What to Expect from Brandon Morrow Tonight


As you all know, if we actually play tonight, Brandon Morrow will be getting the start against Kevin Millwood and the Texas Rangers. With all of the praise Morrow has been getting since heading down to Tacoma, it’s going to be really easy for a lot of people to have hopes, that frankly, are much too high, heading into tonight’s game.

Now, I don’t want to take anything away from what he’s been doing in Triple A – he’s posted an FIP in the mid 3’s, brought down the walks, and kept opposing hitters in the ballpark. But we need to remember, he’s facing the Rangers, in Texas. Anyone remember what happened the last time he faced the Rangers in Texas? If you don’t, never mind, because I don’t want to talk about it. I have no doubt that he’s improved since than though – the one thing we’ve consistently been hearing lately, is that he’s using his off speed stuff more often, and he’s being more efficient with his pitches. That’s fantastic, and it’s most certainly a big step towards him becoming a better pitcher, but he’s far from finished.

From what I’ve heard, since heading to Tacoma, the off speed pitch he’s been going to the most is his change up. That’s fine, but he’s going to need to be comfortable with more pitches than just his change and his fastball. He showed last year that he has a fantastic curve ball, and he’s going to need to either bring that pitch back and get comfortable with it, or start using his slider more often. You need some sort of an effective breaking ball if you want to fool major league hitters. So that’s something I’ll be looking for in tonight’s game.

The other thing I, and everyone else, should be looking for, is whether or not he’s throwing strikes. It’s no secret that a lack of command has always been his biggest problem, and in my eyes, if he hasn’t significantly improved it in Tacoma, his time down there has been a waste. I’d like to believe that he wouldn’t be getting called back up if his command wasn’t significantly better, though, so I expect to see strikes.

Do I think there’s any chance of him absolutely dominating this Texas lineup? Not really, no. But, I’d like to at least see him hold his own out there, and keep the long balls to a minimum.

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