and learn to win. I don’t hear Oakland bitching about Brett Anderson every minute of the day, or Reddick’s sub300 OBP, but they still get it done.

          • Yep.

        • Re “Why the fuck is Rogers spending anymore money on payroll?”

          Because they have the money, if they win they will profit, because in 3 years they will have much less payroll so the play is short term.

      • That’s a fair point – so then basically hope that JJ goes and gets us a pick, and devote that money plus another 6-7M to a stud that’s healthy (plus 6-7 additional years of course).

        Then we’ll have Reyes, Buehrle, Bautista and this new ace as our “big burden contracts”. Buehrle being the only obvious one that would be hard to move if needed.

      • Unfortunately Cliff Lee gets a say in where he wants to play. He’s not going to be singing “OK Blue Jays … Lets… Play… Ball.”

    • “Other Prospects” will go to Philadelphia.

    • Done. World Series.

  16. (Courtesy B.A.) Our prospect lines of the night with their season numbers:

    TOR AA Jimenez, A.J. C 4 0 1 0 .321 2B (11), BB (9)
    TOR AAA Pillar, Kevin CF 4 0 2 0 .339 SB (2)
    TOR LoA Lopes, Christian 2B 4 1 1 0 .256 2B (17)
    TOR R Nay, Mitch 3B 4 0 3 2 .306 BB (13)
    TOR SS Thon, Dickie Joe DH 3 1 2 0 .272 BB (15)

    TOR AA Stroman, Marcus 6.2 5 2 1 2 11 2.99

  17. The reason they didn’t say is because they didn’t know. People think the team has all these secret answers locked away and is engaging in shady back-alley conspiracies whenever there’s no quick answers forthcoming…but sometimes they just don’t know.

  18. fuck this. jays suck.

  19. Ok my turn to be a armchair GM…

    Starters for 2014…

    Dickey, Need #2, Morrow, Rogers and Happ…back-up Hutchison, Nolin and Romero

    Pillar, Rasmus, Bautista, Encarnacion, 2nd Base?, Reyes, Lawrie, Catcher?, DH?

    Santos, Stroman, Drabek, Wagner, Loup, L Perez, Stilson

    Everybody else trade them!!!

    • Who knows if Morrow is even going to pitch next year?

    • What the happened to Bhuerle’s contract? vanished in thin air?

      • Trade his contract…AA did Vernon Wells…why not Bhuerle’s…maybe throw in some money…fuck what i know… fucken armchair GMs…

        • Yeah, pretty much armchair GM stuff, especially considering Wells wasn’t doing what he was signed to do. As much as I can’t stand Buehrle, he has been doing what was expected of him.

          • I’d keep Buehrle. He’s done exactly what was expected so far and has been the best starter since Happ went down.
            Many (Blair mostly) keep go on about how he doesn’t want to be here in Toronto/AL East/The AL but I don’t get that impression. He seems happy- he’s always the guy on the field taking the opening pitch or presenting the giant novelty cheque and posing for pictures. He seems like a “team guy”.
            I really thought that was going to be Dickey going into the season but Dickey always just looks like he’d rather be listening to Smiths tapes on his Walkman.

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