Left-hander Shawn Morimando made his major league debut for the Cleveland Indians yesterday, going 3.2 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays, giving up six hits, one walk, and two runs while fanning four in relief. Let's take a look at what this young southpaw has to offer.
From the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book
Shawn Morimando, LHP, Cleveland Indians
Bats: L Throws: L HT: 5-11 WT: 195 DOB: November 20, 1992
2012: Grade C; 2013: Grade C; 2014: Grade C; 2015: Grade C
Drafted in the 19th round from high school in Virginia in 2011, Morimando continues his trek through the Indians system and should move to Triple-A in 2016. He profiles as a number four or five starter with an 88-92 MPH fastball (sometimes up to 93-94), along with a solid-average change-up. His breaking ball is described as either a slider or a hard curve, depending on the source. He doesn’t really have a consistent plus pitch but he is effective when his command is on and has been very durable thus far. Watch closely for any improvement in his K/BB ratio. If you see that, a breakout could be in progress. Grade C+.
Morimando opened 2016 back in Double-A going 10-3 in 16 starts with a 3.09 ERA and a 73/36 K/BB in 93 innings, allowing 77 hits. This was very similar to his 2015 performance at the same level: 3.18 in 159 innings, 128/65 K/BB. He hasn't improved dramatically or truly broken out; all of his ratios are virtually the same as last year, but he's remained steadily successful
Scouting reports haven't changed either: his fastball runs 87-92, averaging right at 89 with occasional higher peaks. He relies a great deal on his change-up right around 80. His breaking ball is anywhere from 70 to 80 but he doesn't use it as often as the fastball and change. Yesterday he threw 45 fastballs, 21 change-ups, and nine breaking balls, all very much in line with reports from the minors.
Overall Morimando profiled as a number four/five starter or bullpen option pre-season and that's still where he is right now. We should remain on the alert for any sudden improvement in his ratios, particularly his strikeout rate, which could presage taking a larger role. It has yet to happen, but I think it still might.