Pirates prospect interview: Bryan Morris

Bryan Morris

Right-hander Bryan Morris got a taste of the big leagues late in the 2012 campaign. He appeared in five games for the Pirates and posted a 0-0 record in five innings of work with a 1.80 ERA. Morris posted a 2-2 record with five saves and 2.67 ERA with 79 strikeouts in 46 relief appearances for Triple-A Indy. PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko caught up with Morris at the end of the season.

GVB – Was it exciting to get the call up and a little big league action at the end of the season?

BM – The past few weeks have been great, been fun. I would have liked to have seen us win a few more games. It has been a learning experience for me and I've taken everything day-by-day.

GVB – Was it a noticeable difference up here from what you faced in the minor leagues?

BM – The game is quicker up here than it is in Triple A. Mistakes get hit a little more often up here than they do in the minor leagues. Overall it's just a better game – the worst player here is one of the better players in Triple A, so the level of competition raises up every level you go and this is the top level, so you are playing the best.

GVB – Looking back at your season in the minors were you happy with your numbers out of the bullpen? At one time you were a starter, have you adjusted well to coming out of the bullpen?

BM – Yeah, the season for me was successful. The main part of it for me was being able to get through the whole year without going on the disabled list, that's been a big struggle for me in my career . So that's a big plus and being able to take the ball every time my name got called is uplifting for me to move on and keep going.

GVB – Talk about the different mentality coming out of the bullpen?

BM – It's a different mentality, when you're starting you have to set the tone with your fastball. That is the number one thing you have to do as a starter. A bullpen guy you come in and get outs, whatever your strength is and whatever that hitters weakness or what you think his weakness is, that's how you attack him. You attack in the zone with your strengths – whatever it may be that day, curve ball, slider, fastball, whatever it is that's how you get them out.

GVB – Have you adjusted your style of pitching to being a bullpen guy and what do you view as your strengths right now. Is it still the fastball or another pitch?

BM – Right now I'm using a cutter a good bit. That's been my main pitch and it's been a good pitch for me during the season and it's continued up here in the big leagues. Obviously the main goal is to be able to throw your fastball at any point and that's still what we're going after, but at the same time when you're up here it's all about getting outs.

GVB – That has been stressed throughout the minors – control the fastball.

BM – Yeah, it is stressed especially in the lower levels because that's what makes it easier for pitchers to be able to use their other pitches.

GVB – Do feel good about the progress you've made this season and the little stint in the big leagues, obviously there are still things to work on – right?

BM – I'm definitely grateful for the opportunity to be in the big leagues and the experience has been really good. When the season ends I'll go back home and keep working on my overall game as a pitcher, and hopefully I'll have the opportunity to be up here for the whole season next year.

GVB – One thing we didn't touch on is the mental aspect, everyone here has physical ability, but the mental aspect is a big part of the game.

BM – It is, baseball is a game of failures, so you've got to figure out how to move past that when you do fail. Because you are going to fail more than you succeed and that's the big thing moving past it and learning from it and getting better.

GVB – It will be an interesting spring training for you this coming season. There will be some opportunity for some of the young pitchers in the organization.

BM – Yeah, there's a lot of talent especially going for the bullpen spots next year. There is a lot of young guys that are probably big league material with limited experience. It will be fun, we all go out and root for each other and battle for spots all together.

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