BRISTOL - The newest Bristol Blues player is not really new at all. This week, outfielder Dylan Morris joined the Blues for the second time after being a part of last season’s team, and both he and the team are excited about the reunion.
“It’s great to be back,” Morris said. “Last summer, we ended up going on a pretty good run. Unfortunately we fell short but it’s great to be back and hopefully start another run like we went on last year.”
Morris started both this summer and last summer with the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod Baseball League, but both stays were temporary and he then joined the Blues.
“He was in the Cape League until this week and you know how that league goes,” Blues manager Pat Riley said. “Roster adjustments are made all the time. He did well. Fortunately, he enjoyed his time in Bristol and we’re very excited to have him back.”
Morris will be a senior at UMass-Amherst and brings plenty to the Blues organization, both on and off the field. One of the biggest benefits to him joining the team is his seniority. The Blues have plenty of young players on their team, a few who haven’t even played in a collegiate game, so having a player who has played both in college and in the CCBL will provide the younger players with another mentor in the clubhouse.
“He’s an older guy and he’s played a lot of baseball and that’s going to help,” Riley said.
His teammates are also excited to have him back on board, especially one of his fellow returning players.
“It’s awesome,” Blues shortstop Tyler Roberts said. “It gives some of the underclassmen someone to look up to and kind of learn from his game. He’s just a great dugout and clubhouse presence. He brings a smile to everybody’s face and brightens their day and he’s just a great dude and I’m happy to have him back.”
In addition to his experience and capability to be a leader in the clubhouse, Morris can also help on the field. Morris played just nine regular season games for the Blues last season and picked up five hits and scored seven runs. In the playoffs, he played in five games and had three hits and two RBI. He is also a lefty batter, of which the Blues do not have many.
The Blues offense has struggled mightily in recent weeks, so bringing Morris in could help jump start the Blues and get them back to winning consistently.
“It’s awesome to just get a fresh bat in here,” Roberts said. “To add another lefty to the lineup is huge. I think that kind of flusters the opposing pitcher. I love his game. He works the entire field and just puts good wood on the ball. I look forward to seeing him play some more.”
Morris made his 2016 Blues debut on Wednesday against the North Shore Navigators.
He did not register a hit in four at-bats. He did get solid contact on a couple of them but hit them right to North Shore fielders. He picked up his first hit on Thursday against the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks, going 1-for-3.
“I felt a little rusty [Wednesday],” Morris said. “[I] hadn’t gotten too many at-bats in a while so it felt good to get my feet wet again. Now, the point is to just learn from every at-bat and keep getting better every day.”
With the majority of the second half of the season remaining, there is still time for the Blues to put together a run and head into the postseason hot, and Morris is hoping he can help Bristol do that.
“I [am] just someone who is going to show up every day and play hard and do everything I can to help the team win,” he said.
When he left Falmouth and had the opportunity to go anywhere to play for the rest of the summer, Morris felt like there was only one place that he wanted to go.
“It was just the fans and the people,” Morris said about why he came back to the Blues. “Just all the workers and the employees of the team are awesome and it’s just a fun spot to be. It’s a great experience to play summer ball in Bristol.”
Josh Kestenbaum can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or jkestenbaum@ centralctcommunications.com