The Chicago Cubs haven’t even played their first spring training game, and one of their relief pitchers is already hurt. Just days after reporting to camp and talking about how he felt better than he has in years, Brandon Morrow has been shut down for the time being. Cubs reporter Jordan Bastion announced the injury on Twitter, saying the club told him it was an upper chest strain.
For now, there isn’t a timetable on when Morrow will start pitching again. And nothing more is known about the injury beyond that he felt a twinge during his last bullpen session.
It didn’t take long for Cubs fans to start feeling some deja vu after it was announced Morrow was injured yet again. Even if this injury turns out to be something relatively minor. His injury history is, after all, why the team was able to sign the former closer to a minor league deal.
There was a time when the team thought he was going to be their lockdown closer. Morrow was signed after a stint of pure dominance as the setup man with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He did suffer an injury with L.A., but the team thought he might have put those things behind him.
When Morrow was able to pitch for the Chicago Cubs, he showed the same kind of dominance in 2018 they expected of him. In 35 appearances in 2018, he recorded 22 saves and posted a 1.47 earned run average. The problem for Morrow was that he had long periods of time when he couldn’t pitch.
Various maladies kept the reliever from throwing a pitch for the Cubs in 2019. He was a free agent after the season and the team brought him back on that minor league deal. Now, just a few weeks into spring training, the former closer has been hurt yet again.
The good news for the team is Morrow wasn’t being counted on to be a big member of the bullpen. The contract they gave him was a flier that could benefit big time if he was able to stay healthy.
There isn’t any indication that Brandon Morrow is going to be out of action for a long period of time. The only basis for that is that he’s had more than a few injuries over the course of his career that started out looking minor and turned into something that kept him from playing for months. If he can make it back, it will only help a Chicago Cubs team that is projected to win the NL Central by at least one prognostication service.