When Los Angeles Angels reliever Michael Morin was called up to the major leagues on April 27, one of the first things he did was scan his schedule to see if and when he might get to face the Royals.
So for Morin, who graduated from Shawnee Mission South in 2009, a chance to pitch for the Angels during their three-game stint at Kauffman Stadium would be a little reward for his first two months of hard work in the majors where he has a 1-1 record in 25 appearances.
“This would be a dream come true,” Morin said. “This is a day I’ve been waiting for since I got called up just in general because I grew up 20 minutes away from here. I went to countless Royals games so being able to be here is pretty surreal.”
Although he has yet to make his professional Kauffman debut, Morin has already gotten to face the Royals. He pitched a scoreless inning against them on May 23 in a 6-1 win and came back for a rockier inning against them the next night in which he gave up three runs on three hits and took the 7-4 loss.
Other than that, his early career has gone pretty smoothly with just four earned runs allowed in 26 1/3 innings for a 1.37 ERA. He is holding opponents to a .200 batting average with 24 strikeouts.
“Mike showed very quickly after his first couple appearances that there is no doubt he is going to go out there and make his pitches and win or lose with his best stuff,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “It has put him in a more prominent role in our bullpen where he can pitch later in the game with leads and he has been very good with that so far.”
Morin was originally drafted by the Royals in the 40th round of the 2009 first-year player draft, but he elected to attend the University of North Carolina. He was drafted in the 13th round by the Angels in 2012 and quickly rose through their farm system while earning the team’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors last season.
“It’s everything you ever dream of,” Morin said. “I’ve been fortunate to be able to progress pretty fast, but it has been incredible and a bunch of the guys in this locker room has made it that much easier by making me feel more comfortable.”