Bryan Morris got pulled from his start with High-A Bradenton last night after pitching four scoreless innings. I don't know this for fact, but I'd bet more than a couple dollars that he was pulled because of an innings count. Morris is now up to 44.2 innings on the season. This may not seem like many, but it has started to become an issue. His suspension last year cost him a few starts and he only pitched 72 innings. The year before he pitched 96.
Morris is only 23 and it is unlikely that the Pirates will want to have his innings this year go much past 130, if even that high. So, he's pitched 44 innings at High-A with an ERA of 0.60, a WHIP under 1.000 and a 40/7 K to BB ratio. My work here is done, Father.
I imagine the organization doesn't want to use any more of Morris' limited innings at Bradenton. I'll bet he is in Altoona by the end of the week and probably sees Indianapolis in August if he continues to dominate. He's a long way from the bigs, but if he dominates AA he will be in contention for a rotation spot next spring--along with ten other guys, hopefully following a path Brad Lincoln does this year, next year. As a dreamer, a rotation built around Morton, Lincoln and Morris begins to sound interesting. (Yes, with the 500 caveats that come with that, I got it. That is not what the post is about.)
Update: Let me add that Morris was terrible last year. He didn't strike anyone out, had bad command and was giving up a ton of hits. The only thing he didn't do was give up a lot of home runs. He was close to pitching himself off the prospect list, regardless of how we acquired him. The two redeeming aspects were that he had missed all of 2007 due to injury so he could well have been still regaining his skills and mechanics, and he was only 22. He has dramatically changed course through spring training, where he looked great by all accounts, and so far this season. He now has to be back among the top three pitching prospects in the organization. Good stuff.
UPDATE 2: Officially confirmed that Morris has been promoted. Good to know the Bucco Org. is reading the blog.