8/20/2014 3:01 P.M. ET
Walk-free outing important way for Drabek to debut
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- Kyle Drabek has something positive to build from after a pair of scoreless innings vs. the Brewers on Tuesday night.
The Blue Jays pitcher allowed one hit and struck out three in his first outing of the season at the big league level. It was a small step, but still an important one for a hurler who has struggled through parts of four years in the Majors.
The success Drabek experienced in the Minors never really translated to the next level, and that was one reason behind his recent move to the bullpen. He's now fully adjusted, and his promotion to Toronto meant he could finally move past those previous struggles.
"I think being in the bullpen in Buffalo, for as long as I was, helped out a bunch for being able to stay calm when the phone rings and things like that," Drabek said. "Just getting used to it helped a bunch."
The biggest difference for Drabek in a reliever's role has been his improved command. He walked 109 batters over 171 1/3 innings as a starter with the Blue Jays, but the walk rate has drastically decreased out of the bullpen, issuing just five free passes over 26 innings of relief at Triple-A.
During his first outing vs. Milwaukee, Drabek continued that success and didn't walk a batter. If he's going to stick at this level, those are the type of results he will need on a regular basis.
"Everything's pretty much the same. I think the command has gotten a little bit better," Drabek said. "Either bouncing [the curveball] or being able to throw it for a strike."
Morrow could return in September as reliever
MILWAUKEE -- Right-hander Brandon Morrow has been throwing side sessions off a mound and could re-join the Blue Jays at some point in September.
Morrow has been out since May 2 because of a torn tendon sheath in his right index finger. He won't have enough time to make it back as a starter, but the righty could find a role in the bullpen.
There is still no defined timetable for Morrow's return, but the Blue Jays should have a better idea of his progress before the end of August.
"He has been throwing some sides without his finger guard and he's feeling better," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He's cutting it loose better. It's not full-go, but it's progress."
Morrow could be entering the final month of his career in a Blue Jays uniform. Toronto has a $10 million option on Morrow's contract for next season, but it's becoming increasingly likely the club would instead choose to buy him out for $1 million.
The 30-year-old has yet to make it through a full season as a starter. Last year, he was limited to 10 starts, and this year he made six before going on the disabled list.