Billek Promoted; Morgan Retires

Billek was excellent in relief role

PEORIA, IL—The Peoria Chiefs in conjunction with the Chicago Cubs have announced that pitcher Mike Billek has been promoted to the High-A Daytona Cubs of the Florida State League. The now former Chief was 4-5 with a 5.66 ERA in 15 total appearances.

Billek, a Cubs' 3rd round draft pick in 2005 out of Central Florida, started the season in the starting rotation before switching over to the bullpen in late April, making spot starts in between.

Billek made his professional debut with Boise in 2005. With the Hawks, the Palm Harbor, FL native was 0-1 with a 2.65 ERA in five starts. He struck out 20 batters in just 17 innings pitched before being moved up to Peoria for the rest of the 2005 season.

In his first year as a Chief, Billek was 2-0 with a 4.06 ERA in eight starts. In 37 2/3 innings pitched, the 6'4, 235 pound right-hander gave up 33 hits while striking out 25 opposing hitters.

Billek started 2006 in the Chiefs' starting rotation before moving to the bullpen where he faired very well. As a reliever, the 22 year-old was 4-1 with a miniscule 1.53 ERA in 10 appearances and 17 2/3 innings pitched. He struck out 13 and held opponents to just a .215 batting average against him.

He was given a spot start in his most recent and maybe best outing of the year working four innings while allowing no runs on just one hit on Friday against Fort Wayne.

In addition to the Billek promotion, Chiefs' catcher Justin Morgan has announced his retirement from baseball. Morgan, a 39th round pick in 2005, was just placed on the disabled list for second time in 2006 with a strained calf. The Gonzales, LA native graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette before starting his professional career in Mesa in 2005.

This season with the Chiefs, the 24 year-old was hitting .273 with a double in six games behind the plate. With Morgan's retirement, the Chiefs' roster stands at 24 players, one short of the maximum of 25.

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