Brandon Morrow Returning…As a Reliever?


April 14, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Brandon Morrow (23) delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Much speculation has taken place over the last little while about the back end of the Blue Jays bullpen. Will they re-sign Casey Janssen? Will they let him walk rather than pay a high price tag? Ryan Mueller (@Mueller Ryan11) and I (@JaysFromCouch)  debated the value of having Aaron Sanchez become the next closer based on this piece from Tip of the Tower.

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  • In our Big League Chew debate, I threw out there at the end that maybe the Blue Jays would pick up the option on Brandon Morrow ($10M) for next season and then put him back in the bullpen. Yes, it would be an expensive arm in the bullpen. But, pitching doesn’t come cheap any more. And, maybe in the shorter outings can provide Morrow with the bubble wrap he needs to stay healthy.

    While he was with the Seattle Mariners, Morrow converted 10 of 12 save opportunities (83.3%) in 2008 with 10.4 K/9. He also had 3 holds. In 2009, he converted 6 of 8 opportunities with 1 hold. For comparison, to date (since 2012) Janssen has amassed 75 saves in 83 opportunities. That is good for  a 90% success rate. Mariano Rivera has a career 89.1% rate. Trevor Hoffman sits at 88.8%. so, while it might seem like keeping Janssen is the best option, the Blue Jays may not be giving up that much by turning to Morrow who we hear has the best “stuff” in the organization.

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    Perhaps the bullpen may provide him the opportunity to show it for an extended period of time.

    According to Shi Davidi, the Blue Jays are leaning toward such a move. Sort of. Apparently, they expect that Morrow could be ready to return in September and if he returns it could be as a reliever:

    So, I turn the question to you. What do you think? Is this just a way to get him to pitch without risking his health by starting? Is this just coasting to the end of his walk year? Will they pick up his $10M option? And, should he be the closer? Should they keep Janssen? Have your say below.