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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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August 5, 2008 2:22 PM

Morrow sent to AAA

Posted by Geoff Baker

indians0718 019.jpg

You may have heard the news that Brandon Morrow has finally been optioned to Class AAA Tacoma, where he'll be groomed as a starting pitcher. I got the news 20 minutes ago, but have been driving home from the North Cascades and unable to update the blog until now.

Tacoma reliever Jared Wells will take his roster spot, for now. I don't expect that to last much longer than a few days until Ryan Rowland-Smith is ready to make a big league start. Rowland-Smith pitched the other night, so he doesn't have to be called up right away. This way, the M's have a few days to figure out whatthey'll do with the rotation and who moves to the bullpen. Is it R.A. Dickey? Or Miguel Batista? Or neither? Will they bounce Dickey and Rowland-Smith around between starting and relief? The team has to figure this out. If Batista can only get one or two of his pitches over consistently, then maybe he belongs in the bullpen to compensate for the loss of Morrow's hard-throwing arm.

Thing is, if you know you're going to bring up a starter in the next few days -- whether it's Rowland-Smith or Ryan Feierabend -- then the discussion about J.J. Putz being able to go back-to-back-to-back becomes moot. Chances of the team getting that many save opportunities in a row are slim. You might as well make the move and bite the bullet now. This way, you'll get Morrow back for a start or two before major league teams start filling their rosters with AAA players come September. Morrow striking those guys out as a starter won't mean much as far as evaluating him for next year. You want him facing major leaguers a bit in 2008.

Here's what interim GM Lee Pelekoudas had to say:

"We have long viewed Brandon as a starter,'' Pelekoudas said. "He pitched his way onto the team in 2007, giving us an opportunity to acclimate him to the Majors in a relief role and, at the start of this season, we thought his greatest value to the team in 2008 was in the bullpen.

"However, as our season progressed and it became obvious we were not going to reach the goals we had entering this year, we began internal discussions on the best time to convert Brandon back to a starting role. We believe that giving him time to stretch out in Tacoma and then, hopefully, make some starts for the big league club before spending the 2008 off-season preparing to come to camp as a starting pitcher for 2009 is the best route for his development.''

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Posted by BrianL

2:23 PM, Aug 05, 2008

I think I speak for most people here when I say...

FINALLY!

Morrow down, RRS to be up soon. Fantastic news.

Posted by Ben

2:28 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Next move: Batista gone Feierabend up
Next: Vidro gone - Wladamir up

Posted by Mike

2:28 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Now, on to Balentien and Diaz.....or is that just too much action for one day?

Posted by Gordie

2:30 PM, Aug 05, 2008

It's about damn time. Now when are Cairo and Vidro going to get cut?

Posted by M Dogg

2:36 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Next move: Batista gone Feierabend up
Next: Vidro gone - Wladamir up
ABSOLUTELY!
The sooner the better.

Posted by Troop 413

2:40 PM, Aug 05, 2008

WE WANT CONWAY, WE WANT CONWAY, WE WANT CONWAY...

Posted by scottM

2:44 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Now, with the good news on Morrow, can we give this José Guillén talk a breather?

Posted by God

2:45 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Send Conway to Troop 413, we've got a surprise for you.

Posted by Washington State Attorney General's Office

2:48 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Thank you scottM, all arrest warrants are suspended in lieu of the return of your sanity. Good luck in convincing the M's to dump the remaining dead wood.

Posted by scottM

2:49 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Top ten hotheads in MLB. It's kind of surprising who was omitted.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/pgStory?contentId=8415584&MSNHPHCP?GT1=39002#sport=MLB&photo=8415580

Posted by matt

2:49 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Finally.

What's the deal, though, with this move coming on the heels of Riggleman backtracking a bit yesterday on his "aggressive" assertion of a timetable for getting Morrow stretched out?

Now let's get Raul installed at DH, recall Wlad and some of the other youngsters who might be a part of the team's future. Oh, and also cut a couple guys who most definitely are not part of the team's future.

Posted by Guillenforcer

2:50 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Heard the news while I was running from the WSP in my white Ford Bronco!

Hopefully this is the first domino in a long line of them the next week......waiver action should start in earnest, and we may finally get a glimpse of where we are headed.

If this isn't the first domino, we should petition Bud Selig for reinstatement of Gorman Thomas, John Kruk, and the ghost of Ty Cobb to join Jose on the team next year!

Sergant at Arms
JOSE GUILLEN SOCIETY

Posted by Walla Walla Girl

2:51 PM, Aug 05, 2008

These pitching moves are good news.

Now let's get Diaz and Balentien up to see what they can do. Put Raul at DH. Bye bye Vidro and Cairo.

Do not delay. Do it now.

Posted by Washington State AMental Health Services

2:53 PM, Aug 05, 2008

ScottM -

That is borderline regression, doctors are standing by!

Posted by Washington State Mental Health Services

2:58 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Sanity from Walla Walla Girl.

A note to the WSP, keep the chase of that white Bronco and have straight jackets on hand.

Posted by Do it Already

2:58 PM, Aug 05, 2008

If Vidro is playing tonight im gonna shove a pop tart in my eye. Pelekoudas is already driving me crazy. He seems stubborn and just as unwilling to move players then Bavasi was.

Get rid of Vidro already and bring up Wlad. This is just crazy. Are they really going to wait until the rosters expand to bring him up. What a joke. Pelekoudas pull your head out of you @$$ and make the frickin move!!!

Posted by Guillenforcer

3:00 PM, Aug 05, 2008

'Pop tart in my eye'

Friggin funny!!!

Posted by Washington State Mental Health Services

3:03 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Lets hope that pop tart does not have any sharp edges, we would not wish to have to protect you from yourself.

Where is that white Bronco?

Posted by Patrick from Kent

3:05 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Feierabend needs to be the call up! He has been lights out in AAA. I really like RRS but what Feierabend has done as a starters shows me more now. I love the idea of a future rotation of:

1. King Felix
2. Morrow
3.Aumont
4. Feierabend
5. RRS!

You would probably want to split up the lefties at the end of the rotation, but that looks outstanding to me!

Posted by Frankie

3:06 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Well...this thought goes back to the last post:

I kinda find it pretty hilarious that the M's could be looking to get Jose Guillen (again). But what I find even funnier is the opinions of alot of the bloggers on here. Most of the comments I saw suggested that Guillen was not the answer. I would like those bloggers to go to the archives of this blog to April or May, when everyone believed that Jose Guillen WAS, in fact, what we needed.

Guillen loved it here in Seattle and, no matter how much confidence you did or did not have in him, he came here and he produced. 99 RBIs is nothing to look past. He also brought a fire to this team and now that he is gone, this team lacks any excitement whatsoever.

It seems that whatever the Mariners do regarding Jose Guillen is wrong to this blog. When they got him, nobody wanted him. When they were thinking about signing him, everyone wanted him gone, when they got rid of him, everyone wanted him back, and now the M's are pursuing him, and nobody wants him again.

I just find it a little funny.....

Posted by Capo

3:09 PM, Aug 05, 2008

To me, this just does not make sense.

Its going to be a lot more than "stretching him out", as Morrow has a good FB, a decent slider, and a "show me" change.

Aside from developing much better secondary pitches, which is essential for him to survive multiple passes through a MLB lineup.....he needs to seriously work on his control.....

Personally, I just see morrow as a closer or good setup guy that makes Putz expendable.

Posted by scottM

3:10 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Frankie For President

Again!!!

Posted by BrianL

3:11 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Capo - Good starting pitchers have far more value than closers. Let Morrow get his work in and see where it takes him.

Posted by Washington State Mental Health Services

3:11 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Alert

Frankie is a suspected member of the clinically insane Jose Guillen Society. Have the WSP apprehend him for observation. His argument of inconsistency holds no water boarding now.

Posted by BrianL

3:13 PM, Aug 05, 2008

KOMO 1000 has just reported that Jose Vidro has been designated for assignment.

Posted by scottM

3:14 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Hey, ad hominem,

Frankie lives in NYC. Don't be wasting our state's taxpayer dollars.

Posted by Washington State Mental Health Services

3:16 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Attention all Troopers the mad, mad world of scottM has lapsed, reissue all warrants and have him taken to Getmo Point for observation.

Posted by The Mariners FO.

3:17 PM, Aug 05, 2008

There you little cry babies we moved him to Tacoma, but don’t expect us to recall him. After all we are the FO. Right Howard?

Posted by getthefudgeouttahere

3:20 PM, Aug 05, 2008

finally, BYE BYE VIDRO

Posted by Washington State Attorney General's Office

3:20 PM, Aug 05, 2008

There is evidence that scottM and BrianL are one and the same. Innuendo affirms this conclusion, so that we are required to bring them up on charges of ad hominen self deception.

Posted by scottM

3:20 PM, Aug 05, 2008

brianL,

Do you have the credentials to back up what you heard?


Ten run innings, Morrow stretching out, Vidro DFA'd. What's going on here???

Posted by Vidro4gm

3:22 PM, Aug 05, 2008

[Posted by BrianL]

3:13 PM, Aug 05, 2008

KOMO 1000 has just reported that Jose Vidro has been designated for assignment.


IS THIS TRUE OR A CRUEL JOKE?

Posted by Seafarer

3:24 PM, Aug 05, 2008

The lilly pads are blossoming in the park and I told you about the swans that they live in the pond.

Bye Bye Vidro!

Soon so long Cairo...

Posted by Brett in Bonney Lake

3:30 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Balentien will be available tonight. Hooray!

Posted by The Mariners FO.

3:31 PM, Aug 05, 2008


Is there a good reason the Times never seems to get “the Scoop” on breaking stories?

Posted by Its about time

3:36 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Confirmed on the Mariner's website, Wlad up and Vidro gone.

Posted by Jimmy Olsen

3:37 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Wake Up Baker!!!

Posted by fortheloveofsexson

3:37 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Already wrote: "If Vidro is playing tonight im gonna shove a pop tart in my eye. Pelekoudas is already driving me crazy. He seems stubborn and just as unwilling to move players then Bavasi was."


First, this is really funny. Thanks.


Second, although Pelekoudas is not lighting things on fire, he is light years better than Bavasi who I think may go down as the worst GM in the history of baseball. So far, Pelekoudas has:

* Fired McLaren

* Sent RRS to Racoma to stretch out to start

* Jettisoned Big Suckson

* Sent Morrow to Tacoma to stretch our to start.


ALL obvious moves that Bill Bonehead Bavasi would not make. Plus, I think he wisely held on to players at the deadline, particularly Ibanez, promising draft picks rather than marginal prospects or average big leaguers. This is the way to build a lineup.


So, I'm not ready to give the job -- far from it. But, he is a VAST improvement

Posted by Bill

3:39 PM, Aug 05, 2008

And champagne falls from the heavens on the heads of weary Mariners fans.


Will Raul DH?

Posted by Guillenforcer

3:43 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Thank the allmighty baseball gods.....FINALLY!!

I'mm off to buy a case of frosty cold beverages, and some steak to celebrate (if the WSP doesn't get me first!)

I hope the rest of the dead weight takes notice and starts packing!

Posted by they did it

3:43 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Vidro is Dunzo!!! Their will be no shoving of any pop tart into my eyes tonight!! I hope I see Wlad jack a homerun and bounce off the hit it here cafe and hit Pelekoudas in the FACE!!!

POP TARTS ON ME TONIGHT FELLAS!!!

Posted by I'll take Cinnamon

3:48 PM, Aug 05, 2008

hooray!! A round of Pop Tarts coming our way!!!

Posted by scrapiron

3:49 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Good moves all around. Now let's hope Balentien plays every day in left field and Raul is the DH from now on.

Victor DIaz is also waiting by the phone. He'd love to DH too.

Posted by duh

3:49 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Vidro is actually hitting of late. Let's all hope he continues so we can trade him for something other than a cheeseburger...patience young jedis

Posted by xarmyguy78

3:50 PM, Aug 05, 2008

The tides have finally turned, VIDRO DFA'D today. Boy I am going to miss that guy he was such a good clubhouse presence (cough, cough, gag, gag)

So long Vidro

Posted by Ed G

3:52 PM, Aug 05, 2008

It's official, I just heard it on KJR.

WAIVERS ON VIDRO1

BALENTIEN RECALLED1

Posted by Batter Up!!!

Posted by I-Played-The-Game

3:58 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Mr. Morrow will need to be able to show AT LEAST THREE major league pitches to go with 1. Four Seam Fastball. 2. Two Seam Fastball.
His split finger pitch and slider HAVE TO find the strike zone consistently. Major League starters will hit him hard if he can not change speeds and pitches whether in front of behind in the count. See Felix on this...
If Brandon does not give the opposing hitters different looks, then it is back to the bullpen where two pitch pitchers pitch.

Posted by Adam

4:01 PM, Aug 05, 2008

You want him facing major leaguers a bit in 2008.


Why? There is no reason why Morrow has to face ML hitters again this year. Send him down, let him stay in Tacoma for the rest of the season.

Posted by scrapiron

4:04 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Wladimir Balentien has cut down on his at bats-to-strikeouts ratio every year in professional baseball. So I think saying he is not developing a better batting eye is unfair.

Balentien at bats per strikeout (minors)
2005 3.0
2006 3.1
2007 4.5
2008 4.7

Posted by Waz

4:08 PM, Aug 05, 2008

About time, I finally see good news today about M's./

M's sent Morrow to stretch out at Tacoma, that's good. so He should be doing fine. M's finally finally finally released Vidro! Balentein called up for M's. That's great and it makes me happier.

Next move is to release Cairo then get V. Diaz, Pretty please.

Posted by Capo

4:08 PM, Aug 05, 2008

"Capo - Good starting pitchers have far more value than closers. Let Morrow get his work in and see where it takes him."

I agree with this in principle....but considering the amount of work Morrow needs, and the fact he might get 3-4 starts at Tacoma....it just makes no sense at this point in the season to pull him out of the bullpen.....leave him there, let him lighten the load on JJ and spend the offseason making the conversion.

As I said, its a lot more than "stretching him out", he needs not only to build stamina, but he also needs to develop secondary pitches, or he's going to get torched the second time through the lineup.

Posted by Greenlake Chris

4:21 PM, Aug 05, 2008

I don't think it matters if Morrow gets up to the big club prior to September. We want him to get some starts at the major leauge level to prove he can throw 2+ pitches for strikes and go deep into games with plus stuff. If he does this against the Sacramento A's or the Texas Rangers is less of a concern.

Posted by khardy

4:22 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Geoff -

Now what's up with Riggleman's comments you posted on Morrow?

"I've been more aggressive talking about it than I probably should have,'' he said. "It might be soon, but it might not be as soon as I was alluding the other day.''

Why was Riggleman backtracking?

Posted by Capo

4:29 PM, Aug 05, 2008

4:21 PM, Aug 05, 2008

I don't think it matters if Morrow gets up to the big club prior to September. We want him to get some starts at the major leauge level to prove he can throw 2+ pitches for strikes and go deep into games with plus stuff. If he does this against the Sacramento A's or the Texas Rangers is less of a concern.

Except that the AAA schedule ends on Sept 1st.

Posted by Faceplant

5:37 PM, Aug 05, 2008

Morrow lacks the 3rd pitch and control to be a MLB starter. he walks guys sooo god damn often as a reliever, imagine that x9 as a starter! He would set a record whip!!!!!! He is a closer AND THAT IS THAT.

Posted by Jason

11:05 PM, Aug 05, 2008

morrow's control has been a lot better this year, only over 3/1 k/bb ratio and only 15 bb in 36 innings. still not fantastic but its quite a nice leap from year 1 to year 2.

Posted by dumb bloggers

11:30 PM, Aug 05, 2008

faceplant he's had 1 possibly 2 ibb so 13 walks in 36 innings about 3 per game with over 10k's per nine what the fuck are you talking about dumbass?? he'll be great

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