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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

June 9, 2009 at 8:59 PM

Brandon Morrow getting stretched out tonight was no fluke

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We see the Mariners, tonight, trudging off the field after a 3-1 loss. Down in the clubhouse, folks shrugged as they tried to come up with an explanation. Same old stuff.
For me, the most interesting development was seeing Brandon Morrow throw 33 pitches over 2 1/3 innings. Why did he do it?
“Our intent was to let him stretch that out,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said.
Why would the team want to stretch out its future closer, who is working his way back to a ninth-inning role? Well, because he won’t be the closer-in-waiting much longer.
Multiple team sources have indicated that Morrow is going to try to become a starter again. As I mentioned to you earlier today, the team has a roster move it wants to make and sending Morrow to Class AAA to work on starting again is that move.
He’s on-board with it and so is the team. And why not? The emergence of David Aardsma, Mark Lowe and the grooming in the minors of Phillippe Aumont and Josh Fields gives the Mariners several potential closers — some here now and the rest possibly in Seattle by next season.
This move to send Morrow down would have already been made had the team not run into problems with its catching last weekend and had to bring up Jamie Burke and DFA Denny Stark. In other words, another bullpen arm was needed here and that meant Morrow stays short-term. Instead, the plan is now to wait until Roy Corcoran gets here and then ship Morrow down at the same time. Thing is, Corcoran has to make one more rehab outing on Thursday. Initially, the plan was to have him back with the team on that day.
Now, it might take until the Colorado series.
Once that happens, Morrow will go down. The team wants him stretched out and potentially ready to go as a starter should it start trading away veteran pitchers come July. That part is still up in the air. The team has yet to fall out of the race, though it will if players keep hitting this poorly.
There is no timetable on Morrow. He’ll have to earn his way back to the majors. But that’s the plan.

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