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Morrow lacking fastball command

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow used an exhibition game against the Canadian Junior team to focus strictly on his fastball.

Morrow exclusively threw four-seam fastballs and split-finger fastballs over the course of three innings. He allowed two runs -- one earned -- on four hits and three walks while striking out two in his club's 12-2 victory on Tuesday.

The split-finger fastball was particularly effective, but there's still some work to be done on his regular fastball, as consistent location has proved elusive during his last couple of starts.

"My fastball command was terrible, I was getting frustrated with myself out there," Morrow said. "But [overall] I felt good. I got to 47 pitches, that was kind of the plan, to double up with that number. I threw 45 last time out. Everything was good with that aspect, but I need to tighten up my fastball command -- that's been my problem the last two times out."

Unlike previous springs, Morrow began the Grapefruit League season by utilizing all of his pitches. He feels the slider and curveball are now where they need to be, and the split-finger fastball also got to that point during his outing against Team Canada.

The final component is finding a way to locate the four-seamer, which is the pitch he throws more than any other. He will focus on that again during his next start while his pitch count also will be elevated to approximately 65.

Morrow might not be exactly where he wants to be at this point of the spring, but he's also not very far off.

"I'm not worried, it's going to get there eventually," Morrow said. "I'll just keep working at it. Next time out will be the same thing. I need to iron that out of course. But everything else is feeling good.

"The split, I thought, was great. I threw it for strikes, got a double play with it, got strikeouts with it, and my slider and curveball were good the last couple of times. So I felt like they were in a good spot. Fastball command, that's what it has always been for me and as soon as I get it there, I'll be where I want."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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