A Paragraph With The Mariners – 76

I’ve taken a mostly Wait-&-See approach to the Brandon League/Morrow trade. The chance for downside is all over here. If Morrow turns himself into an Ace pitcher for the next decade, we lose hardcore. If he turns himself into just an adequate back-end of the rotation guy who eats innings and posts a .500 record, we still lose, but not as severely. However, if Morrow totally craps the bed, or suffers freak injuries, and is out of the major leagues in five years … then we still traded a bust prospect for a reliever. It’s not like we “win” in that scenario, because relievers are dimes per dozen. The only way we could have possibly won this deal is if League was the last piece to a championship puzzle … we’ve got EVERYTHING else, we just need a little more bullpen help to get the job done. Were that the case – and were League doing his job – then I’d be leading the parade in celebration of the League/Morrow trade. Here’s where things stand: On July 4th – LAST SUNDAY – League’s ERA was 2.93. This was the culmination of just a fantastic month of June where he went 12.1 innings and only gave up 1 run in 12 appearances. Hell, from May 31st through the aforementioned July 4th, he went 15.1 innings in 15 appearances with just that lone run given up; went and dropped his ERA from 4.23, to that aforementioned 2.93. That’s pretty good. Considering those bombs he dropped in May and April in blowing 3 saves and losing 5 other games, I thought he might have turned the corner in not only his season, but his career with the Mariners. Mind you, we got him from Toronto where his only full season netted him a 4.58 ERA in 67 games with 3 blown saves, 8 home runs allowed, and a 3-6 record. Well, here we are, it’s July 8th – FOUR DAYS LATER – and in two appearances since, where he recorded ONE OUT COMBINED, League’s ERA went from 2.93 to 3.95. Now, on the season, he’s blown 5 saves, allowed 6 home runs, and has a 5-6 record. Uhh, yeah. And it’s only been a half a season. Granted, he’s already been in 40 games, so the workload might be a bit much, but I’m here to tell you right now that Brandon League IS Bobby Ayala. Next time you see him on the mound, tell me that isn’t the second coming. Both have/had plus fastballs. Both have/had NASTY split-fingered fastballs that just dropped out of the planet. Neither knows/knew where the HELL their pitches will/would end up once the balls leave their hands. And both – in spite of the fact they have/had the tools to be dominant – somehow find/found ways to see their pitches just get CRUSHED. And, unfortunately, both are/were overused like a motherfucker because – again unfortunately – there isn’t/wasn’t anything better available in the bullpen. Someone tell Brandon League to develop a Frisbee Slider a la Jeff Nelson, otherwise he’s sure to go the way of Ayala’s bungled career while Brandon Morrow will surely be pitching in the All Star Game within two years.

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