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.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

Hot Bats Continue for Bucs in 7-4 Win over Red Sox

Next Story »

Pirates Go With Unusual Lineup in B Game

  • 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.

Latest Analysis

  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    18 hours ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    3 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    4 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    5 days ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    6 days ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    1 week ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    1 week ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Third Base Mathisen Luplow Joe

    Who’s on Third? In the Pirates’ Farm System, It Could Be Anyone

    1 week ago

    If you have ever played third base in your life — professional, college, high school, slow pitch softball — then the Pittsburgh Pirates might be contacting you ...

    Read More
  • Jason Creasy

    Another Pitcher to Watch From the Pirates’ 2011 Draft

    2 weeks ago

    The 2011 draft is shaping up to be a great class for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They picked first overall that year, so naturally you’d expect good things ...

    Read More
  • Peacock Nevarez

    Will One of These Pirates Minor League Pitchers Be the Next John Holdzkom?

    2 weeks ago

    By now you probably know that John Holdzkom rose from independent ball last year and made it to the majors. It was one of the best stories in ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles