Padres Editorial: Ranking the Off-Season Moves Part I
By James Clark
The free agent acquisition of Brandon Morrow at one-year, $2.5 million dollars
This deal could be #1 on this list…at the end of the season. Morrow has that type of potential. In the same mold of the aforementioned Josh Johnson, Morrow has tremendous upside, but has struggled to remain healthy. The former #1 pick for the Seattle Mariners (2006), at times can be flat out dominant. Yet he has failed to throw over 179.1 innings in a season.
The flashes of dominance from Morrow are so stunning, that indeed the Padres took a chance on him. He lost all of last season due to a torn tendon sheath in his right hand. Before that it was an entrapped radial nerve in his right forearm in 2013. After dominating the first 2 1/2 months of the 2012 season, he strained an oblique muscle and missed the rest of the year.
Brandon Morrow‘s stuff is filthy. He has a hard four-seem fastball that sits between 92-97 mph, and has been clocked up to 100 mph before. Team that with the ability to throw three different off-speed pitches (curveball, slider, change-up) and you have a pitcher with ace-quality stuff. The injuries will always be against him, but you would have to think he is due for some good luck.
Another interesting thing about Morrow, is he could easily transition into the bullpen. His stuff is overpowering and (in my eyes) a move to closer or setup man, might be the key to keeping him healthy. With the Padres strength being their bullpen and rotation, I can easily see Brandon Morrow throwing out of the bullpen in 2015. A.J. Preller thinks out of the box, and if it means moving Joaquin Benoit for a starting shortstop…. then by all means.