Brandon Morrow Ready To Handle Cubs' Closing Load

"These guys have made it really easy," Morrow said of his new teammates.

Bruce Levine
March 19, 2018 - 10:21 pm
Cubs reliever Brandon Morrow

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA Today Sports

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By Bruce Levine--

MESA, Ariz. (670 The Score) -- Despite not being a full-time closer since 2008 and having big shoes to fill at the back of the Cubs' bullpen, Brandon Morrow has no trepidation about the role he'll be asked to fill this season.

"It has all been about remembering and renewing my preparation from 10 years ago," Morrow said of his new closing routine. "People don't always realize that my first big league experience was in the pen. I probably had 100 appearances as a reliever before I started a game. (The Cubs) said they wanted to control the workload for me -- 'You know, you are just throwing the ninth inning and staying in that spot. No more than three-out saves.' This is definitely a more controllable role for me."

Having signed a two-year deal in free agency after being the National League champion Dodgers' go-to setup man, Morrow replaces All-Star closer Wade Davis, who converted 32 of 33 save chances in 2017. Getting used to his new teammates has been an adjustment, but it's gone smoothly for Morrow, who had a 2.06 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in 45 appearances last season.

"Coming over here and getting with the catchers and all of that is a big part of being ready for the season," Morrow said. "They have watched a lot of video in preparing for me. That helps them understand what you like to do with you. These guys have made it really easy. We have been in sync since day one. They got to see me in the playoffs last year as well. They know how I like to go about things. It has been a good transition for sure." 

A challenge for Morrow, 33, is managing his diabetes, but that too has become routine for him. 

"This is very natural to me," Morrow said, taking a reading by pricking his left index finger during this interview. "I take my blood sugar readings probably six times a day. I know all the warning signs, so I don't ever end up in a bad situation, especially in the bullpen." 

After his Dodgers fell excruciatingly short in falling to the Astros in seven games in the World Series last season, Morrow's sights are set on returning to the big stage and winning a championship. He believes the Cubs have the talent and attitude to accomplish that. 

"They have impressed me by being professional but loose," he said of his new teammates. "A fun clubhouse with a lot of focus."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.