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June 10, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Mariners pitcher Brandon Morrow: “I think I can be a good starter”

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Just got done talking with Brandon Morrow, who confirmed what’s been known internally within the team for some time. He’s off to Class AAA Tacoma to work on becoming a starting pitcher again as soon as the Mariners can call up pitcher Roy Corcoran from his injury rehab assignment. Might happen this week.
“It’s going to be the long road this time,” he said. “Last year, it was the month in AAA and everybody knew I was coming back.”
Not this time. This time, there is no timetable. Morrow wants it that way. Wants to work on the mechanical changes he’s already sought to improve up here. He feels he’s been selling himself short. I asked him that very question, whether he felt he was cheating himself out of becoming the best he can be.
Click right here to hear his answer.
“Yeah, definitely, that was another thing,” he said. “I think it limits me in the bullpen and I definitely had the wrong mindset, I guess, when I was going out there early in the year. I wasn’t fully ready, I guess. Yeah, selling myself short. I think I can be a good starter. I think I have the pitches for it. I think I can mix my pitches well. I’ve been working on my location with all of them. I know I have the stamina to do it. I’ve always been able to keep my velocity and stuff late in the game, even when I didn’t havce great control. I mean, that’s always been my biggest problem.”
In the same clip, Morrow adds that his concerns about his diabetes were just something he used as an excuse to convince himself he was doing the right thing. He says now that he was never really certain.
“It was a hasty decision to go to the bullpen,” he said. “The short forearm tightness injury (in spring training). that kind of started the doubts in my mind.”
And when that happened, he reverted to the one thing he knew and felt comfortable doing — the bullpen. It was only later on, when he began struggling there, too, that he realized he may have made a mistake.
Now, he’s about to find out whether that’s the case. And whether starting is what he’s truly meant to do.
By the way, on Yuniesky Betancourt, he apparently went in — on his own — to see manager Don Wakamatsu today to talk about why he’d been benched the past four games. Wakamatsu laid it all out for him — the part about having to show up to play every day, about joining his teammates for workouts. Both men had plenty to say to each other.
Wakamatsu said he came away feeling Betancourt had a better understanding of what was expected of him.
Which begged the follow-up question I asked: What the heck was stopping Betancourt from getting this message the first two months of the season? After all, it’s been preached since the start of spring training four months ago.
“I think what some players are accustomed to might not fit into our coaching philosophy,” he said. “We have a lot of work to do. Obviously offensively and to maintain and continue to improve defensively. We’re at a point in the season where we have to maintain that and continue to improve. I think it’s more for the education more than anything. It’s not a defiant thing, or that we’re trying to ask more of any particular player. I think a lot of guys are working hard. It’s just our job to maintain the integrity of that.”



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