Shut Down Brandon Morrow?

Shut Down Jays Brandon Morrow?

Pitch count appears to the be the topic of the year at mopupduty.com . At what point do the Jays look at Brandon Morrow’s pitch count and decide to shut him down?

Jumping In

In 2008 (64.2) & 2009 (69.2 IP) Brandon Morrow threw a combined 2370 pitches. As of August 24th Brandon has thrown 2354. And Morrow hasn’t just been playing country hard ball this season

According to the pitch f/x data that Fan Graphs collects, his overall fastball percentage is down from a historical rates of 70% (2008 & 2009) to 58.5%. Previous fastballs are now curves and change-ups.

Jays-Morrow-Pitch-Type.png

I originally assumed that a good portion of his pitches came earlier in the season. I like to think this is logical, as Morrow’s ERA of 6.66 & BABIP of .390 in starts 1-10 are much higher than in starts 11-22 (3.03 ERA, .304 BABIP).

Back on July 23rd I wrote an article that calculated the total number of pitches required for each out. As of July 23rd he averaged 5.7 pitches per out.

Since that time Brandon has averaged… 5.7 pitches per out (91 outs over 519 pitches, including 46 K over 30.1 IP in 5 starts)

The fact remains that Shaun Marcum has pitched 151 innings (roughly 15 more than Brandon), yet he’s only throw 2356 pitches.

What I’m driving at here is Morrow’s seemingly pedestrian 137.1 IP is in actuality closer to 150+ for the average pitcher in terms of pitches thrown.

If he tosses 17 pitches and 2.0 IP this weekend he will have doubled previous highs.

At what point do the Jays pull the trigger (if at all) and sit Morrow down for the rest of the season?

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has written for mopupduty.com since 2006. Follow Matthias on Twitter, Facebook and Google +

  • Ian

    You left out the fact that over 2008 and 2009 he threw 85innings in the minor leagues as well. His actual 2009 inning total was about 124. Also, careful is all well and good but the Jays got to know whether these pitchers can take a major league work load. They probably need to get him to 160-170 innings at least if he is going to be stretched to the 200+ inning mark next season.

  • Clear omission on my part.

    I was originally going to include pitch count data but I couldn’t find any for milb action.

    Morrow threw about 124 IP combined last season, although I imagine his pitches per IP were lower due to flying through 55 milb innings.

    I’d be wary about letting Morrow touch 160 – 170 IP. With his pitches per AB that would work out to 180 – 190 IP, which is still a heavy increase in terms of %.

    I don’t know why but for some reason Rich Harden and his arm troubles scream out as a comp.

  • Update:

    The Jays will shut down Morrow after his September 3rd start.