First Pitch: Free Bryan Morris

Yesterday I wondered why the Pirates didn’t seem to trust their prospects. Rather than giving a start to one of Kyle McPherson or Justin Wilson, the Pirates went with Kevin Correia, who had pitched the day before.

Today the Pirates sent down McPherson and Wilson in order to activate Chad Qualls and bring up Daniel McCutchen. Those weren’t bad moves to make. McPherson might have been a better option than Correia on zero days of rest, but he could also use more time in Triple-A. And by sending Wilson down now, the Pirates can move him to the bullpen and call him up before September 1st, allowing him to qualify for the post-season roster.

The questionable move was actually a non-move. The Pirates kept Bryan Morris in Triple-A. Morris threw 2.2 innings on Monday, so he wouldn’t have been available on Tuesday. But the Pirates could have planned ahead and saved him, knowing they’d need another reliever.

It doesn’t make sense to keep Morris down. He’s got the stuff to be a future closer in the majors. He has a mid-90s fastball, and an upper 80s cutter, which is a great strikeout pitch this year. And unlike Wilson, he is already working in the role he will fill in the majors, so there’s no need keeping him down.

Adding Chad Qualls at the trade deadline gave the Pirates a project with the potential to be a strong eighth inning guy. But it’s questionable to keep turning to Qualls. There might be a chance that he could bounce back and be a good set up man. But there’s also a chance Morris could come up and fill the same role, providing the same numbers as a good version of Qualls. And unlike Qualls, if Morris has success, the Pirates have him under control beyond the 2012 season.

It seems like every pitcher in Triple-A has come up when the Pirates needed an arm this year. Yet one of the best arms in Indianapolis remains in Indianapolis, even though it wouldn’t be difficult to find a roster spot for Morris.

Links and Notes

**The Pirates lost to the Padres 7-5.

**Pirates Notebook: Garrett Jones Has Been a Key to the Pirates’ Season.

**Prospect Watch: Strong Altoona Debut For Taillon; Avila Homers Again.

**Jameson Taillon Impressive in Double-A Debut; Reducing Drop in Delivery.

**VandenHurk, Meek, And Wood Hold Chiefs To 3 Hits In Indians’ Win.

**Minor Moves: Jason Townsend, Emmanuel De Leon, Pat Ludwig.

**McPherson, Wilson Optioned; McCutchen Recalled.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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Bob Ross

Strongly disagree. McPherson is 25 year old, that is twenty-five! He does not need more seasoning in AAA. Twenty five year olds with talent should either be on a major league roster or traded for value. He should be up here starting. Morris should be up here. Wilson and/or Locke should be up here. Correia and Bedard should be DFA’d. They will not be back next year and they are taking up spots for better options. Qualls is a disaster. I would only put him in an eighth inning if we were down 10-0. I have no idea what they saw in him when they got him, and after seeing him, it only confirms that opinion.

Lee Young

The reason Morris is not up and Locke is not starting is simple: Hurdle is to scared to pitch the young guys in the pennant race! He’d rather throw retreads out there and hope and pray. Qualls should NOT be on this team!!!


AMEN..hurdle hates younger players..rather tinker with guys that have been around and around and around

Ian Rothermund

Yeah, especially that Snider guy. Oh, and Marte, and Hughes. There’s no basis for that assumption


Sorry i should have said…young starting pitchers..or pitchers who have yet to debut


I’m not sure if this is what you are implying but it sounds like your saying the Pirates haven’t brought Morris up at all this season. That is not true of course and probably is not what you are actually saying just how the last paragraph sounds.
It was a very short stint and since he didn’t pitch its possible you might have just blocked it out. Morris was called up on 6/24 and sent back down on 6/25.


AND saw zero innings

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