Tag:Wes Helms
Posted on: August 14, 2011 5:57 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 6:33 pm

Morrison may file grievance against Marlins


By Evan Brunell

In a surprise move on Saturday, the Marlins optioned Logan Morrison to Triple-A, but there's more to it than just batting average, and the left fielder is expected to pursue filing a grievance.

“We are going to, with absolute certainty, explore this and contact the union and make sure Logan’s rights are protected,’’ Fred Wray, Morrison’s agent, told the Palm Beach Post. “It doesn’t seem like everything adds up here.’’

On the face of it, the move was rather surprising as the 23-year-old has cranked 17 home runs on the year for Florida in following up his successful debut last season when he hit .283 with 20 doubles and seven triples last season in 287 plate appearances. But Morrison has been in a bit of a tailspin since the beginning of July, hitting .221/.290/.457. The power's been there, but the batting average hasn't been, which the front office cited as the reason for the demotion, Morrison told the Palm Beach Post in a previous story. If you're wondering why a promising youngster who has proven he can stick in the majors would be demoted on 36 games of a .221 batting average, you're not alone. The demotion smacks of something more, with Morrison admitting as much and GM Larry Beinfest cryptically alluding to such a thought.

Morrison "just needs to concentrate on baseball and all aspects of being a major leaguer,” team president Larry Beinfest told the Post. This could be reference to the increasing friction between Morrison and the front office, starting with his Twitter account which he has embraced wholeheartedly to the chagrin of the front office. He also spoke out against the firing of hitting coach John Mallee in early June. And now, the latest incident.

Morrison was demoted after he opted not to attend a meet-and-greet with season-ticket holders Saturday after already attending an autographing event that ran long earlier in the day. Morrison, who was already upset at the team's canceling of a charity bowling tournament due to lack of interest, asked union player representative Wes Helms if he had to attend. Helms, who did attend the event, told Morrison he was not required to do so. Morrison went on to apologize for not attending the meet-and-greet on Twitter, but that wasn't enough for Beinfest and the front office.

Helms was also released Saturday, perhaps due to his involvement in the incident. Helms' .191/.276/.236 line in 124 plate appearances wasn't exactly keeping him on the team, but he had been with the club since 2008 and was considered one of the clubhouse leaders. In addition, on Sept. 1, teams can carry up to 40 players on the major-league roster, so all Florida had to do was wait a couple weeks and they could have made a move to shore up the bench. On a team going nowhere where Helms has been valued and in his role as a pinch-hitter, his release is curious despite the numbers favoring a release, as he has lasted this long.

“I’m not going to get into any specific incidents,” Beinfest said. “I’m sure Logan has his view of things and the organization has their own view of things.”

"Right now I just feel resentment and anger," Morrison told the Post when the demotion occurred. "Stand up for what's right and this happens."

Around midnight Sunday morning, Morrison took to Twitter and said, "Thx guys 4 all of ur kind words & support. Really means a lot! "A bend in the road isnt the end of the road...unless u fail 2 make the turn."

Morrison will certainly return to the majors once rosters expand and may even be back before then, as this demotion smacks of making a point, not to iron out deficiencies in Morrison's game. The grievance, meanwhile, is unlikely to be filed as the player's union will tell Morrison the Marlins can point to his slump to justify the demotion, which would be good enough to dismiss the grievance. Either way, it's clear both Morrison and the front office aren't happy with each other, and this incident will only serve to strain the relationship further. Unfortunately for Morrison, he has five more years of team control before he can become a free agent.

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Posted on: August 14, 2011 12:10 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 12:27 am

Marlins demote Morrison, release Helms

Logan MorrisonBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Marlins released veteran Wes Helms and demoted 23-year-old Logan Morrison following Saturday's 3-0 loss to the Giants.

While Helms release isn't too surprising considering the 35-year-old is hitting .193/.279/.239 in 68 games, Morrison's ticket to Triple-A New Orleans was more surprising. Morrison is hitting .249/.327/.464 with 17 homers and 60 RBI. While manager Jack McKeon told reporters Morrison needs to "work on his whole game," Morrison told Harvey Fialkov of the Sun-Sentinel that he believed he was demoted because of something "off the field."

Marrison is one of the game's most entertaining players off the field and on Twitter and in other media. 

"I think it's something else but I don't know if I want to say it right now," Morrison told Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post.

Morrison said he was "heartbroken."

"Right now I just feel resentment and anger," Morrison told Capozzi. "Stand up for what's right and this happens."

Morrison wouldn;t elaborate on what he stood up for that got him demoted. He said he asked for an explanation from the Marlins brass and his batting average was cited.

Morrison had not tweeted since being released (as of midnight), even though Morrison didn't think Twitter was the issue.

Capozzi cited a team source as saying the organization is trying to send a message, "To me it's a lesson, concentrate on the game and stop trying to be so funny."

Morrison said he felt both moves were related to "the same incident." 

Helms said he didn't know what the issue with Morrison was, but as for himself, he doesn't want to retire.

"I'm hitting .190 and haven't played much lately," Helms told the Sun-Sentinel. "They got to do what they got to do. They got a new stadium next year and evidently I'm not part of the plan. I'm not done yet. I want to give it a shot somewhere else. Not ready to coach yet."

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Posted on: March 26, 2011 10:50 pm

3 up, 3 down for 3/26: Marlins on a roll

Wes Helms
By C. Trent Rosecrans

3 UP

Florida Marlins -- It seemed like something of a joke a week-and-a-half ago when Florida owner Jeffrey Loria blew up at his team over their spring training play. At the time, the Marlins were 5-13 and losers of nine straight. Since then, they've gone 7-1-1, including Saturday's 6-5 victory over the Cardinals with a walk-off single from Wes Helms (above). Sure, the wins don't count, but even in the spring, it's better to win than to lose -- and also to keep the boss happy.

Alex Rodriguez, Yankees -- Rodriguez hit his sixth homer of the spring on Saturday and fifth int he last eight games. A-Rod has had a sweltering spring, hitting .422/.469/.978. 

Justin Verlander, Tigers -- It doesn't count, but the Tigers' ace just wrapped up a pretty damn impressive spring. In six starts he went 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA. He struck out 23, walked three in 28 innings, while giving up 21 hits and three runs. He finished it on Saturday, allowing five hits and a run in seven innings against the Phillies.


Ryan Franklin, Cardinals -- It's the position Franklin is paid to succeed in -- the Cardinals go into the ninth inning with a 5-3 lead and three outs to go for the win. Greg Dobbs led off the bottom of the ninth for the Marlins before Franklin recorded two outs. Jeff Domiguez doubled to make it 5-4, then Jorge Padilla followed with another double to tie the game and then Helms singled in Padilla to give Florida a 6-5 victory.

Braves defense -- Atlanta had five errors in Saturday's 8-2 loss to the Mets. Right fielder Wilkin Ramirez had two errors, while Brooks Conrad, Jonny Venters and Joe Mather each had one. The Braves have 32 errors in 31 games this spring. The Braves had 126 errors last season, one fewer than the Nationals and Pirates in the bottom spot for that stat in the National League.

Aroldis Chapman, Reds -- The Reds fireballer didn't record an out in his outing against the World Champions. After back-to-back singles, a wild pitch allowed the first run to score, then he hit Mark DeRosa. After that Charlie Culberson singled and Andres Torres doubled. In all, Chapman gave up four hits and five runs, with converted infielder Jerry Gil allowing his inherited runners to score, while giving up a run of his own.

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Posted on: March 24, 2011 1:09 pm
Edited on: March 24, 2011 1:25 pm

Marlins option Dominguez, scramble for 3B options


By Evan Brunell

All offseason, the Marlins were adamant about giving 21-year-old Matt Dominguez a shot at the third base job. That never made sense, as Dominguez had yet to play at any level higher than Double-A and hit .252/.333/.411 despite all-world defense. While Dominguez was named the No. 66 prospect in CBSSports.com's top 100 prospects list, it appeared clear he wasn't ready for prime time. Given Florida's notoriously cheap ways, it was likely Florida was hoping to get away with paying Dominguez the minor-league minimum, along with being unsatisfied with the options for third.

Fortunately, the Marlins backed off that plan by optioning Dominguez to the minors after the third baseman hit .190 in 42 at-bats. While this compromises Florida's depth, it was the smart move.

However, the team insists it will not move second baseman Omar Infante to third, and it certainly won't move Chris Coghlan back to second or third, even if that may be the right move for Coghlan. Instead, Coghlan will attempt to play center field. Given the team's insistence on keeping Infante at second and Coghlan in center, they are hemming themselves in to third-base replacements. While the team may have valid reasons for these decisions, it is very strange they are locking themselves into this position. After all, if there's a second baseman or center fielder vastly better than the options at third, wouldn't it make sense to bring them in given the flexibility of Infante and Coghlan?

In any event, the internal options for third are Donnie Murphy, Wes Helms, Emilio Bonifacio and Greg Dobbs. Helms is unlikely to get extensive playing time as he is essentially a glorified pinch-hitter at this point. Dobbs, as FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal says, "looks 're-energized'," as a scout tells him. Dobbs spent the last four years with the Phillies where he totaled a .261/.310/.427 line in 943 plate appearances, but had an especially poor last two years as the first two years of his Phillies career had a .284/.331/.467 line, certainly capable of starting. The 32-year-old is limited defensively, however, which could open the door for Murphy or Bonifacio, who are considered the top internal options, as the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.

Bonifacio was the starting third baseman for the Fish in 2009 and got off to a hot start, but tailed off to end up with a .252/.303/.308 line in 509 plate appearances and followed up with a .261/.320/.328 mark in 201 plate appearances. While he can steal bases -- 33 in the last two years -- that offensive line is hard to swallow.

Murphy had a nice cup of coffee with the Marlins in 2010 as a 27-year-old. On his third team, he appears to hit left-handers well enough to draw some starts, but his time against righties in the bigs leaves much to be desired.

The team will also explore external options, with Rosenthal citing Pedro Feliz as one option. Feliz is in camp on a minor-league deal and would earn $800,000 in the majors. Feliz is highly unlikely to make the team, and for good reason. Even for the Royals, Feliz is particularly bad, as his total .218/.240/.293 line in 429 PA reveals. He started the year with the Astros before being released and finishing the season with the Cardinals. Even his once-excellent defense was abysmal, so it's difficult to imagine even the Marlins having interest.

It's very likely the team will have a revolving door at third the entire season, unless the club can swing a trade. In the outset, look for Dobbs and Bonifacio to share time.

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Posted on: September 2, 2010 12:50 pm

Marlins say they're done with Morgan

As far as the Marlins are concerned, their war with the Washington Nationals is finished.

The two teams will meet once more this season, Sept. 10-12 at Nationals Park -- and it's highly unlikely Nyjer Morgan will be around for that meeting.

Said Marlins third baseman Wes Helms to MLB.com : "I know it's over for me. I hope it is for these other guys."

It seems nobody is too upset about the first time Morgan was hit in Wednesday's game -- not even Morgan himself.

What seems to be in debate is whether Morgan's two stolen bases after being hit in the fourth inning crossed the line. Most of the former players serving as commentators on MLB Network and ESPN all seemed to agree Morgan's two stolen bases escalated the disagreement.

Nationals manager Jim Riggleman told reporters (via NatsInsider.com ) that he didn't see much of a problem.

"The Florida Marlins will not decide when we run. We will decide when we run," Riggleman said. "He felt that's the way I'm going to get my payback. Sometimes some guys get it in the form of going in hard at somebody at second base on a double play. I've seen that many times. But Nyjer took his revenge in the form of a stolen base. And I don't have any problem with it."

It seems that if you put a guy on base for free, you shouldn't complain about what he does when he gets there. The Marlins, apparently did.

Oddly enough, Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez wouldn't admit to the fact Chris Volstad was throwing at Morgan in the sixth inning, even though it was obvious to everyone -- and even justified by some.

"Everything was resolved. We were trying to pitch inside," Rodriguez said. "We were still trying to pitch inside the third time he was up. He was playing his game, we were playing our games, let's put it that way."

Yeah, like trying to hit him.

Morgan then went after Volstad and there were actual punches thrown and one player (Volsted) left with blood on his jersey -- much different than most baseball brawl hug-fests.

Nyjer Morgan Morgan's had one heck of a bad week or so. Quick roundup: he was suspended for throwing a ball in the stands (even though he was defended by a Philadelphia fan ), moved down in the lineup from leadoff to eighth, ran over Cardinals catcher Bryan Anderson, called out by his manager for the action, benched the next day, called out his manager for not having his back, ran over a Marlins catcher in a play that would have won the game had he slid instead of trying to bowl over the catcher, a YouTube video of him cussing out a Marlins fan showed up Wednesday, and then, you know, the whole fracas.

He also didn't help himself for the way he left the field -- taunting the fans like a hockey goon as he left the field. That's understood in hockey (Morgan played juniors hockey), but looked down upon in baseball.

What's interesting is that Morgan was brought to D.C. in a trade with alleged "bad apple" Lastings Milledge.

"People are going to have their own opinions," Morgan said after Wednesday's game (again, from NatsInsider.com ). "I know what kind of player I am. I'm going out there balls out. I'm not going to go out there and take anything for granted. I'm going to show that I'm a hard-nosed ballplayer, and that's the way it is."

Morgan's teammates had his back on the field; in the clubhouse, it was a little more subdued.

"He's definitely done some things over the past couple of weeks that are a little questionable, I think," Washington's Ryan Zimmerman said. "We've all talked. Me and [Ivan Rodriguez] have talked to him. … He obviously has to learn a little more about the game. But you can't take away from how hard he plays. That's what he does every day. It's not like he's changed over the last week or two. That's the attitude, the way he's played ever since he's been here. That's who he is."

He'll also be suspended for a good while in the next day or so. You'd think his recent actions won't play well in his appeal, either.

One thing's for sure, people now know Morgan for more than just his awesome stirrups. Although, stylish hosiery may be a better claim to fame than hot-head problem child.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: August 18, 2010 10:42 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2010 10:43 pm

Marlins give Helms an extension

Wes Helms For all the talk about who is going to be gone from the Marlins, Wes Helms will be back next year.

Florida has signed Helms to a one-year, $1 million extension, tweets Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post .

Helms, 34, has hit .226/.301/.362 with four homers and 22 RBI this season. His average is down from last season, but his other numbers are similar. For his career, he's hitting .260/.321/.415.

Helms has played third base and first base this season and has played in the outfield before in his career. Helms made $950,000 each of the last two seasons.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 27, 2010 9:48 am

Coghlan latest to suffer celebration injury

Chris Coghlan First jumping into home plate was baseball's greatest danger and now shaving cream pies will be decried as the scourge of the sport.

The Marlins' Chris Coghlan is the latest big leaguer to land on the disabled list with a celebration-related injury, a torn meniscus that could see him miss six to eight weeks. Coghlan suffered the injury trying to smash a shaving-cream pie in the face of Wes Helms, who had a walk-off single on Sunday.

"When Wes hit the walk-off, I went to pie him in the face," Coghlan told MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. "When I jumped, I landed wrong on my knee. That's how I got injured."

There had been speculation the Marlins would move Jorge Cantu before the trade deadline, move Coghlan from the outfield to third base and call up prospect Logan Morrison. Cantu may still go, but Morrison is coming up now to replace Coghlan on the roster.

After Kendry Morales hurt himself jumping into home plate, we heard scores of people saying they knew it was dangerous and was only a matter of time before someone got hurt celebrating a big homer. Someone, somewhere, will say the same about this, as ridiculous as it is.

Even Coghlan is perpetuating that silliness -- "As players we need to be a little more aware," Coghlan said. "It's a game of emotions, and emotions get the best of you."

We'll forgive him, because he's looking at possible surgery, but still it's pretty ridiculous to think delivering a shaving-cream pie is any more dangerous than standing in front of a projectile thrown at 100 mph or running as fast as possible and throwing yourself to the ground or running full-speed into a wall. And here I thought the shaving-cream pie's greatest danger was that it was cliche.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 20, 2010 10:24 pm

Rangers interested in Helms

Wes Helms The Rangers are unable to take on salary, but that's not stopping them in their yearlong hunt to find a right-handed first baseman.

"For quite some time, we have been looking for a right-handed complement," assistant general manager Thad Levine told MLB.com. "That hasn't changed as a piece we'd like to add."

The Rangers thought they had that man in Mike Lowell in the offseason before the trade had to be scrapped. They've also been linked to Ty Wigginton and Jorge Cantu. A new name can be added to the list: Wes Helms.

The Marlins' backup infielder has also drawn interest from the Yankees.

The Rangers were able to acquire Bengie Molina and Cliff Lee by having the original teams toss in salary to cover, but the club had to surrender two of its better prospects in order to make it happen.

Will they be willing to empty their farm system yet again for a top-flight player? That will be necessary for someone like Cantu -- and even Lowell and Helms won't come cheap. The Rangers may have to get creative to find a solution to platoon with Chris Davis.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com