Blue Jays to shut down pitcher Morrow

Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow will make his final start of the season Friday against the New York Yankees. The team wants to protect the pitcher's arm.

Right-hander to make his last start of season against Yankees

Brandon Morrow will make his final start of the season Friday, even if he manages to no-hit the talent-laden New York Yankees.

The Toronto Blue Jays will protect the right-handed pitcher's arm and shut down Morrow for the rest of 2010.

In his first full season as a starter, the 26-year-old has logged 143 1/3 innings, up from the 124 2/3 innings combined in 2009 between the Seattle Mariners and their AAA affiliate at Tacoma, Wash.

"He's had a wonderful year. He pitched 125 innings last year over six months," Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said, adding the decision was made to keep Morrow's innings increase at about 20 per cent. "What he's done this season has been outstanding."

The Blue Jays will make adjustments in their starting rotation, including the call-up of a pitcher when Major League Baseball's rosters expand Sept. 1.

Morrow sports a 10-6 record and 4.27 earned-run average in 25 starts this season and was particularly outstanding on Aug. 8, when he took a no-hitter two outs into the ninth inning and ended up with a one-hit, 1-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. He had a career-high 17 strikeouts.

Morrow has fanned 174 on the season, including 49 batters in 30 1/3 August innings.

"It's one of those things where already he's at 143 innings," Anthopoulos said. "I told Brandon today I didn't think he would get to this inning level this fast. It's a credit to how well he's pitched. I don't think coming into the season expecting nine innings and eight innings and things like that, especially when he did start off slowly.

Anthopoulos said Morrow and other rotation members are a big part of the Blue Jays future.

"And we'd rather be safe than sorry," Anthopoulos said. "We were hopeful that we'd get him through six months, but he pitched so well that he's just really piling up the innings and we want to make sure we build him up the right way."

Last season, the Blue Jays shut down Brett Cecil and Marc Rzepczynski in a similar way in September.