Shoulder trouble plagued Brandon Morrow throughout the first half of the 2016 campaign, which he spent trying to stretch out as a starter at Triple-A El Paso. Upon being called up by San Diego in August, Morrow shifted to the bullpen, where he returned a tidy 1.69 ERA over 16 appearances. Interestingly enough, he struggled to miss bats, carrying an 11.8 percent K% (4.5 K/9) despite a 10.3 percent swinging-strike rate, and his low ERA was supported by an extremely high LOB% (93.8 percent). In terms of stuff, Morrow still has an intriguing arsenal, boasting a fastball, cutter, slider and changeup while showing velocity in line with his previous career levels. While the FIP (4.33) doesn't support the impressive results, the surprisingly low strikeout rate appears to be a fluke. Morrow's days as a starter may be over, but at age 32, he could still have enough left in the tank to emerge as a quality bullpen piece if the permanent role change allows him to shake the injury bug.
Morrow will not be kept on the Dodgers' 25-man roster to begin the season, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. Morrow was making a case for himself to make the Dodgers' bullpen to start the season with his 13:1 K:BB over 9.1 spring innings, but he ultimately came up short. The 32-year-old will head to the minors to start the season and work for a call-up.
Morrow gave up a run and struck out two in his 1.1 innings of work Thursday against the Rangers. The 32-year-old was signed to a minor league contract by the Dodgers this past offseason. The oft-injured pitcher declared that he would transition back to a reliever after missing the majority of the 2015 and 2016 seasons with shoulder issues. Now healthy, Morrow is making a case to earn one of the Dodgers' final bullpen spots out of camp with an 11:1 K:BB over 7.1 spring innings.
Morrow signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers on Wednesday, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports. The Dodgers signed Morrow to a non-roster deal, and the intent is to use him as a reliever. Morrow has dealt with a plethora of injuries, so a role as a reliever should help take some stress off his arm. Although he is not on the 40-man roster, he figures to have a good chance at ultimately making the major league squad.
Morrow has been reinstated from the paternity list, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reports. As expected, Morrow will rejoin the team Monday after spending the weekend with his wife and newborn child. The Padres will send Buddy Baumann, who came up to temporarily fill Morrow's roster spot, back to Triple-A El Paso.
The Padres placed Morrow on the paternity list Friday. Morrow and his wife are expecting their first child, so he will take a few days off to be with his growing family. Buddy Baumann was called up from Triple-A El Paso to take Morrow's place on the roster.
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