The time has come for the real Brandon Morrow to stand up and rise to the occasion. It’s time to once-and-for-all scrap the “potential” tag and actually prove he can become an anchor of the Toronto Blue Jays‘ rotation. Upside is a dangerous game that can pull the wool over the eyes of many. 2014 is a make-or-break year; the free admission and complimentary benefit-of-the-doubt is at risk of being exposed.
The term “durability” is a foreign language to Morrow, who’s been a full-time fixture for this organization for the past four years. During that time, its been a constant back-and-forth struggle between inconsistencies and the disabled list, never topping the 180-inning mark over that span. Not to mention a total of only 31 starts over the last two seasons. Oblique strains, shoulder tightness, forearm flare-ups — hey, at least Morrow is among the league-leaders in some categories.
Some credit is definitely warranted here, though. The at-times overpowering right-hander can baffle even the most potent of lineups any time he takes the hill. The problem is you never know when that version will show up for work.
In 2012, many thought Morrow had finally joined the elite, posting a career best WHIP (1.15) and an all-time low H/9 (7.1) along with a monumental shaving of his ERA to a level of 2.96. Well, as George W. Bush once eloquently stated:
“There is an old saying in Tennessee, I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me, you can’t get fooled again”
What he said.
Old habits came back to haunt the Jays’ No. 2 starter last season, collapsing on his previous momentum. He had a total of 10 starts made, two arm injuries, a 5.63 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP. Blue Jay fans have never been more dependent on Morrow to round into form. With veteran question marks and a prospect time-gap in place, Morrow must transform into that “steal” Toronto thought it was getting in the 2009 Seattle swap.
2014 Prediction: Morrow won’t shake his injury-riddled past. A few dominant outings will be hard pressed to overshadow a city’s growing animosity. Never trust a pitcher who owns a career 4.33 ERA as a starter and coming off a HR/9 season of 2.0.
Translation: Epic Fail — George W. style.