Right-handed reliever Bryan Morris, who was designated for assignment by the Giants over the weekend, has cleared waivers and will elect free agency rather than accept an outright assignment to Triple-A, reports FanRag’s Robert Murray (Twitter link).
The 30-year-old Morris was a quality bullpen piece for the Marlins from 2014-15 but suffered a back injury that ultimately required surgery and ended his season early in the 2016 campaign. Miami cut him loose this offseason, at which point he inked a minor league pact with San Francisco. Morris opened the year in the Giants’ minor league ranks but surfaced in the Majors early in the month of May.
In 21 innings with San Francisco this year, Morris has been tattooed for a 6.43 ERA. The vast majority of the damage against him has been confined to a handful of unsightly outings, though, including a five-run shellacking at the hands of the Braves in his final appearance with the Giants. Morris was a ground-ball machine with the Pirates and Marlins from 2013-15, racking up grounders at a nearly 59 percent clip. This year, though, that rate is down to 47.4 percent. Morris has also seen his K/9 rate dip to 6.4 (though he’s never been a big strikeout pitcher) while his BB/9 rate is up to 4.7.
Despite his poor numbers in 2017 and recent surgical procedure, Morris’ track record should garner some degree of interest on the open market, even if it’s only on another minor league deal. He did, after all, pitch to a 2.80 ERA with enormous ground-ball tendencies over the life of 215 big league innings from 2012-16.