Morgan Ready to Get Started
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Last season, Will Morgan was the glue that held the Brooklyn Cyclones bullpen together. Posting an uber-impressive 2.02 ERA with 39 strikeouts in 22 relief appearances in 2007, Morgan was a NY-Penn League All-Star and one of the most dominant relievers in the league. Sitting down with the NY Sports Day, Morgan talked about what he was up to this offseason and what to expect from him in the future.
NYSportsDay: What have you been up to this offseason?
Will Morgan: The Mets wanted me to gain a little weight this offseason. I had a skinny little upper body and big legs before and Iíve been eat¨ing a lot. I think I eat about six meals a day now. At my lowest, I was 188, now Iím about 202. I think Iíve even gotten up to 206, but that was after I ate. Aside from that, Iíve been work¨ing out and running a lot.
NYSD: What did you eat, exactly?
Morgan: Basically just steak and potatoes. When I wake up, I eat bacon, eggs and some potatoes. I try to mix potatoes in with every meal. A lot of rice, too.
NYSD: Now that youíve put on the weight the Mets wanted you to, are you ready to get back out there?
Morgan: Iím really excited to get back into baseball. Itís really all I know. I got a job this offseason and I come home and I say to myself, ďWhy do people do this?Ē When Iím on the field and throwing a baseball, I just feel like Iím home. I really canít wait to get back on the mound.
NYSD: Where were you working?
Morgan: I was working at this rusty, run down power plant. I spent most of the time driving a 30-foot high Caterpillar tractor, pushing saw¨dust around and doing cleanup work on a Bobcat. I was making $12.00 an hour, but it just wasnít for me. I love being outside and that was really the only good part about the job. During the baseball season, we work our asses off every day and there are no days off. I donít want to come home after the season is over and go work hard all over again. I definitely wouldnít mind pushing papers or working at an office next season. I used to come home so tired from the power plant that I didnít even want to go to the gym and work out sometimes.
NYSD: Now that you can put that experience behind you, what are you really focused on this season? Last year, it was obvious that you wanted to be the closer in Brooklyn, but that didnít work out. Are you looking to find a spot as a closer on another team in the organization?
Morgan: Iím always going to try for that closer spot. I love having an opportunity to pitch everyday and I donít care what inning you put me in, but I would really like to pitch in the eighth and ninth inning. Either way, Iím still going to go balls out in every inning I pitch. Just because Iím not the closer, my work ethic is still going to stay the same. My mindset is that whenever I come in, itís the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded and two outs. I always have a job to do. In the instructional league the Mets invited me to this year, I started pitch¨ing in the seventh and eighth like I did last year, but at the end, they let me pitch in the ninth and Iím really hap¨py with the way I played. I did really well. I donít know what their plans are, but they let me close a few games and weíll see what happens.
NYSD: Last season you had a fastball, slider and cutter in your arsenal. Have you added any new weap¨ons to make sure you get the chance to close games?
Morgan: Iíve been working on a changeup a lot this offseason and the organization really wanted me to work with it. Iím starting to get really comfortable with it. Itís going to help me a lot with right-handed hitters because all they usually see from me is my fastball and a breaking ball. They have two pitches to choose from, one that breaks away and one thatís straight that has a little bit of a tail on it. Now, the changeup makes them think a little harder when theyíre up there.
NYSD: Do you usually think about whatís in the hitterís mind when youíre on the mound?
Morgan: I was a good hitter in college and I would always look to see what a pitcher had before I got up there. Iíd always pay attention to what they threw to lefties and what they threw to righties, so I would know what I should expect. In college, I would always notice how most right-handed pitchers would just throw changeups to left-handed hitters. Then theyíll throw fastballs and sliders to righties. If they got behind, theyíd rely on the fastball. Once that fastball comes, then all you have to do is be able to hit it. I think being able to understand that makes me a better pitcher and try and put myself in their shoes and give them the pitch they donít expect.
NYSD: Well, you did that all season last year. How did that feel?
Morgan: I actually never looked at my stats last season. I mean, I had everyone talking to me about them and getting in my head about them, but I never once went online and looked at them. I just focused on getting the job done. The stats donít mean anything if you give up the big run and let the team down.
NYSD: What was it like being so successful in Brooklyn last year?
Morgan: It was so much fun to watch all these talented guys every day. Watching guys like Lucas Duda and Jason Jacobs hit the way they did last year was awesome. Jake Eigsti is the best third baseman Iíve ever played behind and watching guys like Nick Carr and Grady Hinchman was a blast. Grady has so much heart out there. I still remember Matt Boucha¨rdís walk-off home run last season, too. That was probably the single most exciting game Iíve ever been a part of. For me to play a part in that was amazing. The fans there were great and they really supported us.
NYSD: Are you confident you can do it again this year?
Morgan: I think so. I just really want the opportunity to pitch every day. I really donít want to stay in extended Spring Training. I know Iím going to have to work hard, but Iím willing to do whatever it takes. If I had had to choose where Iíd go, Iíd love to be closing games out in St. Lucie or Savannah; I think Iím ready to play long-season ball. If that doesnít hap-pen, I just want the opportunity pitch every day. The rest will then take care of itself.
Patrick Hickey, Jr. now has a Brooklyn Cyclones Blog at DemBrooklynBums.com, check it out today!