Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Brandon Morrow's Eerily Opposite Home/Road Splits


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Image courtesy of Daylife via AP
Something odd happened while I was doing a little pre-liveblog research for tonight's Blue Jays/Red Sox game. After combing through Brandon Morrow's home and road splits, it was very apparent that he is two completely different animals.

The tale of Morrow's differences at the Rogers Centre compared to away games were very well documented last season. But this year, it's as if the Baseball Gods have flipped a switch and reversed his splits for 2011.

W-LERABASO/9BABIP
Home 20114-86.91.28410.5.357
Road 20115-22.97.18810.3.249
Home 20108-12.74.22110.6.312
Road 20102-66.72.28111.3.384

Marc from Over the Monster jokingly said on Twitter that the Man in White has it out for Brandon Morrow this year. I suggested that the Man in White only works on one-year contracts, and Morrow had not renewed his services for the 2011 season.

It's very eerie how completely opposite Brandon Morrow's home and away splits are from 2010 and 2011, and perhaps the culprit is right there in the table as well: BABIP. Could that be the reason for the polar opposite splits?

FanGraphs had a great post last week painting a brighter picture for Brandon Morrow in the future. They suggest his strand rate of 64.4% has lead to more runners crossing home plate, and his pitch selection may also be causing problems as well.

Comparing his pitch types year over year, Morrow is relying more heavily on the fastball and slider this season, and veering away from the curveball and changeup. Given, the fastball and slider are Brandon's bread and butter pitches, but maybe it's time to change the plan of attack when things aren't working.

It's especially frustrating for Brandon Morrow owners in fantasy baseball because the potential for racking up K's is huge, but lately it comes at the price of ERA and WHIP as well.

At this very moment, I still don't know whether to leave Brandon Morrow on the bench, or to have him start tonight. With it being the finals in my one league, I don't think I'm going to leave it to chance. However, Murphy's Law of fantasy baseball dictates he'll throw a complete game shutout with 15 strikeouts.

By no means do I think it's time to panic or suggest he needs to be converted back into a reliever. Brandon Morrow has been the victim of an unusally high BABIP once again, and hopefully things will even themselves out next year.

Brandon Morrow is a bit of a victim of his own circumstance though; his "all or nothing" power pitching style doesn't bode well for that batting average on balls in play. And it still baffles my mind that opponents have not yet grounded into a double play with Brandon Morrow on the mound.

But if Morrow's home and road splits reverse again next year, I think we can attribute that to none other than the great power of Jobu.

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