Monday, February 21, 2011

Place Your Bets: The Two Brandons

Some of you may have caught the piece on Brandon Morrow over at Rotohardball.  In case you missed it, click here to take a look.  Great work by The Log's own man of mystery, Michael Barr.  Two thoughts on this:

1. The Enigma is a great nickname.  Love it.

2. Mr. Barr failed to mention a little wager we made at Log HQ a little over a year ago.  The bet: Brandon Morrow must throw at least 180 innings AND strike out 200 batters in a single season.  The term of the bet is 10 years.  So if Morrow can throw 180 IP and strikeout 200 just once over the next 9 seasons, I win a frosty adult beverage. 

Morrow's 2010 line: 146 IP, 178 K.  Close, but no cigar.  Or beer in this case.  If he stays relatively healthy he should hit the 180/200 mark in 2011.  Checkout his 2nd half line from 2010: 3.69 ERA, 46.1 IP, 37 H, 19 BB, 1.209 WHIP, 13 K/9.  Wow!

With all of this Morrow talk my mind can't help but wander to the Brandon the Mariners received in return for Morrow.  Brandon League regressed a bit in 2010, but overall had a solid campaign.  His numbers were closer to his career averages than his stellar 2009 season.

Brandon League:
2010: 3.91 FIP, 6.38 K/9, 74 IP, 1.19 WHIP
2009: 3.58 FIP, 9.16 K/9, 79 IP, 1.25 WHIP
Career: 4.19 FIP, 6.72 K/9, 1.30 WHIP
(FIP = Fielding Independent ERA)

Mariner fans can expect another heaping helping of League out of the pen this year.  With David Aardsma on the shelf for a while, League is a likely candidate to get early season save chances.  I have a sneaking suspicion the front office wants to see his star shine as brightly as possible in order to erase any doubts about trading Morrow for him.  If that means saves, and a bigger 2012 contract, so be it.

There is no reason League can't repeat his solid 2010 performance.  But I still have to wonder why, in a rebuilding year, you would ever trade a young starter with a high ceiling for a veteran bullpen arm.  Makes me wonder if Jack Zduriencik, Chuck Armstrong and the rest of the front office wanted to put the Tim Lincecum whining to bed by sending away the most obvious reminder (Morrow) of the team passing on the local phenom in the 2006 draft. 

Here's to a great 2011 campaign for both Brandon's.  I'll have my frosted mug ready in September.


Michael said...

I stand by my bet! I'll believe it when I see it!

Anonymous said...

Should be an easy bet for you to win, but the trade itself isn't as cut-and-dried as "which one would you rather have?".

The organization's mishandling of Morrow had him set up for failure, and the yo-yo nature of his, *ahem*, "development" made it such that I feel he could not succeed here.

Michael said...

Oh, the trade was miserable for sure.