The Associated Press reports Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Brandon Morrow has been removed from the closer role. Relief pitcher David Aardsma will now lead a rotation of relievers who will finish games based on certain situations. Manager Don Wakamatsu said Morrow will pitch in middle relief for the time being.
Morrow had nailed down all six of his save chances before running into trouble Wednesday, May 13, against the Texas Rangers. He blew his second straight save Thursday, May 14, after giving up a two-run home run in the ninth.
In 8 1/3 innings this year Morrow has an ERA of 9.72 with 10 walks, nine strikeouts and three losses. He has also given up two home runs and owns a WHIP of 2.28.
With Morrow moving to middle-relief duties, relief pitchers Aardsma, Miguel Batista and Mark Lowe will work the late innings. Aardsma will likely receive the first shot at closing out games for Seattle.
Wakamatsu indicated that the team wants Morrow to pitch in middle relief in order to work on improving his command. Fantasy owners of the hard-throwing righty might want to think twice about dropping him in favor of relievers who will give you more save opportunities now. He could work his way back into a late-inning role, and there aren't any surefire setup men to take over.
Aardsma has been the best of the three with a 1.62 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. However, he has struggled with his control in the past and has only three career saves. Batista (3.06 ERA, 1.70 WHIP) has the most career saves of any of those being considered. Lowe has good stuff, but like Aardsma, he doesn't have great control. He hasn't been great this year with a 4.70 ERA.
Owners in desperate need of saves should immediately look to grab Aardsma off the waiver wire. Batista and Lowe might also vulture some saves and could be valuable in deep mixed or AL-only formats.
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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