The Chicago Cubs released Brandon Morrow on June 30, 2020. As baseball transactions went, it was easy to miss.
The season was on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Morrow had not thrown the field in a competitive game since July 2018, set aside by an injury rider who threatened to ruin his career.
Morrows’s next move was to remove baseball from his brain. He and his family moved out of their home in Scottsdale, away from the heat and into the mountains, so the 36-year-old pitcher could claim I was retired, to be a father. He set his chances of playing again at 50-50.
After a while, Dodgers baseball operations president Andrew Friedman reached out his hand through a text message.
I had an offer very, very early to return, Morrow said. So I rolled my eyes and started working around October 1st, really following it. Hope to pay.
Morrow is at the Dodgers spring training camp as a guest not off the list. He was in a similar spot four years ago, coming off a season shortened by injuries 2016 with Padres and trying to stay with the Dodgers as a relief pitcher.
Morrow started the regular 2017 season in Triple-A, but finished the season as the main pitcher for placing closer to Kenley Jansen. His fast ball touched 100 miles per hour regularly while no other Dodger facilitator reached three figures once again. Morrow appeared in 14 of the Dodgers 15 games after the season, including seventh in the World Series against the Houston Astros.
Suddenly a coveted free agent, Morrow signed a two-year, $ 21 million contract to be with the Chicago Cubs in December 2017. He made just 35 appearances in a Cubs uniform. An injury to his lower back, followed by inflammation of the biceps, then an elbow procedure took him on a two-year rehabilitation path.
Despite much uncertainty, Morrow hopes he can make another comeback.
I have not thrown a field in the major leagues as I mean, I really have not thrown a competitive field since July 2018, he said. I faced strikers in BP directly twice, but I always had the same closure pain the day after. It never worked. I am also interested in seeing what those numbers will look like once I start facing the hitter.
“For my eyes, for my feeling, everything is on the right track. If I will go back to throw 100 miles per hour, I do not know. I am four years older than I was at the time. We will see. So far I feel good.
Camelback Ranch is a logical place to be Morrow. He gained the trust of Dodgers manager Dave Roberts long ago, so his early bullfighting sessions were on Friday, his future is Monday are relatively low issues.
Definitely very familiar with it, what it can do in a great place, reliability, Roberts said. He is healthy. It was a great day for him, as far as I heard from the training room and Brandon himself.
Bullpen Dodgers is a mix of right and left, youth and experience. Jansen, Blake Treinen, Joe Kelly and Corey Knebel cannot be selected for minors. If all four are healthy, this narrows the path for another right-hander to join the mix. Roberts said it is too early to speculate on how many jobs for bulls can be obtained.
Unlike four years ago, Morrows’s contract with the Dodgers does not allow him to choose if he is not on the major league list by a pre-determined date. His chances of making the team are probably slimmer now, but he is ready for the challenge.
I’m open to anything that makes me go back to setting up clubs in major leagues, Morrow said.
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