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Photo Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

All Brandon Morrow Ever Needed Was to Stay Healthy

Look up and down the rosters of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros and you’ll find plenty of great players with great stories and big personalities, offering all kinds of reasons for a neutral fan to want to seem them lifting the Commissioner’s Trophy as World Series champs. The peerless Clayton Kershaw finally burying his unfair playoff reputation would be a beautiful thing to watch. So too would watching the incredible Jose Altuve ascend into superstardom before our very eyes—if he hasn’t done that already. Watching Yasiel Puig bound around victorious would be tremendous. Or seeing Justin Verlander finally winning the title that eluded him for 13 seasons in Detroit.

For the baseball hipster, though, I think there’s one name that stands above the others for his ability to produce vicarious joy: Brandon Morrow.

Hard to believe as it is, it’s now been 11 years since Seattle took the UC Berkeley hurler with the effortless velocity and classic pitcher’s frame with the fifth pick in the 2006 draft. It’s been so long that the player taken five spots later, with whom Morrow would be inextricably linked early on in his career, is all but already out of baseball. Tim Lincecum was the local kid, a long-haired University of Washington star the Mariners passed on and almost instantly regretted. Lincecum blasted through the minor leagues, making 24 starts for the Giants in 2007, the year after he was drafted, then won the first of back-to-back Cy Young awards in 2008.

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  • Chappy

    Not even the least bit surprised by this success. He was tailor made for the bullpen, he just refused to consider that option, he could have been an excellent closer from the beginning of his career like Osuna has, but he had to be a starter. Even after years of trying unsuccessfully, years of 80-90 pitch counts over 3 innings of work, he still said he was a starter, did not want to relieve. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that he could have been putting up similar numbers as he has had this year over the last 5-6 years or longer. Someone in blue jays management should have forced the issue, kind of like they should have forced Reyes to second base and avoided the whole Tulo mess.

    • LOL

      Edited to add: He averaged 6 innings per start in 2011, 5.9 innings per start in 2012. He had/has a starter’s repertoire, a starter’s size, was drafted to be a starter, was acquired by the Jays to be a starter, and could best provide the most value possible to his team by being a starter. Your take, it is bad.

  • dineley

    Man that 17 strikeout game was unreal, and Aaron Cibia had his big debut that weekend as well. Good for Morrow though, and nice to remember one of the few bright spots from the dark days.

  • dk3114

    I always hoped Morrow would find success, and I have cheered for him as a Dodger…But one reason to cheer against him in the world series: if the Astros down the Dodgers, they will have knocked out the top three mlb payrolls this season, in order no less.

  • breasteve

    2010-2013 starters weren’t good and Morrow’s injuries gets bundled together with Romero falling off a cliff, the multiple failures of experiment Drabek, and Hutchison and Alvarez frustrations.