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Morris rejoins Sounds, homers twice05/19/2013 1:35 AM ET
By Jonathan Raymond / Special to MLB.com
Professional athletes typically are not wired in a way that makes it easy to just shut down and relax for a few days.
But that's what is required of a player who suffers a concussion. Unlike a blow to just about any other part of the body, a head injury necessitates that he just turn everything off, at least for a short period.
That was the challenge facing Hunter Morris on Saturday as he returned a week after a concussion put him on the disabled list for the first time in his career. The results suggest he handled it well.
The Brewers' No. 4 prospect homered twice for the second time this year, going 3-for-4 with a double, a walk and four RBIs, as Triple-A Nashville cruised past Salt Lake, 11-0.
"You know, that was my first career stint on the DL, so there was a lot of anxiety, obviously, with a head injury. That's something I've never had before and I was a little nervous about how the outcome was gonna be," Morris said. "But I got past the anxiety, past the pressure I was putting on myself.
"I guess I could have not struck out the first at-bat," he joked, "but overall, I'd say it was a very good day."
The 2010 fourth-round Draft pick admitted to getting antsy in the first few days after the concussion.
"The doctor, he told me the less mental activity you do the faster it's going to heal. Like if you sprain your ankle, you're not gonna go out and run a 40-yard dash," Morris said. "So with an injury to the head, you're not gonna watch TV, be messing around on your phone, sending texts, reading, all that stuff. He basically told me to go and be bored.
"I wanted to come back as quick as possible, so I listened. It's tough, even sitting in a dugout and watching, you're putting yourself in situations mentally, trying to visualize everything going on on both sides of the ball, so it's tough to shut that side down, for sure."
The 24-year-old had a breakout season at the plate in 2012, hitting .303/.357/.563 with 28 homers, 40 doubles and 113 RBIs for Double-A Huntsville. He'd scuffled some in his first exposure to Triple-A this spring, posting a .220/.303/.390 line in 32 games before going on the DL.
Following Saturday's outburst, he's brought those numbers up to .238/.321/.459 with six homers and 17 RBIs. And he hopes it will mark a turning point in his season.
"I've had a couple other good games along the way. Obviously, this is the best to this point, but I think hopefully with a little bit of confidence, having the seven days off kind of got my legs back under me right now, I'm gonna try to continue to get the same feel I had at the plate tonight and carry it through the rest of the year," Morris said.
A pair of other Brewers prospects shined on Saturday, with Caleb Gindl (No. 16) going 4-for-5 with four RBIs and falling a triple short of a cycle. Leadoff man Scooter Gennett (No. 6) reached safely three times, finishing 2-for-5 with a walk and two runs scored.
"To get out there and see the production, one through nine, in the lineup makes [a big game] a lot more fun," Morris said, "when it's not just your own success but the guy in front of you, the guy behind you, the whole lineup just clicking."
The Sounds also got solid pitching as Zach Kroenke (1-6) scattered six hits over 6 1/3 innings for his first win of the season.