Results tagged ‘ Eddie Morlan ’

Morlan shipped back to Rays

“Disappointment” might not have been the right word, but right-hander Eddie Morlan was certainly feeling something as he packed his bags at Maryvale Baseball Park. 

The Brewers decided Morlan did not fit their bullpen plans so they slipped the 23-year-old Rule 5 right-hander through waivers and offered him back to the Tampa Bay Rays, who accepted on Thursday morning.

“I don’t have anything to be disappointed about,” Morlan said. “Other than one bad outing, I don’t think I did bad here. I did my best. One bad outing, that’s all it takes. They didn’t think I was ready to make the team. They needed to get some better players out there.”

Brewers officials said as much to reporters when the team designated Morlan for assignment on Tuesday, at least the part about Morlan being talented but not quite big-league ready. But as of Thursday morning, Morlan said no one from the team had said anything to him other than, “Tampa took you back and you have to go back.”

That part, he said, was a bit disappointing.

“They didn’t say anything,” Morlan said. “I read in the papers the other day that I was put on waivers but I don’t know what they base the decision on. I really don’t know.”

Brewers swap bullpen arms

The Brewers added one new arm to the bullpen competition Tuesday and subtracted another when the team claimed right-hander Wes Littleton off waivers from the Boston Red Sox.

To make room for Littleton, a 26-year-old who has made 68 career relief appearances for the Texas Rangers, the Brewers designated Rule 5 pick Eduardo Morlan for assignment. Morlan, 23, posted a 6.43 ERA in five Cactus League appearances and it had become clear to club officials that he was not going to win a spot on the Opening Day roster.

The side-arming Littleton has been awful in Spring Training games, allowing 11 earned runs and eight hits, including three home runs, in just 5 1/3 innings over six appearances. The Red Sox acquired him from the Rangers in an offseason trade.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t have the faintest idea what happens next for Morlan. There has been some talk about the Brewers working out a trade with Tampa Bay that would allow them to stash him in the Minors this season, but I need to check with GM Doug Melvin about the procedure for a Rule 5 pick who is designated for assignment.  

Looper a last-minute scratch

Right-hander Braden Looper was scratched minutes before his scheduled Brewers debut Saturday when he tightness in the oblique muscle along his ribcage while warming up.

Looper was supposed to throw 35 pitches against the Angels at Maryvale Baseball Park, but a Brewers spokesperson announced his injury just after the National Anthem was performed. Right-hander Eddie Morlan, who was scheduled to work in relief, made the start.

The Brewers inked Looper on Feb. 12 to a one-year contract that pays a $4.75 million base salary. His durability was a selling point; Looper missed some time in 2007 with a shoulder injury but has made at least 30 starts in each of the last two seasons after making at least 60 relief appearances in eight consecutive seasons from 1999-2006.

Let the games begin

The main stadium is finally filled with ballplayers today for an intrasquad game that precedes Wednesday’s Cactus League opener. Some particulars about those games, starting with Wednesday’s tilt against the A’s:

– Pitchers on the list to throw Wednesday include starter Jeff Suppan, who will throw two innings or 30 pitches, followed by Dave Bush, who will work an inning in advance of his first start on Sunday. Trevor Hoffman is scheduled for his unofficial Brewers debut, followed by Eddie Morlan, Lindsay Gulin, Nick Green, Todd Coffey and Jorge Julio.

– Macha did not unveil his lineup in advance, but the Brewers’ regular starting position players will be at their spots with the exception of third baseman Bill Hall, who is cautiously working back from a partially torn calf muscle. Mike Lamb will likely start at third on Wednesday.

– A’s skipper Bob Geren called Macha on Monday to see if the Brewers were interested in employing the designated hitter. Macha declined, saying he wanted his pitchers to practice bunting.

– As for Tuesday’s intrasquad game, it’s Eddie’s Elite, managed by first base coach Ed Sedar, against Fischer’s Fanatistics, the home team managed by third base coach Brad Fischer. The game was scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. CT, and position players will bat once or twice before a Minor Leaguer takes over. 

Here are the starting lineups:

Eddie’s Elite
1. Corey Hart  RF
2. Craig Counsell  2B
3. Ryan Braun  LF
4. Prince Fielder  1B
5. Mike Rivera  C
6. Mat Gamel  DH
7. Vinny Rottino  3B
8. Alcides Escobar  SS
9. Chris Duffy  CF
Scheduled pitchers: LHP Chase Wright, RHP Tim Dillard, LHP Chris Narveson and LHP R.J. Swindle

Fischer’s Fantastics
1. Rickie Weeks  2B
2. Jason Kendall  C
3. Mike Cameron  CF
4. J.J. Hardy  SS
5. Trot Nixon  LF
6. Brad Nelson  RF
7. Casey McGehee  3B
8. Mike Lamb  1B
9. Tony Gwynn, Jr.  DH
Scheduled pitchers: RHP Braden Looper, RHP Mark
DiFelice, LHP Sam Narron and RHP Omar Aguilar

UPDATE at 1:45 p.m. CT:  It was nine up, nine down for Brewers pitchers before Hardy began 2009 the way he ended 2008. Hardy hit an 0-and-1 pitch from Dillard for a home run to left-center field leading off the bottom of the second inning. It’s 1-0, Fantastics.

And the regulars are already hitting the showers. Hart, Counsell, Braun, Weeks, Kendall, Cameron, Fielder and Rivera all left the game after one at-bat, making way for Minor Leaguers on loan from the other half of the complex.

UPDATE at 2:14 p.m. CT: With so many defensive changes in this game, it looks like Lamb has the MVP award locked up. Lamb made a diving stop at first base in the top of the second inning and shoveled to DiFelice for a tough out against Mat Gamel, then drove in the Fantastics’ second run in the bottom of the second inning with a sacrifice fly. That made it 2-0, but Scott Thorman got one run back in the top of the third inning with an RBI single.

UPDATE at 2:58 p.m. CT: Didn’t get this in before we had to meet Macha on the field, but 2-1 was the final score, with Lamb’s sacrifice fly representing the winning run for Fischer’s Fantastics. Time of game was 55 minutes, prompting calls for four-inning games throughout Spring Training. 

Looper terms reportedly in place

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting tonight that the Brewers and the rep for free agent right-hander Braden Looper indeed reached terms today. According to the newspaper, it will be a one-year deal with an option for 2010, but we don’t know yet whether that’s a club option, a player option, a mutual option or some sort of vesting option based on innings pitched, starts or some other statistical marker.

Not too surprising that the sides were able to agree to the framework of a deal. When general manager Doug Melvin was willing to even broach the topic today, that showed you things were moving along swiftly. Looper will have to pass a physical to make the contract official, and if I learn about the schedule for that formality, I will post it.

Now comes the really interesting part. The Brewers’ 40-man roster is full, so someone needs to go when Looper formally signs and it looks like it could be an “organizational guy” who has been with the team a while. I’d be shocked if they part with a pitcher, unless they simply decide that there’s no room for Rule 5 pick Eddie Morlan, so it makes sense that the names being kicked around include Vinny Rottino, Brad Nelson, Hernan Iribarren.  Maybe Casey McGehee should be in that group as well, but I think club officials are intrigued to see what they have in the former Cubs prospect.

Perhaps Melvin has a trade up his sleeve to help ease the logjam. Stay tuned.