Morrow and the costly homers
Brandon Morrow started off the year on the right note with a dominating performance against the Indians. Since then, though, success has been much tougher to come by against American League East division rivals Boston and Tampa Bay.
The problem — as it often is with starting pitching — comes down to location. In the past two starts, Morrow’s fastball has crept up into the zone and he’s had difficulty getting his offspeed pitches over for strikes. The fastball location will come because he’s shown the ability to rectify that issue in the past but the offspeed pitches remain a work in progress.
One of Morrow’s top priorities in the spring was using his curveball and changeup on a more consistent basis. On Wednesday night, the effective changeup was there but the curveball wasn’t as effective and the inability to go to that pitch on a consistent basis allows teams like Tampa to sit on Morrow’s fastball-slider combination.
Morrow said after the game that he would take a look at some video to see if perhaps there was a mechanical problem that was causing issues with his fastball. If there is, it should be a relatively easy fix and that’s something the Blue Jays have to be hoping for as they need Morrow to establish himself as a bonafide No. 2 starter this season.
Here are today’s leftovers:
“At times he can get a little quick over the rubber and would start to leap towards the catcher rather than taking that turn and allowing things to catch up the timing of it wise … Sometimes it appears that when he tries to get some extra velocity that’s when he ends up getting a little more flat in the zone instead of maintaining that downhill plane.”
“Just locating pitches a little bit better, getting ahead of guys. That’s the main thing with anybody. Getting ahead of guys so you can use that secondary stuff. That might have been the issue.”
Trouble with off-speed? “Definitely. I was getting into some poor counts and then I threw a lot of fastballs down the middle. They found a lot of bats.