Morrow likely headed to 'pen when he returns

Morrow likely headed to 'pen when he returns

TORONTO -- Right-hander Brandon Morrow is expected to continue his rehab assignment with Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday.

Morrow pitched a scoreless inning for Class A Advanced Dunedin on Wednesday before getting word of the promotion. He struck out one and didn't allow a hit in his first official appearance since injuring his right index finger on May 2.

There hasn't been any talk of Morrow rejoining the starting rotation upon his return, and it would appear as though his work will be limited to the bullpen.

"He pitched out of the 'pen in Seattle," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "You look at his stuff, that might be the ideal role for him. He's had so many [injuries], he gets banged up each year, maybe that's the route to go. Who knows?

"He has overpowering stuff, good fastball, great slider. Maybe maximize him that way."

Morrow could be entering his final month in a Blue Jays uniform. Toronto has a $10 million option on his contract next season, but it would appear unlikely that will get picked up.

The Blue Jays could explore bringing back Morrow for less money, but he would also be free to talk with other teams. The biggest selling point might be whether another team is open to the idea of offering him a starting role, because that's something Toronto doesn't appear willing to do.

Morrow has yet to pitch a full season since joining the rotation in 2010. During the past four years he's had a strained oblique, strained right forearm, back spasms and the finger issue. That has raised some questions about his overall durability and whether he might be best served pitching in shorter stints.

"You would hope he could start for you," Gibbons said. "But the last couple of years he has been banged up here. Maybe his body just can't hold up that way."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for 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.