Conor Jackson retires from baseball at age 30

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Conor Jackson was the 19th overall pick in 2003, soared through the Diamondbacks’ farm system, and posted a promising .292/.371/.451 batting line in 414 major league games between the 2006 and 2008 seasons. But he came down with Valley Fever in early 2009, never completely recovered, and has now officially announced his retirement from baseball at the age of 31 according to MASN’s Roch Kubatko.

Jackson signed a minor league contract with the Orioles this spring but he failed to crack their Opening Day roster and was sporting a weak .200/.333/.240 slash line through 30 plate appearances at Triple-A Norfolk.

Jackson, who turns 31 years old next month, will finish up with 591 career major league hits.

Brandon Morrow shut down for the rest of the season

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Cubs closer Brandon Morrow has been out since the All-Star break with a bone bruise and biceps inflammation. In recent days there had been hope that he would be activated in the season’s final two weeks in order to be ready for the playoffs, but that’s not happening: Theo Epstein just said that Morrow is done for the season.

It’s not the first time good expectations for Morrow’s recovery were not met. When he was placed on the DL back in July manager Joe Maddon said he didn’t anticipate Morrow being on the DL for much more than the minimum 10 days. Two months later and here we are.

Morrow, 34, had an excellent season until the arm trouble started, saving 22 games with a 1.47 ERA and a 31/9 K/BB ratio in 30.2 innings. Once he went out the closer’s duties fell to Pedro Strop. Now Strop too is out for at least the rest of the regular season and likely more due to a hamstring strain he suffered last week while running the bases.

Bullpens become a lot more important in the postseason. The Cubs’ bullpen is becoming thinner.