Brandon Morrow Shut Down After Mound Session

Well, this isn’t good news. Joe Maddon told reporters prior to Saturday’s game that would-be closer Brandon Morrow has been shut down after not bouncing back well from a throwing session earlier in the week. Things had been going smoothly for the oft-injured righty as he worked back from offseason elbow surgery, but this is obviously a pretty significant setback.

The Cubs don’t have a public timetable for Morrow’s return, which probably should have come at some point in May. While that is still conceivable, it’s probably a long shot at the very best. And the team is going to keep the kid gloves on when handling Morrow, knowing that discretion is the better part of valor.

“Given his injury history in the past, I think we’ve tried to take it really slow with him,” Hoyer told 670 The Score earlier this week. “Our goal is to get him back, and once we get him back to know that he’ll be healthy and pitching for us for a while. So we probably have taken things on a pretty conservative route, and we’ll continue to do that.”


Evan Altman

Evan Altman is the EIC and co-founder of Cubs Insider and has proclaimed himself Central Indiana's foremost Cubs authority. He is a husband, father, homebrewer, and award-winning blogger with entirely too much pop culture knowledge. Evan's greatest accomplishments include scoring 400 points in Magic Johnson's Fast Break, naming all 10 members of the Wu-Tang Clan in under 3.5 seconds, and winning the Meese Literary Award at Hanover College.

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    1. A winter of Morrow, Darvish, Chatwood and Duensing has got us next to nothing on the field and then kept them from spending on better players.

        1. Every MLB team has a horrible record with free agents. My guess is that slightly more than half of MLB free agent contracts of the last 40 years have gone bad. Sure, there are many notable exceptions. But signing free agents is a bit worse than a 50-50 gamble. For every team.

          1. Exactly. The smaller contracts, 1-2 years, $80M are more like 20/80 (theo is at 33% for the cubs, and Lester isn’t grossly outperforming that contract by any measure), and now GM’s have the data to prove it, and owners aren’t willing reducing their profits for huge gambles, and to placate fans. Both parties are being greedy, but now, the owners are just being smarter, playing the odds, like any math game.

          2. I’m with you, Chris. I get disappointed with injuries and performance (lack of as it may be) as well, but especially when a team is trying to make “put us over the top for another W.S.” moves, some are going to be misses.

            We also have to be careful not to be too selective when looking at F.A. signings. Like Duensing may be worthless now, but in 2017 – right after they signed him, they got 62 innings of 2.74 ERA and almost a 4-1 strikeout to walk. I’d say they got their $7 million worth. Lester and Zobrist were higher level signings, and arguably worth every penny.

            Meanwhile Morrow was high-profile / high risk. Everyone knew his injury history, which is why he only got 2/$21 mil. They get one big playoff run and he’s worth it. Darvish was durable before he got here, and I’ll remain optimistic about his performance upside as long as he stays healthy again.

        2. If I’m Ricketts, I forbid Theo from anymore FA signings. He can only perform trades and drafting. All FA signings are handled by non-sabermetric folks. I get that FA signings only work out <50%, but Theo's signings have to hover around 10% success rate.

  1. Shocked a guy who has never been able to stay healthy has been hurt all the time after we signed him, especially after the Dodgers ran him into the ground pitching in nearly every game of the postseason. If Kimbrel is still around after the draft they need to sign him since the compensation will be gone and signing anyone big in the winter would cost them more international money being in the tax.

  2. Epstein’s read between the lines comments regarding maddon’s use of Morrow seem, in hindsight, to be overborne now. Morrow’s ability to stay healthy or rather, lack thereof, is strictly a front office decision shortcoming, not on Maddon. Since, I would imagine Morrows contract is guaranteed, we can’t cut him without taking the hit. So that’s dead money. And unless the FO is happy with Strop closing out games, then there’s a decision to be made. 1.) In house; bullpen by committee. Basically what we did last year with mixed results. Would’ve been better but the “silly string slinger” decided to go Chatwood and forgot how to throw strikes. That leaves a closing rotation of; Strop and Cishek, not sure if you trust anyone else. 2.) Call ups. Norwood and Maples have been on the radar for sometime now, call the kids up and see what they can do. Worse case, they get hit hard and you know what you have. That’s probably not going to happen on a contending team. 3.) Find a value add. Last year Chavez and Rosario were great finds that played higher than there salaries. This is the most likely scenario. I would imagine Epstein is going to go bargain shopping from waivers, low A trades or undervalued players due to injury concerns. One things for sure, the moneys off the table.

  3. I wonder if most of us were in Morrow’s situation if we’d do the right thing by simply retiring and quit stealing a paycheck?

    One has to wonder about Morrow’s moral compass right now.

  4. A bit telling about Hoyer’s confidence in this part of the quote, as he doesn’t say “pitching for us the rest of the year” or “the next 2 seasons”. It’s just for “a while”.

    “Our goal is to get him back, and once we get him back to know that he’ll be healthy and pitching for us for a while.”

    1. Realistically he’s pitched his last pitch for the Cubs, and maybe his career. It’s a cruel world that very few significant free agent signings (>$10M p year), since winter of 2015, has worked out. I guess Fowlers 2016 one year deal, and Zo’s 4 year deal, but can’t think of any others. Strictly speaking larger AVV free agents. $70M of good money, $400M of bad money. that’s rough.

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