Posted tagged ‘Brandon Morrow’

The Toronto Blue Jays Historic Weekend

August 8, 2010

You might not have noticed, but the Toronto Blue Jays achieved two incredible feats during Saturday and Sunday’s games against the Tampa Bay Rays. On Saturday, the Blue Jays bashed 8 home runs, including two from J.P. Arencibia in his first major league game. It was only the twentieth time in major league history that a team has hit at least 8 home runs in a single game. As if that wasn’t enough, Brandon Morrow had, arguably, the best performance by a major league pitcher this year earlier today by throwing a complete game, one hitter (which came with two outs in the ninth when a grounder deflected off the glove of Aaron Hill that seemed a little out of reach), with two walks and seventeen strikeouts. Incredible. That is in Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson territory.

This is an example of one of many reasons why baseball is an incredible game.

The Potential of Brandon Morrow

June 1, 2010

I am watching tonight’s Rays and Blue Jays game and Brandon Morrow pitched a no-hitter through 5 2/3 innings and has been dominant for 7 full innings. I saw some of his stuff and thought to myself, “this kid has some serious potential.” He was constantly able to keep Rays batters off-balance and it looked like he threw a good amount of first pitch strikes. However, he was constantly working deep into counts and it seemed like he made it much more difficult on himself than it could of been. However, there were some hitters that he absolutely dominated. Not necessarily by striking them out but by changing speeds and keeping them off-balance.

When looking at Morrow’s 2010 season so far, we can tell that he has trouble with control because he walks 5.76 batters per 9 innings and throws first pitch strikes 54.8% of the time and the league average is around 58%. However, there are some numbers that show that the future could be very bright for Morrow and the worst might be behind him. Despite his ERA being 6.66, his FIP is just under 4. So this tells us that he has been a bit unfortunate on batted balls this year. When I looked at his batted ball data, this was true. He is giving up line drives at a very high rate (24.2%), has a LOB% of 63.4% when his career average is 10 points higher than that, and has an astronomically high BABIP of .387. His xBABIP is .324 which basically tells us that the large amount of line drives is probably due to his high BABIP. ZIPS projects him to have a BABIP of .304 the rest of the season so his numbers should become a lot better fairly soon.

One thing that is a huge concern for Morrow, and always has been, is his habit of allowing free passes. For his career, he is averaging 5.81 BB/9 but he is averaging 9.78 K/9. So we know that he must have good stuff, but he probably does not do a good job of controlling it. So lets look at his pitch/fx data.

Morrow has a fastball, splitter, change, curve, and a slider. His slider is outstanding in my opinion because it generates a whiff% of 29.4% and it is only put in play 13.2% of the time. His curveball is another excellent pitch because he gets a swing and a miss 17.2% of the time and it is only put in play 11.5% of the time. The league average whiff rates for the slider and curve are 13% and 11% respectively. Also, Morrow is throwing those pitches for strikes more so than any of his other pitches. He throws his slider 15% of the time and the strike% is 73.5%. He throws his curveball 13% of the time (which is up considerably from last year) and throws it for a strike 63% of the time. He has a nice mid-90’s fastball that runs in to right handers and away from lefties. It looks like his fastball is a little above average but his change and splitter need a lot of work, which is probably why he doesn’t throw them often (9% and 5.5% respectively).

I can see Morrow being successful in the future. His curve and slider look like they are dominant pitches and his fastball can be dominant at times. He needs to develop the splitter and the change in order to keep hitters more off-balance. The splitter might help Morrow to get more ground balls because it has a lot of downward movement. Morrow is only 25 years old and looks like hes got three solid pitches. He needs to cut down on his walk rates and concentrate on throwing more strikes so that he can work on his change and splitter while hes ahead in the count. If he can do that, hes going to be a solid pitcher and its going to make Jays fans happy.

Clearing the Bases: Seattle Mariners

November 28, 2009

2010 Seattle Mariners:


With a new front office led by general manager Jack Zduriencik the 2009 Seattle Mariners made one of the quickest turns into a winning, defensive oriented team we have seen in recent memory. With spectacular defense lead by Franklin Gutierrez, Jack Wilson, and perhaps the best pitcher in the game today Felix Hernandez, the Mariners seem well on their way to competing. The challenge of course for Seattle is to take the next step in a division that has the always competitive LAA Angels and the young and talented Texas Rangers. We will take a look at a few moves that would keep the Seattle Payroll fairly static going forward and push them into the driver’s seat in the AL West.

Moves:
* Sign the best arm on the free agent market. This may seem like a no brainer and well it is. John Lackey has spent his career on the west coast, the Seattle Mariners have money to spend and a need for a #2 behind Hernandez. Although his perforamce has been better then AJ Burnett over his career, starting his season in May the last 2 years gives some cause for concern. Sign John Lackey 5 year/$90 million.

* Rumors about the Athletics not tendering Jack Cust a contract gives the Mariners an opportunity to find a discount DH that adds power to an otherwise powerless offense. Sign Jack Cust 1 year/$4-5 million.

* Signing 1B off a career year may not seem like the best move, but unless the Mariners want to increase payroll more then needed and put their faith in the oft hurt guys like Delgado or Nick Johnson on the FA market, re-signing Russell Branyan seems like a safe bet. Re-sign Russell Branyan 2 year/$10 million.

* Boston has an aging 3B with one year left on a big contract. The Red Sox also seem very willing to trade Mike Lowell for nothing in return and eat a good deal of his salary. With Adrian Beltre likely on his way out, Lowell would fit in nicely as 1 year player. Trade for Mike Lowell and take on $4 million.


* Although the rumors of Curtis Grandersons movement have subsided for the time being a move to Seattle still seems logical here. An average to above average CF, Granderson would slide into an OF with Ichiro in RF and Gutierrez in CF. A defensive juggernaut would be born. Although no real rumors of propsed trades have been leaked all over, a deal involving Seattle OF prospect Michael Saunders who hit .310/.378/.544 at Triple A Tacoma in 2009 before struggling in very brief appearances in the major league level, SS Carlos Triunfel who had a rough year at the plate but has been a highly touted prospect very early in his career seems like a deal that could work. The Mariners may have to include another player, perhaps one of their many hard throwing bullpen arms, but a deal here seems like it could get done. Trade for Curtis Granderson $5.5 million in ’10.

Those 5 moves would leave the Mariners with the Following Lineup and rotation:

(Slash Lines and UZR are projections from baseballprojection.com and beyondtheboxscore.com, Links found below)

C – Adam Moore                    .248/.304/.379
1B – Russell Branyan           .247/.338/.503 +0
2B – Jose Lopez                     .280/.311/.466 -1
3B – Mike Lowell                  .268/.324/.433 +1
SS – Jack Wilson                   .257/.301/.362 +6
LF – Curtis Granderson     .267/.344/.469 +2 (as a CF)
CF – Franklin Gutierrez     .268/.325/.418 +16
RF – Ichiro Suzuki               .305/.338/.400 +7
DH – Jack Cust                       .231/.366/.430

SP – Felix Hernandez
SP – John Lackey
SP – Ian Snell
SP – Ryan Rowland-Smith
SP – Fister, Morrow*, Olson

CL – Aardsma

Bench – Bill Hall, Ken Griffey Jr., Jack Hannahan, Tuiasosopo, FA backup catcher

Bullpen – Lowe, Batista, White, Kelly, Morrow*.

Notes:

*This would leave Seattle with a payroll at just below the 2009 figure of $98,904,166.

*Brandon Morrow should be given another shot in the rotation, however if he fails being placed back in the bullpen where has had success seems logical.

*Granderson/Gutierrez have horrible splits, Granderson unable to hit LHP and Gutierrez unable to hit RHP. Having them in the same OF, provides spectacular defense, but also for Seattle to fluctuate their lineup based on the opposing SP.

*Milwaukee is paying $7+ million of Bill Halls remaining contract in 2010, in case you were attempting to compute the payroll

*Jack Cust not being tendered a contract by Oakland is not currently a fact but an idea that has been expressed in many places.

*Ichiro has only once come within .17 points of putting up the projected OBP, it is unlikely his OBP drops .48 points from ’09-’10

*Projections for pitchers are not currently available, when they are this article will be updated.

*This lineup projects to a .263/.328/.429 line in 2010 with increases Seattle’s production across the board the 2009 line of .258/.314/.402.

UZR Projections

Baseball Porjection

Pitchers Nick Swisher has outpitched in 2009

July 17, 2009

…According to RSAR done by SG at RLYW

Kerry Wood

Luis Vizcaino

Jamie Walker

Troy Percival

Scot Shields

BJ Ryan

Phillip Humber (Bill Smith, when Omar Minaya out classes you on a trade…)

Brandon Morrow

Damaso Marte

And of course, the wonderful Sir  Sidney Ponson