San Diego Padres right handed pitcher Brandon Morrow is still recovering from August shoulder surgery and will likely start the season on the D.L. He has reportedly made progress but has yet to throw off a mound. Once he does Morrow needs to be stretched out slowly and then the team can determine what his future will be in 2016.
The often injured pitcher has great stuff but has failed to stay healthy for a full season. He made the Padres last season out of Spring and started off the season as the teams best and most consistent starting pitcher.
Morrow’s emergence forced Odrisamer Despaigne to the bullpen and gave the Friars another solid hard-throwing right handed pitcher in the rotation. Morrow battled well through the Spring and opened as the number five starter. He went 2-0 in the month of April in five starts and recorded a 2.73 ERA and a 1.091 WHIP.
It all went down hill from there as he never pitched again during the season for the Padres. A shoulder impingement forced him to ultimately go under the knife in August after a couple of failed comeback attempts to pitch through the pain. Morrow has seemed to always have issues in his career and this shoulder problem is the latest in a long line of injuries.
Once Morrow returns it is not clear what kind of role he will take on with the team. He has typically been used as a starter in recent years, but does have experience in the bullpen and has even recorded 16 saves in his nine-year career. He has an overall record of 44-43 in 113 starts and a career ERA of 4.22.
The right hander provides some more depth for the Padres and with a little luck he could be a key contributor. He has never lacked the stuff to pitch in the league it is just getting him out there on top of the hill that is the problem. It keeps being repeated about Morrow’s health but that is truly the issue with this young man. He has great stuff and knows how to pitch. That is a given.
Morrow is “not too terribly far off” from throwing in a Cactus League game, per Green. Almost certainly not ready for start of season.
— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) March 18, 2016
In December 2015 Morrow battled through a bout with Valley Fever and had pneumonia as well. He lost 17 lbs from the sickness and that had an effect on his rehab from shoulder surgery. Morrow signed with the Padres on a minor league deal, despite reports he could have gotten a major league deal with another team.
Andy Green and the Padres will take it slow with Morrow. There is no sense in rushing him back after injury. The starting rotation is in great shape right now as the team has James Shields, Tyson Ross, Andrew Cashner at the top. Brandon Maurer, Drew Pomeranz, Robbie Erlin, Colin Rea and Carlos Villanueva are competing for the final two spots. There is no need to make Morrow comeback a failed one, so the team will indeed take it nice and slow with him. Look for him to debut with the team somewhere around May or June and his arm will dictate in what capacity he pitches for the team.