Brandon Morrow threw from the mound Sunday afternoon in DC, the first time he’s done so in any capacity since August 18 in Pittsburgh. Thing is, the Tribune’s Mark Gonzales reported that the session was “much less intense” than initially planned and that the Cubs described it as “touch-and-feel.”
That’s all well and good when we’re talking about children’s books, but I don’t like like the sniff I’m getting when I scratch on this one a little bit. Beyond the understanding that he threw 25 pitches, we don’t really know anything about how Morrow looked or felt. Granted, a lot of that is due to the circumstances of Sunday’s washed-out game.
What’s concerning is that Morrow apparently wasn’t willing or able to cut it loose, which is a problem at this point in the season. He admitted last week that pitching this year would be a matter of managing the pain and that he didn’t yet know what would happen when he went reached back for those big fastballs.
The hope had been that Morrow could log a couple bullpen sessions and a simulated game, after which he might be able to return to the bullpen in some capacity by mid-month. But the lingering pain and inability to pitch with maximum effort casts serious doubt on that timeline. It also means he’s not Deadpool.
With the Cubs back in Chicago to face Milwaukee, we should learn more about Morrow’s prognosis during Monday’s media availability. Maybe things are better than the brief descriptions we have make them sound, but don’t hold your breath.