Matt Morris, the veteran right-hander added by the Pittsburgh Pirates late last season to stabilize a young rotation, was released Sunday after failing to pitch past the second inning in his latest start.[...]
Morris is 121-92 with a 3.98 ERA in 11 seasons, mostly with the Cardinals. He was a career-best 22-8 with a 3.16 ERA in 2001 and averaged nearly 16 wins per season with St. Louis from 2001-05.
The 33-year-old Morris was ineffective in all five starts this season, unable to throw with much velocity or to locate his breaking pitches. He was chased early in each of his final three starts, surrendering 22 hits and 20 runs, 17 earned, in 10 1/3 innings against the Dodgers, Marlins and Phillies.
"It's been difficult," Morris said. "I could feel it all coming to an end in a hurry. It's not what I planned, but it's best for the organization, best for the team. I've been a burden on the bullpen. It's been hard to deal with mentally."
In slightly less than three months with the Pirates, including the final two months of last season, Morris was 3-8 in 16 starts with a 7.04 ERA.
Morris is aware the decision likely ends his career.
"I've accepted it," he said. "It was a great segment of my life. I really can't wait to move on and be with my family. It's a sad day, but it's also a joyful day. ... I'm proud of my career. I didn't mean or want for it to end this way. I've always said the other team will let you know when you're done."
Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said, "Matt is, on and off the field, what we want our guys to be."
Sunday, April 27, 2008
An End of an Era: Matt Morris will likely retire