Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos informed the media Sunday that 26-year-old right-hander Brandon Morrow will be shut down for the rest of the 2010 season due to a high innings total. He will make one more start, Friday at Yankee Stadium.
The Jays, 11 games out of the hunt for the American League East crown, are more concerned with their young starter’s right arm than winning baseball games at the moment, and rightly so.
Morrow has turned in a solid 10-6 record, a 4.27 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP over 25 starts this season. He has tallied 174 strikeouts in 143.1 total innings and came within one out of a no-hitter during a 17-strikeout performance on August 8 against the first-place Rays.
On a normal schedule, Morrow would have undoubtedly reached the 200-strikeout plateau, but it’s far more important that he is a healthy and reliable contributor in the Toronto rotation for the next several seasons. Not just this season.
It’s never easy to go the distance in the AL East, but there’s a lot to like about a rotation headed by Morrow, Shaun Marcum, Ricky Romero and Brett Cecil. That’s what the Jays will bring to the table in 2011.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.
They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.
As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.
Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.
The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.
Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.
The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.
In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: