Thursday, January 22, 2009
Brandon Morrow 2009
The Mariners have apparently announced that both Brandon Morrow and Aaron Heilman will be part of their rotation in 2009. We'll leave the question of who is going to close for them for another day and take a look at how Morrow is likely to fare as a starter. Morrow has two important things going for him. He had a fantastic strikeout rate in 2008 (10.9 per nine innings) and he's only 24 years old. However, he was very wild, walking 4.9 batters per nine innings. Generally when pitchers move from relief to starting, they're not quite as effective, so I think it's reasonable to project Morrow as striking out just about a batter per inning, and walking the same number of batters as last year or slightly more. Let's say he'll have K/BB per nine innings of 9.0/5.0. He's an extreme flyball pitcher, so that's a strong negative too. For a comparable pitcher, those numbers are not much different than what Jorge De La Rosa did last year. Morrow is likely to go too early in most drafts based on the amount of pre-season attention he's getting. While I think he'll be somewhat effective, he's really going to need to improve his control to become very good.