In wake of the bullpen being overworked recently thanks to Jonathan Sanchez struggling on Wednesday and leaving the game early, along with the injury to Wandy Rodriguez, the Pittsburgh Pirates have decided to recall relief pitcher Bryan Morris. To make room for Morris, the Pirates have designated relief pitcher Chris Leroux for assignment.
In the few appearances Leroux made in 2013, he struggled. In only four innings pitched, Leroux had a 6.75 ERA with six walks and three strikeouts. Without those walks, Leroux would likely have had a decent start to the season, but giving up six walks in only four innings is troubling, and opposing teams will make pitchers pay for walking guys. Leroux has 63 strikeouts and 33 walks in his career, so the ratio hasn’t always been favoring the walks. Maybe he will go down to Triple-A and work his way back up to the big-league club before the end of the 2013 season.
Morris has only five innings pitched in the MLB, but those five innings were really impressive. In 2012, Morris pitched to a 1.80 ERA in five innings with six strikeouts, two walks, and two hits allowed. His K/9 (strikeouts per nine innings) was 10.8. In the very little of Morris that I was able to watch last season, I was blown away by his pitches. He has a fastball that can hit above 95 at times. Adding Morris to this Pirates’ bullpen is only going to make the team stronger, and the bullpen has already been a strength.
With Morris, the Pirates’ bullpen is now made up of Tony Watson, Morris, Jared Hughes, Mark Melancon, Jeanmar Gomez, Justin Wilson and Jason Grilli as the closer.
Wilson has really impressed me this season as well as he came in to throw three shutout innings a few nights ago. His fastball was touching 97 and his secondary pitches were working as well. Wilson has electric stuff.
I’m not happy about Gomez being in the bullpen, but the rest of the bullpen has been lights-out so far in 2013.