Jeff's note on Morrow: It looked like something was up when Morrow started getting warm in the seventh inning last night; that Morrow was preparing for eighth inning work suggested that JJ had been reinstated as the closer, and sure enough, with JJ back handling the ninth, today the organization was able to come through and make the move for which we've been waiting since the draft. Good on them, even if it is ages late. Between this and the RRS "demotion", the Mariners are finally starting to look like they give a damn about the future. And I like when my favorite team gives a damn about the future.
I don't know what lies ahead for Morrow, but it's exciting to have a pitching prospect in the upper minors who has a high ceiling. It's been a while. It's also exciting to know that this move makes it that much more likely that Jarrod Washburn's pitching somewhere else in 2009. Late decisions aren't great decisions, but they can often be good ones, and if this organization actually manages to salvage something out of this death portal of a season, then more power to them. I wasn't expecting them to.
Brandon Morrow's been optioned to the minors. Confirmed by KOMO 1000, 14:12. And now on the official site. Jared Wells, who we received from the Padres from Baek, will take his spot on the roster.
Morrow's going to be stretched out as a starter in Tacoma, meaning that his long-awaited transition to a major league starting pitcher is beginning. This team does some stupid things sometimes, but at least they're recognising that leaving Morrow as a reliever would be a mistake.
As a starter, I really don't have much faith in him right now. We'll have to see how his velocity holds up in the rotation as compared to coming out of the pen, and whether he can improve his command of his non-fastball pitches. But this can only be good for his development. Thanks, Mariners.
Also I guess this means JJ's our closer again.
Unrelated Update: KOMO reporting (15:11) that Jose Vidro's fat ass has been designated for assignment. About bloody time. Replacing him on the roster is one Wladimir Balentien (confirmed on official site).