He said doctors have told him it probably will be another few weeks before he feels completely recovered. He said he has regained about eight of the 20 pounds he lost throughout the ordeal.
Be more proactive
Morris, who has battled other health issues in the past, said he no longer will try and be a tough guy and wait to see a doctor. But he also has no plans to slow down or walk away from the game. He loves it too much.
“Most of our guys are coming and most of our position players are back,” Morris said. “I thought we would lose [outfielder] Dale Carey, but we didn’t. He’s back. Tyler Palmer, our leadoff hitter, is back. We’ve got to replace Chantz Mack in right, but our catcher Garrett Kennedy is back. Kennedy is maybe our most improved player or MVP for last year. Our pitching rotation, the strength of our club, should be back. B-Rad [Bryan Radziewski], [Chris] Diaz, [Andrew] Suarez, [Javi] Salas, our closer.
“You can tell I’m excited. I think we’re going to have a good club next year with these guys and our recruiting class.”
Morris lost two high-end picks who signed with their respective teams early in the signing period: outfielder Matt McPhearson (fourth round, Arizona Diamondbacks) and right-hander J.D. Underwood (fifth round, Los Angeles Dodgers).
But of the six players Morris was waiting on at Friday’s deadline, none ended up signing pro contracts.
The players the Canes were sweating out most Friday were power hitting Hialeah Mater Academy outfielder Willie Abreu (14th round, Cincinnati Reds) and Derik Beauprez (25th round, Boston Red Sox), a 6-5, 210-pound right-handed pitcher from Cherry Creek, Colo., who can hit 95 mph on the radar gun.
Other Hurricanes signees who were drafted include C/1B Zack Collins, Plantation American Heritage (27th round, Reds) and OF Jacob Heyward, McDonough, Ga. (38th round, Atlanta Braves). And Morris said he already expected Radziewski (29th round, St. Louis Cardinals) and Salas (39th round, Minnesota Twins) to return.
With all six players in the fold, you’ll have to forgive Morris for being so enthusiastic about the team’s outlook for next season. Indeed, the first game does not even arrive until 2014, but being knocked out of commission during the climax of a season and facing your own mortality can make anyone yearn for the next season to come quickly.
“I feel like I missed the season,” Morris said. “There was no closure.”