Bryan Morris Finds a Home in the Bullpen

Morris Looks to Make Camp out of Spring TrainingFORT MYERS, Fla. — After spending most of his minor league career in the starting rotation, right-hander Bryan Morris has found a home in the ‘pen.

Morris, 25, started the 2011 season in the Altoona Curve’s starting rotation. But after making six starts and posting a 6.04 ERA, Morris was moved into the bullpen in mid-June where he thrived. Over 29 appearances (52.2 innings), Morris posted a 2.05 ERA in relief with three saves (in four chances) with 17 walks and 47 strikeouts.

“The bullpen is more where I see my mentality, how it fits me best,” Morris said. “That’s where I see myself in the future. From the talks that I’ve had with [General Manager] Neal [Huntington] and [ Manager] Clint [Hurdle], that’s kind of where they see me as well.”

Morris went 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA over his final 14 games last year, and did not surrender a home run in his last 26 appearances. Morris gave up just two long balls during the 2011 season.

“I think my role right now is the bullpen,” Morris said. “I’m going after a bullpen spot in the big leagues out of spring training. If I don’t make that, I’ll probably start in [the Triple-A] Indianapolis bullpen.”

“This offseason I really worked on getting stronger, and over all conditioning,” Morris said of his offseason workouts. “Besides that, mechanics was a huge deal for me. I’m just trying to make it more consistent so that I can stay more consistent throughout the year.”

So far this spring, Morris has made two appearances in the Grapefruit League from the Pirates bullpen. Morris has gave up just one hit over two innings pitched.

“Obviously that’s the ultimate goal [making the big league team],” Morris said of his goals this spring. “Staying healthy, and continue being consistent. Other than that, just going out and doing what I can to make myself better and make the team better.”

Morris, who was drafted in the first round of the 2006 draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers, was acquired from the Dodgers (along with infielder Andy LaRoche, right-hander Craig Hansen and outfielder Brandon Moss) in a three team deal that sent outfielder Jason Bay to the Boston Red Sox.

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  • Tacho Bill

    How disappointing. Man, that was a horrible trade.  

  • leadoff

    If Morris turns out to be a very good closer, it won’t be a horrible trade.

  • typesteve

    Even though we did not get the best players in return for bay , what would have been worse would have been 4 pirates 2 had signed bay long term. Maybe Morris will become shut down reliever.

  • Hank Stull

     another failed Prospect… Really hope we can develop a Starting Pitcher instead of an army of relievers, one good thing about all of this is that Closers are really overvalued right now and we can get a good return

    • leadoff

       They are not overvalued, starting pitching in the modern era is only good for 6 maybe 7 innings making relief pitching much more valuable than ever, IMO, an 8th inning setup guy is nearly as important as a closer, but a shut down back of the rotation pitching staff in invaluable, ask the Yankees, knowing all they have to be is ahead going into the ninth because they have Rivera waiting to make it an 8 inning game.

      • Hank Stull

        Just seems like a lot of our pitchers in the system just turn out to be relievers.  I know relievers are important but you need good starting pitching, and I thought Bryan Morris was gonna be a good starting pitcher

  • John Lease

    If he can contribute at the Major League level, he’s worth something.  Not nearly enough for the Pirates marquee player.  Hopefully the people who gave the recommendations on that deal are gone, I doubt it was only Neal H.

  • Lee Young

    This is the trade that spawned the “Bad Deal Neal” nickname. But, in Neal’s defense, he should  get more credit for the Nady and McLouth trades. When you’re dealing for prospects, well, there’s a reason they’re called prospects. You just never know.  No GM hits on every one of their trades. Yes Bay was our ‘biggest chip’, but we more than made up for it with other deals.


  • Jay Yovanovich

    Absolutely awful trade.

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