Don't Give Up On Young Power Pitchers
R.A. Dickey of the Mets and Brandon Morrow of the Blue Jays are a combined 17-5 this year with a 2.58 ERA. They both happen to be former Mariners, and one of them should still be a Mariner.
Morrow was a first-round draft pick of the Mariners (No. 5 overall) in 2006 out of the University of California. They traded him after the 2009 season, when he was 25, for Johermyn Chavez and Brandon League. Um, bad trade.
In three seasons with the Mariners, pitching mostly in relief, Morrow had a 3.96 ERA and 204 strikeouts in 198 innings.
Dickey is not a power pitcher; he’s a knuckleballer who pitched one year for Seattle, going 5-8 with a 5.21 ERA in 2008. The Mariners released him, he spent one mediocre season with Minnesota, was released again, and got picked up by the Mets. In the 2 1/2 seasons since then, Dickey has gone 28-23 with a 2.97 ERA.
The Mariners’ releasing of Dickey was understandable. The guy was a 34-year-old coming off a 5.21 ERA. But the trade of Morrow? That violated one of the rules of the universe: Don’t give up on 25-year-old power pitchers who have an ERA under 4.00.