Cubs releasing Brandon Morrow after constant injury struggles

Former Chicago Cubs reliever Brandon Morrow (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
Former Chicago Cubs reliever Brandon Morrow (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

The Cubs cut Brandon Morrow on Wednesday before the shortened MLB season.

Brandon Morrow was a key contributor in the back end of the Cubs bullpen after coming over from the Dodgers in the 2017 offseason, but he was only able to put in one good season of work on the North Side before injuries slowly took over.

After another offseason spent rehabbing, Morrow has been let go by the Cubs just before the MLB season restart. The timing is especially brutal, but there was no telling if Morrow was going to be useful in the Cubs bullpen this year, and with pitching depth in question, Chicago couldn’t afford to use a roster spot on someone who may have to miss more time.

Brandon Morrow could never recover from back and elbow tightness, and now he’s looking for a job elsewhere.

Morrow’s latter elbow problem kept him out for the entirety of the 2019 season, but he was brought back to the Cubs on a minor-league deal with the hope he could revive some of his 2018 success, in which he pitched to a 1.47 ERA in 35 games. The season before that in Los Angeles, he contributed a 2.06 ERA in 45 games pitched.

Needless to say, when healthy, Morrow could be a closer for some teams, but it’s unknown if he’ll ever get back to his previous form pre-elbow ailment.

The 35-year-old was sidelined early in Spring Training with a calf issue, and after a three-month layoff, hadn’t seen much improvement. While Theo Epstein and Co. tried a patient approach with Morrow, at this point they need definitive relief options they can rely on, and Morrow is not one.

Hopefully, with another long offseason of work and rehab, Morrow can make a more legitimate comeback attempt in 2021. Playing in a pandemic wouldn’t have helped his chances regardless.

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