Brandon Morrow out for the season after suffering a setback
The Chicago Cubs had quite the whirlwind on Wednesday at Wrigley Field. Although they defeated the San Francisco Giants 12-11 in a back-and-forth thriller, Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein announced that relief pitcher Brandon Morrow would be shut down for the season:
Theo confirms Brandon Morrow done for the year. Suffered a setback as he tried to work his way back.
Contreras doing well, has progressed to the point where he is now strengthening the hamstring. No specific timetable on his return though.
— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) August 21, 2019
Morrow has not pitched a single inning since July 15, 2018, and despite indications that he may be nearing a possible September return, this latest setback has made it clear that he simply is not ready to pitch.
The Cubs signed Morrow to a two-year, $21 million deal prior to the 2018 season in the hopes that Morrow could take over Wade Davis’ role as the closer in Chicago. Indeed, Morrow was superb in the first half, posting a 1.47 ERA and notching 22 saves prior to the All-Star break.
However, Morrow was continuing to suffer from a bicep ailment that had plagued him throughout the season. While the Cubs believed Morrow would return at the beginning of September, he hardly made progress in his throwing program, and was eventually shut down.
Morrow then underwent elbow surgery in November, and would already miss the start of the 2019 season. He resumed throwing at the end of May, but once again did not make tangible progress. After this latest setback, it seems unlikely that the Cubs will pick up the club option on his third season.
In speaking to reporters, Epstein explained that the overall lack of productivity form Morrow was his own fault:
"That's on me." Theo Epstein reflects on the high-risk Brandon Morrow deal that "burned" the Cubs: https://t.co/c6eQuECql9
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) August 22, 2019
Brandon Morrow does have a lengthy injury history dating back to when he was still making the transition as a converted starting pitcher in 2014.