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Brandon Morrow, Elijah Dukes, Ryan Howard

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I began to wonder whether the Mariners were getting ready to send rookie RP Brandon Morrow to the minors given he has appeared in only two games this season.  This decision would tacitly acknowledge the team made an error in taking him Northwest as camps broke, but regular work at AAA would serve him better than once-a-week, one-inning work would.  After all, his total professional experience prior to this season was 16 innings - 13 of which were in rookie ball.

Then I saw he finished todays 8-3 win against the the Rangers - by striking out the side, and my assessment began to seem premature.  It still may be, but any one inning/three strikeout relief appearance in the 9th inning of a win will get roto-tongues wagging.

Update [2007-4-15 7:21:1 by Eric Hz]: From the Seattle Times:

A small mechanical adjustment seemed to help Mariners relief pitcher Brandon Morrow, who struck out the side in Saturday's ninth inning after allowing a leadoff single
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Including tonight's 0-3 start, Tampa Bay's rookie OF Elijah Dukes has gone 3-23 with one double and no RBIs since homering in his first two MLB games.  Or put another way, since he was added to fantasy teams en masse.  If you are one of those teams, then hold on.  There is no point cutting bait after a bad week's worth of ABs.  The bright side is he is still playing.

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Including today's game, Phillies 1B Ryan Howard has walked 16 times.  While he struggles offensively with a .237 AVG and a .368 SLG, his OBP stands at a beautiful .462.  What will be interesting to see is the depth that sabremetric thought has penetrating the popular press.  If it is thorough, then there won't be crowing about Howard's "struggles" at the plate.  If it is not, then expect the hyenas to begin the close on the smell of blood.