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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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March 25, 2008 3:27 PM

Sights and Sounds: Morrow "shelled''

Posted by Geoff Baker

The "shelled'' part was Brandon Morrow's description, not mine. He pitched in a Class AAA game against Texas this afternoon and it wasn't pretty. Morrow gave up five runs on four hits, including a three-run homer and an RBI triple. Also issued two walks. All in just a third of an inning. He managed a strikeout, his only batter retired on a frustrating day. The M's pulled him with a runner on third and the inning wasn't continued (that's the way these minor league games work down here).

My take? Morrow obviously struggled with his location. He said the mound height made it difficult to spot his pitches early. They were coming in too low. Morrow said he felt fine, but obviously was not happy with the results. I'm not all that surprised, given that he's barely faced live hitters the past two weeks. That said, I'm concerned about the state of this bullpen heading into the first week of the season. Morrow does not look ready to get big-league hitters out. You need control to do that. Control was an issue for him for much of last season. He needs work. As of right now, he's got a few days before the season starts. I think he'll be on the opening day roster. But this is a work in-progress. I think you can assume a 12-man pitching staff to start the year.

Anyhow, our video today is of every pitch of Morrow's outing. You'll see his two opening walks, sandwiched around a stolen base, then an RBI single. After that, the home run, a single and then a triple. Bronson Sardinha nearly killed himself leaping at the wall for the triple. He's OK. But Morrow got whacked. No doubt about it.

Thanks for all the great responses to this morning's post. I'll post some thoughts on it a bit later. Forget about Reed Johnson for now. As predicted, he was snatched up very quickly. A $1.3-million deal with the Chicago Cubs.

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