Brandon Morrow has always been known for having terrific stuff, but he has never seemed to be able to put it all together. After being converted to a full-time reliever in 2016, things are starting to look up for the hard-throwing right-hander.
Taken two spots ahead of when the Dodgers took Clayton Kershaw in the 2006 draft, Brandon Morrow was supposed to be an ace-type starting pitcher. Despite having great stuff, he never seemed to put it together as a starting pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays. His best season came in 2012 when he went 10-7 with a 2.96 ERA.
Partially due to shoulder injuries, Morrow was shifted to a reliever with the Padres in 2016. After signing with the Padres in 2015, he missed time from May 2015 all the way until August 2016 when he was called up by the San Diego Padres to pitch in relief.
Morrow was effective in 16 innings going 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA. Despite the great earned run average, Morrow did allow opposing hitters to hit over .300, and he only struck out eight batters. This earned him a shot with the Dodgers who signed him to a minor league deal last offseason.
More from LA Dodgers News
- Dodgers’ 2023 lineup without Trea Turner isn’t as impressive as it should be
- Recapping who Dodgers gained and lost in Rule 5 Draft
- Dodgers ironically sign former all-star to potentially replace Cody Bellinger
- Padres-Xander Bogaerts contract feels like Manny Machado desperation
- Aaron Judge leaving Giants directionless is another massive win for Dodgers
This year Brandon Morrow has been very effective for the Dodgers in the 11.2 innings he has pitched so far. Morrow is 2-0 and has not allowed an earned run to score yet. In those 11.2 innings, he has 14 strikeouts, and opposing hitters are hitting only .100 off of him.
According to MLB.com, Morrow’s fastball has averaged 97 miles per hour, but he has gotten up to 100 miles per hour on the radar gun.
It appears that Brandon Morrow has settled into his reliever role and is starting to become a significant piece of the Dodger bullpen. Morrow has some late inning experience as he served as the closer for the Triple-A Dodgers and converted six of eight save opportunities. He can also throw multiple innings if needed since he was a starting pitcher before, so he gives Dave Roberts another versatile weapon out of the pen.
Morrow deserves a chance to stick in the big league bullpen since other relievers like Sergio Romo and Chris Hatcher have been anything but effective. If Morrow can settle in as the seventh inning setup man to bridge the gap to Pedro Baez and Kenley Jansen, then the Dodgers could avoid having to deal prospects away for a bullpen upgrade.
With the trade deadline being nearly a month away the Dodgers need to take the next month figuring out if Morrow can carve a role out in the late innings.
In yet another successful depth signing by Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers got a cheap effective late-inning reliever in Morrow. Josh Fields had a good run of success but flamed out and was sent to Triple-A recently. Chris Hatcher is on the DL, and Sergio Romo has an ERA over five.
Morrow has the type of profile you want in a late-inning setup man. He goes after hitters with his heavy fastball and doesn’t walk many batters. Should the front office give Morrow a chance to stick, he should reward their decision and bolster a Dodger bullpen that is already one of the best in Major League Baseball.