The Padres really seem to like taking second and third chances on pitchers. Thursday they announced that Brandon Morrow had signed a minor league deal with the club with an invitation to Spring Training.
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Morrow last year made the fifth starter’s spot and was poised to be one of the most pleasant surprises of the season after coming back from injuries with Toronto. His first five starts were superb for the Padres as he pitched to a 2.73 ERA in 33 innings.
Unfortunately, the injury bug bit after that and what was hoped to be a quick return turned into the end of his season. He tried to come back two separate times with rehab assignments before finally shutting things down with August surgery on his right shoulder.
Another reclamation project the Padres signed is 33 year old left handed pitcher Phillip Humber. He pitched in Korea last year after last pitching in the major leagues in 2013. In 2012 with the White Sox, he threw a perfect game but was never able to sustain that level of pitching.
The previous two years of course the Padres had high hopes for Josh Johnson. He never actually pitched for the Padres at the major league level despite several comeback attempts.
The upside of course is important for San Diego, as filling out the rotation at least looks shaky after losing Ian Kennedy in free agency – though he does still remain unsigned himself. At this point they would be filling out the rotation with youngsters like Colin Rea after James Shields, Tyson Ross, and Andrew Cashner. If one of their gambles turns out even for a small amount of starts, it would seem to be worth it.
While many high profile starting pitchers have signed to record deals this off-season like Zack Greinke and Johnny Cueto, the trickle down of those moves has only raised the price of even mediocre starting pitchers for the Padres to bid on.