"Pitching has got to be the foundation in the organization. Everybody wants a good pitcher. The more pitchers we have, the stronger our organization will be."
- Dayton Moore, Kansas City Royals General Manager

Friday, October 12, 2007

2008 Seattle Mariners Organizational Depth Report

1. felix hernandez, RHSP
2. brandon morrow, RHRP
3. kam mickolio, RHRP - april 2008
4. chris tillman, RHSP - 2009
5. eric o'flaherty, LHRP
6. nathan adcock, RHSP - late 2009
7. robert rohrbaugh, LHSP - 2008
8. kyle parker, RHSP - late 2009
9. roman martinez, RHRP - 2009
10.nicholas hill, LHRP - 2011

felix hernandez is still a stud. give him time to grow into his role, and just realize that he is doing what he is at a time when most of us would be juniors in college. enjoy him while you have him, because in 4 years, he'll be in pinstripes.

i don't much like the way that seattle is handling chris tillman. i don't think he should have thrown as many innings as he did, and i don't think he should have thrown those innings at the level he did. but considering the relative success of adam jones, brandon morrow, and wladimir balentien, maybe i could learn something from bavasi and company. then again, there is a case to be made against this manner of promotion, which is typified by asdrubal cabrera, so maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle. maybe they've just learned their lessons from the ryan anderson years, and decided to push their pitchers fast, so that even if said pitchers break down, the organization would have gotten some use out of them

mickolio is 6'9", and pitches as such. he gets a lot of sink on his fastball, and should be a successful middle reliever for the next 6 years.

roman martinez is a reliever in the seattle mold. i like him, but i don't see a clear path for him to advance to the majors, so he might just be trade fodder.

Spotlight: Brandon Morrow

morrow's got a fastball that gets easily into the high 90s. it sits in the 94-96 range, but it's mostly straight, and if you can catch up to it, it'll go a mile, as sean casey can attest (7th inning, 7-13-2007). his curve sits in the mid 80s and has a decent late break. i get a pretty strong feeling that he's overthrowing it, though. his changeup also comes in at 84-87 MPH, and is apparently refered to as a splitter by baseball america and the mariner's announcing crew.

the big question for morrow going into next season is whether he will start or relieve?

based on what i've seen of morrow throughout the 2007 season, i can honestly say i have no idea whether he would be a successful starter. his fastball is nice, but is relatively straight, his curve is average, and his splitter is a nice out pitch, but i don't think it can be relied upon 12-15 times per game, as would be necessary if morrow is converted to a starter.

there are two comparable pitchers that i've looked at already, whose situations were parallel to what morrow is facing going into '08. those pitchers are brandon mccarthy and mike pelfrey (convenient, huh?).

mccarthy started out his major league career in the bullpen for the sox 2005 world series winning team. his profile was as a fireballing righty with a good curve. he was moved into the rotation in 2006 and then traded to texas for john danks and nick masset in 2007. when i watched him pitch this year, his high 90s 4 seamer from october 2005 had turned into a 90-92 MPH 2 seamer. this relates to morrow because, as mccarthy found out in 2006 after being converted to starter, you can't expect your high 90s heat to work if you can't maintain the velocity or location into the 5th, 6th, or 7th innings.

mike pelfrey is a name i bring up because, at the time he was drafted, he was said to have a plus-plus fastball and a plus curve. i don't believe that report is entirely dissimilar to morrow's scouting report out of college and through his first year and a half in pro ball. as it turned out for pelfrey, his curve was inadequate at the professional level, and this past year, he scrapped it altogether, opting instead to throw a slider.

this is as good a case as i can make against morrow moving into the rotation. i'd be interested in hearing a counter argument in favor of changing morrow's role, inserting him into the rotation.


Paul5418 said...

Couple of things:

1) Morrow throws a slider not a curve.
3) Where's RRS?
2) If your basing this on upside where are Bulter and Aumont? Even with an off year (he looked pretty good in his last few starts) he would rank behind tillman and DEFINITELY ahead of Adcock and Rohrbaugh as SP. And Aumont's pitched pretty well for Team Canada.
3)Why are Kam Mickolio and Eric O'flaherty so high on this list for relievers? Even considering relievers, a healthy Mark Lowe is superior to both.
4) Juan Carlos Ramirez has better stuff 5-10.
5) Rohrbaugh is a soft-tossing leftly who has no chance of breaking camp with the Mariners, and has Baek and RRS ahead of him.
6) While Hill dominated Rookie ball, he was a college player and should be nowhere on this list.

Anonymous said...

Ramirez should be right behind Tillman. He's nasty.