08/13/11 11:20 PM EST
Marlins option LoMo, release veteran Helms
Young Morrison surprised to learn of demotion to Triple-A
By David Villavicencio / Special to MLB.com
Following Saturday's 3-0 loss to the Giants, the Marlins optioned Logan Morrison to Triple-A New Orleans and released infielder Wes Helms. The team will announce corresponding moves prior to Sunday's series finale against the Giants.
"We're going to bring up a couple of other guys and look at them," manager Jack McKeon said.
Morrison was shocked to learn of his demotion. Despite batting just .249, the 23-year-old is considered a key piece to the Marlins' future and has hit in the heart of their order all season.
"I'm heartbroken. Disappointed," Morrison said.
Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest, along with general manager Michael Hill, director of baseball operations Michael Wickham and McKeon delivered the news to Morrison after the game, and the young outfielder did not take it well.
"I was about to get treatment on my knee and my arm that I just left on the warning track, but I got called into the office right there," Morrison said. "I had no idea what it was. They said, 'We exercised the right to option you to Triple-A,' and I walked out."
Morrison asked for the reasoning behind the team's decision, and he feels he did not get much of a response.
"They didn't give me anything," Morrison said. "I asked for an explanation and the one I got was, 'What are you hitting, .240?'"
"They didn't say anything about maybe the reason why I was hitting .240 is because I was getting a guy in from third by rolling over ground balls and not worrying about average and just trying to get the run in," Morrison said. "Am I going to say that I've had the best of years or the year that I wanted to have? Absolutely not."
Morrison believes there was more to the move than just his offensive struggles. An avid Twitter user that has drawn criticism from team president David Samson for his tweets, Morrison does not believe the demotion was a result of anything related to that.
"I don't think it's that," Morrison said. "I think it was something else, but I don't even know if I want to say it now. I want to talk to my agent and stuff like that."
While Morrison had a tough time accepting his demotion, Helms understood the team's decision to part ways.
"It was a little shocking on my behalf, but I can understand it," Helms said. "I'm hitting .190 and I didn't play a lot lately. It was tough to have timing out there, and when you're pinch-hitting you've got to have timing, and I just didn't have it."
Even after being released, Helms was grateful to the Marlins for giving him an opportunity when seemingly no one else wanted to a few years ago.
"I owe Florida a lot," Helms said. "They gave me an opportunity in '06, and we built a great relationship. I had some good years here and got to know these young guys well. I wish them the best. They were good to me.
"I'm not bitter at all. I can understand that I struggled. It happens. Every player struggles, and this is just my time to go. No hard feelings to them. Hopefully I'll land somewhere else, play one or two more years, and you never know: Maybe I'll manage these young guys someday."
Morrison was one of the young players Helms was closest to on the Marlins, and the veteran offered him some advice before leaving the clubhouse Saturday night. But even with Helms' wisdom, Morrison was still incensed with the team's decision.
"All I know is I go out and I give everything for this team," Morrison said. "I play hurt, I play through injury, and this is how you get treated. It doesn't seem very fair or right to me."
David Villavicencio is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.