With bullpen’s walk problem, Morrow a rare exception
His time in Boston provided Epstein the experience to look at all the signs of a possible “winner”. First of all, he already knew about Morrow’s injuries, therefore looked to the closer’s relief record in determining his value to the Cubs.
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Most importantly, Epstein wanted a pitcher who attacked the strike zone. As dominant as guys like Davis – or even setup man Pedro Strop – could be, they also had control problems. And working yourself into problems isn’t exactly an ideal characteristic in a shutdown reliever.
In his 2017 breakout campaign with Los Angeles, Morrow put up some eye-popping numbers as one of the Dodgers’ late-inning firemen. He had a 5.56:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his 45 appearances, pitching to a 1.55 FIP.
In 43 innings, he walked just nine hitters – and did not allow a single home run. The stuff was there – that much was abundantly clear before he ever set foot on the mound for the Cubs. His bulldog mentality shines through every time he takes the ball.
Here’s my best stuff – hit it.
Can’t help but love that type of gritty competitiveness in a closer. Especially a guy getting his first true shot at a ninth-inning role in his career.