Brandon Morrow has already been ruled out for the rest of the season due to a entrapped radial nerve in his right forearm, but there’s still a chance that he’ll require surgery.
Morrow hasn’t pitched for the Blue Jays since May 28 due to the injury and was advised last month to shut things down for six weeks. He’s halfway through that timetable right now and tells Evan Peaslee of MLB.com that a determination on surgery will be made after he resumes throwing.
“To test it, I need to be off the mound throwing bullpens at 100 percent effort level,” Morrow said. “I can’t go through and baby it. I need to know if it’s going to be good or not.”
If deemed necessary, surgery would take place in October and carries an estimated recovery time of three months. This would give Morrow a chance to be ready for spring training.
After posting a 2.96 ERA over 21 starts last season, Morrow struggled to the tune of a 5.63 ERA in 10 starts this year. He has never thrown more than 179 1/3 innings in a season. The 29-year-old is owed $8 million next season while his contract includes $10 million club option or $1 million buyout for 2015.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.