Get to know your Marlins: Q&A with reliever Bryan Morris
JUL 10, 2014 11:00a ET
Since his arrival in South Florida, the 27-year-old has not allowed an earned run over 17 outings spanning 21 1/3 innings -- a new club record to start a Marlins career.
As a September call-up in 2012, Morris had a 1.80 ERA for the Pirates. In his first full season in 2013, he went 5-7 with a 3.46 ERA in 55 games. Prior to the deal that brought him to Miami, Morris was 3-0 with a 3.80 ERA. He has since won two more games and lowered his ERA to 2.05.
Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill described Morris, a first-round selection of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006, as a ''big, strong, physical'' player with a fastball that reaches 97 mph and a power curveball.
FOX Sports Florida got to know Morris, whom you can follow on Twitter @Bryan19Morris, learning his real name, discussing his hometown in Tennessee and recapping the start of his professional career ...
FOX SPORTS FLORIDA: Your first name is Avery?
BRYAN MORRIS: Yes, my first name is Avery.
FSF: When did you become Bryan?
MORRIS: I've been going by Bryan for as long as I can remember. My mom has always called me Bryan. Avery is my dad's name also.
FSF: I noticed you bat lefty. How did that come about because you're a righty, especially for a pitcher?
MORRIS: According to my dad, every time he put a bat in my hands and put me on the right side of the plate my hands were always backwards. Finally he just said, 'heck with it' and put me on the other side. I actually started hitting the ball. Naturally it just felt better because I always wanted to put my hands that way. They decided that was the way I was going to hit.
FSF: What's your favorite thing about your hometown (Tullahoma), or just Tennessee?
MORRIS: Probably just the hospitality. Everybody in Tennessee for the most part is genuine. Southern hospitality.
FSF: You get to Miami. What was your first impression?
MORRIS: It was not Tennessee, that's for sure. Miami is a very pretty place. It's a different kind of pretty obviously. Being from Tennessee there's no sand. The beaches and just the amount of blue makes it a lot different. It's green in Tennessee and it's blue in Miami.
FSF: You were once a starter. What have you been able to take from your starting days into being a reliever?
MORRIS: No matter what role you're in -- starting or relieving -- fastball command plays a huge part. If you can't throw the fastball in the zone you're not going to be able to throw any other pitches because they're not going to swing at those. Other than that, I think I'm the same type of pitcher I was as a starter. I still go out and give it all I've got until the coach says I'm done.
FSF: You had Tommy John surgery once according to Wikipedia?
MORRIS: (laughs) In 2006 I had Tommy John. I signed in 2006 (after playing for Motlow State Community College) and I got a few starts in short season and then I got hurt.
FSF: Being at the start of your pro career, how do you...
MORRIS: Obviously I was nervous, but I was 19 at the time so I was still really young and there was still a lot of optimism in the organization. They reassured me that their thoughts on me didn't change. They told me to get it done, do what the doctor says and I'd be ready to go in a year. That's what happened.