Shawn Morimando may not be high on the Indians’ radar at the moment, but that won’t stop him from getting back to Cleveland and proving his worth in the big leagues.
Morimando, a LHP drafted by the Indians in the 19th round of the 2011 MLB Draft, made his major league debut during the Indians’ 2016 American League Championship season but did not make his best impression on the team. He pitched in only two games and surrendered six earned runs in 4.2 innings pitched, giving him an 11.57 ERA, and he was sent back to the minors.
Despite getting off to a rough start, this is not where Morimando’s story begins. In five seasons of A & AA ball, Morimando earned a record of 38-37 with a respectable 3.35 ERA in 539.2 innings pitched before being called up in 2016.
Morimando has pitched pretty well despite his average win-loss record and his rocky major league appearances could be noted as anomalies as he is expected to get better as a pitcher.
Morimando entered the 2018 MLB season as the Tribe’s 18th best prospect and the fifth-ranked pitcher behind notable players like Triston McKenzie, Shane Bieber and 2016 ALDS hero Ryan Merritt (minorleaguebaseball.com).
“(Morimando) throws harder than Merritt with low-90s fastball and a plus breaking ball, but change-up and overall command still inconsistent; watch for any improvement in K/BB ratio, spike in strikeouts, or both.” – John Sickels, minorleaguebaseball.com
It should be noted that Morimando is currently in his age-25 season and does not have much time left as he should be entering his prime as a professional pitcher. Since being demoted to AAA, Morimando’s numbers have actually declined in comparison to his A and AA numbers.
In 3+ seasons in Columbus, Morimando is 16-14 with a 4.45 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in 242.2 innings pitched, including a 2018 season of 1-3 with a 7.03 ERA and 2.22 WHIP in just 24.1 innings.
Surely Morimando’s 2018 season is what is holding him back and he picked a bad time to struggle as the Indians are looking for steady pitchers to bolster their weak and injury-prone bullpen. 2018 could’ve been Morimando’s redemption season.
There’s always next year.