More roster moves

Dave · May 31, 2005 at 6:20 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Shortstop Mike Morse has been called up from Tacoma. No corresponding roster move has been announced yet. He’s expected to get significant playing time at shortstop as the M’s hope to inject some life into the bottom of the order. The fact that he was hitting just .253/.317/.407 in the PCL is apparently not a concern.

I’ve written some pretty negative things about Morse’s defense since the trade, but several people who watch the club on a near daily basis have let me know that he’s looked significantly better than they expected in the field. It will be interesting to see how he handles the position for the M’s, and how much defense they’ll be willing to sacrifice to get his bat in the lineup.

At best, I think Morse projects as a utility player, but if his defense has improved to the point where he can at least be competent up the middle, he’s a better option on the bench than, say, Greg Dobbs.


76 Responses to “More roster moves”

  1. DMZ on May 31st, 2005 12:45 pm

    Is there a more useless player in baseball with a job?

    Oh man, does this open up some good jokes.

    And on defensive replacements: if you spot your guy properly, you can get a lot more defense than just the ninth.

  2. David J Corcoran on May 31st, 2005 12:49 pm

    True. You could do it in the seventh or 8th after Morse comes up to bat, but I just can’t see Hargrove doing that.

  3. Brett Farve on May 31st, 2005 12:59 pm

    If the M’s are behind in the late innings (which seems to be happening quite frequently these days) Valdez won’t see much action at all. The last thing that the bench needs right now is another guy that cannot hit and rarely plays.

  4. Grant on May 31st, 2005 1:03 pm

    Hey Dave,
    How do you think Bloomquist and Morse compare both offensively and defensively(@ SS)? Specifically is Morse an upgrade in either category?

  5. Bodhizefa on May 31st, 2005 1:11 pm

    Please give Rafe Soriano a shot in the rotation, trade Guardado for either Shoppach or McCann, and sign Rafael Furcal and AJ Burnett in the offseason.

    Bigtime Mariners Fan

    Ok ok, the Furcal thing is wishful thinking. Maybe we can sign Polanco, Burnett, and make a trade for a catcher. Whatever the case, we need to find a starting pitcher (or two) and a shortstop next year via free agency. We can trade Guardado to either the BoSox or the Braves for their stellar catching prospects, though.

  6. Bodhizefa on May 31st, 2005 1:13 pm

    Also, has anyone wondered how much (or how little) Brian Giles could go for next year on the free agent market? His swing is perfect for Safeco, and he’d be a great DH. Either that, or sign Frank Thomas, who is quite possibly the greatest non-steroid hitter in the last 40 years.

  7. DMZ on May 31st, 2005 1:16 pm


  8. eponymous coward on May 31st, 2005 1:22 pm

    I hear Ryan Howard can play SS…

  9. Jim Osmer on May 31st, 2005 1:33 pm

    Dave–always look forward to future forty. I would be very interested in who has surprised you (both positively and negatively) so far in the farm system this year.
    I would think Adam Jones and Rob Johnson were good surprised.
    Feierabend and Dorman would seem to be disappointments.
    Also where are the biggest gaps between reality and M’s evaluation on talent (i.e. Dobbs is not as good as they think, Cabrera is better than they think).

  10. DMZ on May 31st, 2005 1:37 pm

    I’m pleased that Tui’s hitting at Wisconsin, but that’s just me. Last year’s Everett performance had me seriously worried that he wasn’t going to hit, which has always been what people repeated when warned about his defense at short (his bat would play at third or an outfield position).

    That’s just me, though.

  11. Jim Osmer on May 31st, 2005 1:45 pm

    I was foolish and missed seeing Tui playing in Everett last year. If you didn’t know what position he played, what major leaguer(s) would he remind you of?

  12. dirk on May 31st, 2005 1:49 pm

    What about making Tui a catcher?

    He has the arm, size, toughness…

    Does this ever happen?(shifting a minor league position player to catcher)

  13. JMB on May 31st, 2005 1:51 pm

    That’s a really tough question, Jim. I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head, but I will throw out that Tui’s big and athletic, pretty upright and rather stiff defensively (from the one time I saw him). Maybe Dave or Derek have a name in mind.


  14. matt on May 31st, 2005 2:06 pm

    I’ve seen about a half-dozen Rainiers games this year, and with all due respect to the rest of you who chimed in, Morse really doesn’t look like a shortstop to me. Well, he stands between second and third base, and he wears a uniform, but the similarity ends there. He doesn’t seem really rangy, he has had problems with a couple pop-flies behind third, and really looks slow on his first step. Part of this may be the illusion created by tall people – Olerud always looked slow to me, but he made the plays, too. Anyway, don’t expect Morse to be Pokey Reese afield. Also, don’t expect him to come in and light the world afire at the dish – he’s still not a polished hitter.

    Whoever asked if Felix H is a groundball or flyball pitcher – he leans very strongly toward groundballs. A rare combination, a power pitcher with a ground / fly ratio of about 3 last I checked (early in the year, though).

  15. Paul Covert on May 31st, 2005 2:52 pm

    FYI, Felix stands by my count at 65 GO/46 FO so far this year.

  16. David J Corcoran on May 31st, 2005 2:54 pm

    62: I believe Brandon Inge was converted from position player to catcher in the minors, although he was just switched back to position player.

  17. msb on May 31st, 2005 3:13 pm

    #62–dirk said:”What about making Tui a catcher? He has the arm, size, toughness… Does this ever happen?(shifting a minor league position player to catcher)”

    um, yes– off the top of my head…. Yogi, Bob Boone, Terry Steinbach, Ivan Rodriguez, Mike Piazza, Jorge Posada, Toby Hall, Michael Barrett, Shea Hillenbrand (who converted back after messing up a knee)…

  18. G-Man on May 31st, 2005 3:44 pm

    Ibanez was converted to catcher in the minors, then switched back.

  19. Nick on May 31st, 2005 4:05 pm

    I agree with #64 . . . Morse looks very slow on balls hit to his right. He also seems to have a very slow release.

  20. Jim Osmer on May 31st, 2005 4:18 pm

    Wilson Valdez DFA to make room for Morse. confirmed

  21. Brett Farve on May 31st, 2005 4:28 pm

    The move is in the right direction:

    Put players on the team that at least have a snowballs chance in hell of being on the team in either ’06 or ’07.

    Morse fits that desciption to a T; Valdez does not.

  22. duder on May 31st, 2005 5:17 pm

    Ibanez was drafted as a catcher and then converted to an outfielder, not the other way around.

  23. Adam S on May 31st, 2005 5:21 pm

    To what degree is this just trying to appease the fans? From what I’ve heard and seen, as a SS, Valdez, Bloomquist, and Morse are all AAAA players right now. As you get more offense, you lose just as much in defense.

    I don’t think this fixes or shakes up things any more than swapping Bloomquist for Valdez in the starting lineup. I.e., none of this makes the team any better and might make it worse. Having sent Olivo to the minors and effectively declaring him a bust, are they trying to “showcase” the other player in the Freddy Garcia trade? And tell the fans “hey, we did SOMETHING”?

  24. JeffS on May 31st, 2005 6:04 pm

    Add me to the list that don’t like this move one bit. Is Morse better served with the M’s? I’m doubt it and it’s not like Morse is going to suddenly make us a contender. Let him adjust to AAA pitching and see how he matures.

  25. ray on May 31st, 2005 6:48 pm

    Dave, I must totally disagree with you on Yuniesky Betancourt. First they say his defense is MLB ready — that he is a defensive wizard. I know it’s only scouting reports but so far everyone has praised him on that. As for his bat, yea, it was really bad in April but he has really turned it around. In May he has had about 13 or 14 multi-hit games. He is hitting over .300 for May.

  26. Evan on June 1st, 2005 10:26 am

    Morse looks very slow on balls hit to his right. He also seems to have a very slow release.

    So he’s the anti-Jeter.