The Jays have finally admitted that Brandon Morrow will be the club’s fifth starter coming out of spring training. Not that the number actually means anything, but that’s sure to make waves — especially now that, according to a tweet from John Lott, John Gibbons has acknowledged that “part of the reason” Morrow is being pushed back is to give him more time to be ready for the season.
I’ve said a couple times before that we probably need to give the guy a bit of leeway, considering that he was on the DL by the end of last May, and only threw two innings in a real game following that, while on a rehab stint in Dunedin, but it’s not untrue that the reports on Morrow so far this spring are that he hasn’t been sharp, and the health concerns will always linger over him, and that doesn’t exactly make this feel good, either. Plus, this isn’t last year’s interminably long spring training. Time is running out for players to get their shit together, with the Jays scheduled to be in Montreal in just ten days.
Lott wrote a piece in the National Post that touched on what an important day today is for Morrow — who starts
against the Yankees’ triple-A club in a minor league split squad game in Tampa — and for Ricky Romero, who gets the ball against a Tigers lineup full of big leaguers in Lakeland. ”A good start for Morrow would help to bolster fans’ confidence that he is truly healthy and reasonably effective after patchy spring results on the mound and the woolly reasons offered Sunday for his new designation as the Number 5 starter,” he explained.
“I hadn’t pitched for so long, it’s almost hard to remember how to pitch aggressively, not just thinking about my mechanics out there, and arm angle, but competing,” [Morrow told him] Sunday. “My bullpens and everything have been great. I think it’s just a little more aggressiveness that I need to take out there. I think that’ll help with fastball command because then you’re really trying to stick it to ‘em.”
So… watch for his arm to go flying off into swampy ol’ Tampa Bay sometime around the third inning, he said hoping to fuck that’s not remotely close to what happens, and that things actually start to go smoothly for a starter who so much of the Jays’ hopes hinge on. Let’s not forget, though, that Morrow started slow, and had injury issues in camp in both 2010 and 2011, and ended up being more or less fine. Right? Right???
As for Romero and the supposed glimmer of hope he provides, I’m pulling for him, but I think I’ve already explained where I stand.
Morrow is already though his first inning against the Yankees triple-A team, and Ben Wagner of the Buffalo Bisons’ broadcast crew is tweeting about it. He says that Morrow got out of the inning having induced a double play after giving up a soft single. That works.
According to Newsday, it’s lining up that Morrow will face Masahiro Tanaka in the Jays’ home opener on April 4th.
Another gem from Lott at the National Post, as he talks to Casey Janssen, who was finally back on the mound today after dealing with a sore shoulder — one that’s bothered him at least since the surgery he had at the start of last off-season, though you wouldn’t have known it from how outstandingly he pitched in 2013.
And now the lineups… will just be ignored for today. Gone twittering.