3/5/2014 5:38 P.M. ET
Morrow focused on fastball, not results of start
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Brandon Morrow struggled during Wednesday afternoon's start against the Pirates, but he's not about to get overly concerned about the results this early in spring.
Morrow surrendered five runs on six hits over the course three innings vs. Pittsburgh and has some minor tweaks to make before his next time out, but for the most part, he left the ballpark content with the day's work. He continues to get stronger with each outing and there have been no ill effects from a right forearm injury which cost him the bulk of the 2013 season.
"I felt good, fastball command wasn't great, obviously," Morrow said. "I was falling behind some guys, but I was one pitch away from a scoreless inning in the third, they smacked it into left, and a couple of bad pitches later, they had three runs.
"It wasn't terrible, but the further I get along, those mistakes are going to turn into good pitches. The important thing is that I felt good again."
Unlike previous springs, Morrow is throwing all of his pitches early in camp. He threw a handful of sliders, three changeups and a curveball during Toronto's 6-4 loss, but the focus remains on the location of his fastball.
That will be the main point of emphasis during his next start and is something he'll continue refining before the end of the spring. It isn't ideal yet, but that shouldn't be alarming with more than three weeks remaining until the start of the regular season.
"That's the biggest thing at this stage is fastball command," Morrow said. "Just trying to get that to where I want it before I worry about how the other stuff was. I thought I threw some good sliders, I threw some flat ones, too, that were in the strike zone.
"I only threw one curveball, but it was a swing and miss for strike one. I threw a couple of changeups. They have been really good, so I was trying to keep it in the zone today, and I threw two for taking strikes and one that was hit between first and second."
Perez among Blue Jays' second round of cuts
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays made their second round of cuts by sending left-hander Luis Perez and catchers Derrick Chung and Jack Murphy to Minor League camp on Wednesday morning.
The three departures leaves Toronto with 55 players remaining in big league camp. Another round of cuts is expected just before the Minor League side begins playing games on Tuesday.
The Blue Jays have 27 pitchers left in camp, and those numbers will need to dwindle relatively quickly so that everyone can get enough work before the start of the regular season.
"Kind of clean it up a little bit, we have so many guys around," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We really wanted to wait until [the Minor Leaguers] start playing games down there. Otherwise, it kind of defeats the purpose a little bit."
Perez returned last September following a prolonged absence because of Tommy John surgery. He had a minor setback, though, and during the offseason underwent a surgical procedure to have scar tissue removed from his left elbow.
The 29-year-old is expected to begin the season on the disabled list. Once healthy, Perez cannot be sent to the Minor Leagues without first passing through waivers because he's out of options on his contract. The club likely will be patient with him, and a rehab assignment once the regular season begins seems to be the most probable course of action.
"He's moving forward," Gibbons said. "He was just having a problem with the feeling in his pinky finger. He has to get the feeling in that back, but it's progressing. They say the nerves have to regenerate and everything in there, but he's going in the right direction."
Perez has spent parts of three seasons in the Major Leagues. He owns a career record of 5-6 with a 4.50 ERA over 112 innings.