Morse Clears Waivers, Lugo Returned To Twins

Dave · April 1, 2009 at 1:20 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The M’s have outrighted Mike Morse to Tacoma, which means he cleared waivers. He’s now off the 40 man roster – his spot will be handed to Mike Sweeney whenever they get around to purchasing his contract. I think most of us figured some team (like Houston or Florida) would grab Morse for free, but no one else saw much potential there either, so he stays in the organization. The question will be what they do with him now. Tui is going to play third base for the Rainiers, and first base will be occupied by some kind of Carp/Shelton/Clement/LaHair platoon, so Morse doesn’t really fit in there either. He can’t play the middle infield anymore. I guess they could use him as an outfielder in lieu of Prentice Redman, but he’s not an outfielder in any real way, shape, or form.

The M’s have a big logjam of Triple-A players. Some of them are going to have to go away.

In other news, the M’s decided against keeping Rule 5 pick Jose Lugo, and he was returned to the Twins. I liked the Lugo selection and would have liked to see the M’s keep a power groundball/strikeout LHP around, but it’s not the end of the world. The question, though, is with Lugo going back to Minnesota, Cesar Jimenez getting put on the DL, and Tyler Johnson not breaking camp with the team, are the M’s really prepared to go into the season with zero left-handed relievers on the roster? This could be something of a sign that the team is going to go with Jakubauskas as the fifth starter, which, honestly, would be a head scratcher.

Also, reading between the lines here, this means that Shawn Kelley has almost certainly made the team. The M’s are going to carry seven relievers, and Morrow/Aardsma/Lowe/Corcoran/Batista/Kelley seem to have nailed six of those spots, with the last choice being the loser of the RRS/Jakubauskas battle or Jesus Delgado. They could potentially carry both and send Kelley back to Tacoma, but that seems unlikely.


30 Responses to “Morse Clears Waivers, Lugo Returned To Twins”

  1. Mariner Melee on April 1st, 2009 1:34 pm

    Lugo is disappointing. I would have loved to see him make the team.

  2. joser on April 1st, 2009 1:37 pm

    This team certainly has trouble with keeping middle infielders — the ones they don’t piss away in trades turn out to be liabilities at that position. Hopefully that will change going forward (a few good drafts can make a huge difference — just ask Tampa Bay) but they’re sure paying for the recent past. And how did we go from a glut of LH relievers to none?

    Drayer is saying the Twins wanted Lugo back and the M’s couldn’t work out a deal to keep him.

  3. Gump on April 1st, 2009 2:16 pm

    I like Morse and how well he has hit in the majors when given the chance. Give him some AB’S at DH at AAA and whichever spot they feel he could help the team best at.

  4. Gump on April 1st, 2009 2:21 pm

    So if someone clears waivers and comes back to the original squad does that mean that next year if the m’s decide to not keep him in the majors he has to clear waivers again?

  5. wabbles on April 1st, 2009 2:29 pm

    Seven relievers? Where did that come from? I thought sanity finally had returned with the new regime and we were back to a five-person bench? OK, so without rosterbating this makes our bench….Rob Johnson, Cedeno, Sweeney and Wlad? Right?

  6. Jeff Nye on April 1st, 2009 2:32 pm

    Mike Morse has had plenty of chances to succeed. He never has.

    I was hoping he’d get claimed so I’d never have to hear about him again.

  7. lailaihei on April 1st, 2009 2:44 pm

    Keeping Batista or Corcoran instead of Jabukaukas would be ridiculous. He’s throwing as well as anyone this spring.

  8. Gump on April 1st, 2009 3:07 pm

    Keeping Batista or Corcoran instead of Jabukaukas would be ridiculous. He’s throwing as well as anyone this spring.

    Corcoran did a great job last year. Just because his stats aren’t that great in the spring doesn’t mean much. Look at Sherrill in previous years…

  9. lailaihei on April 1st, 2009 3:13 pm

    Corcoran did a great job last year. Just because his stats aren’t that great in the spring doesn’t mean much. Look at Sherrill in previous years…

    I’m not talking about his stats… There are at least 3 better righties on the proposed lineup, why not go with the guy who can spot-start and go multiple innings if need-be who is also probably better?

    Batista should be cut and that’s a no-brainer.

  10. Logger on April 1st, 2009 3:15 pm

    Very cynical aren’t we Mr. Nye?

  11. Gump on April 1st, 2009 3:16 pm

    I agree on Batista but reality has hit where were gonna have to deal with him. Jabukaukas has been great so far but i’d rather have him pitch every five days in Tacoma than spot start every now and then.

  12. Sports on a Schtick on April 1st, 2009 3:26 pm

    This team, slowly but surely, is making less sense by the day.

    Freakin’ cut Batista already. He’s a sunk cost.

  13. AuburnM on April 1st, 2009 3:29 pm

    Hitting and defense seem stronger than last year, but the pitching seems shaky across the board. I guess Bedard was crappy again today.

    Someone tell me not to worry.

  14. Jeff Nye on April 1st, 2009 3:34 pm

    Very cynical aren’t we Mr. Nye?

    Cynical? No. Tired of irrational Mike Morse lovefests that are based entirely on insignificant sample sizes? You bet.

    We can give him the Willie Bloomquist Memorial Pony.

  15. CMC_Stags on April 1st, 2009 3:51 pm


    I normally agree with you, but these two statements don’t add up at all.

    Mike Morse has had plenty of chances to succeed. He never has.

    Tired of irrational Mike Morse lovefests that are based entirely on insignificant sample sizes?

    So either he’s had plenty of chances and has not succeeded or he’s had small sample sizes and not enough chances to prove anything. It can’t be both.

    Saying something like “the projection systems seem to think he’s about a 320 wOBA hitter” and “he is not as good as Willie defensively to make up for being a sub-standard corner hitter” would be more effective arguements.

    Personally – I think he hits enough and has enough flexibility as a corner IF and OF to be a reasonable super-sub and pinch-hitter. If he’s in Tacoma, give him the chance to give guys days off and see how he does in the role as that is what his ceiling is at the MLB level. He’s decent Wlad insurance because the team doesn’t have another 4th OF right now.

  16. joser on April 1st, 2009 4:07 pm

    Well Jeff’s comments aren’t entirely inconsistent — the lovefest last year was engendered by the small sample of Spring Training, and flew in the face of results the much larger sample from past regular seasons.

  17. Dayve on April 1st, 2009 4:12 pm

    Very grumpy, aren’t we Mr. Nye?

  18. Jeff Nye on April 1st, 2009 4:19 pm

    To explain myself further, then:

    As far as I can figure it, the Mike Morse love comes from his performance during his 2006 callup. Which was a wOBA of .382, but only over 43 at-bats at the major league level, and was also aided by a .444 BABIP.

    So he goes down to Tacoma for 2007, and delivers a wOBA of .362 against AAA competition. So he’s a decent, but not great, hitter, with no real defensive position (more fun with small sample size theater; due to only playing two games there and being horrible, he had a -172.9 UZR/150 at LF that season in MLB). So he comes up, and posts a .465 wOBA! This guy is awesome!

    Well…it’s only 18 at-bats and was helped by a .571 BABIP.

    Mike Morse is what he is; a decent bat who can’t play defense anywhere well enough to not hurt the team, but doesn’t hit well enough to DH.

    There are dozens of Mike Morse clones out there. Getting attached to any of them is silly. Yes, he’s hit well in a couple of his short MLB stints, but minor league performance is predictive of major league performance, and his minor league performance gives us a much better view of what type of player he is.

  19. ThundaPC on April 1st, 2009 4:47 pm

    I wouldn’t mind Mike Morse getting a shot at the Majors in a Royals uniform.

  20. coasty141 on April 1st, 2009 4:54 pm

    “Mike Morse is what he is; a decent bat who can’t play defense anywhere well enough to not hurt the team”

    Thats one of the things I’ve found most interesting about Morse. In 2005 he appeared in 55 games and 450 innings at SS in the major leagues! Granted he had no business being out there. But if a player makes it to the bigs and a manager puts you on the field at SS and you can’t cut it, odds are you can play a less demanding position. Not possible for Mike Morse. I hate Mike Morse for crapping on the defensive position spectrum.

  21. ThundaPC on April 1st, 2009 4:58 pm

    Wakamatsu says that they will not open the season with a lefthander in the bullpen according to Baker. Process of elimination says that Rowland-Smith has the fifth spot in the rotation but the only one announced so far is Felix at the first spot.

  22. Madison Mariner on April 1st, 2009 5:28 pm

    Any chance that LaHair hits well enough to make him an added piece in one of the trades we’ll no doubt be making? I just don’t see the need to have as many guys at 1B in Tacoma as we do now, but I’d also love it if we could get something back for one of them.

    I figure Carp and Clement are the only 2 who should actually see time there–and I know how much everyone loves Shelton around here, sorry. 😉

  23. lailaihei on April 1st, 2009 5:41 pm

    Bryan LaHair is worth absolutely zilch.

  24. Breadbaker on April 1st, 2009 6:03 pm

    Prediction: without a lefthanded reliever, the average time of M’s games this year will drop significantly. No LOOGY means far fewer mid-inning pitching changes. And far fewer times when a guy pitching well is pulled so an inferior pitcher can face one guy. I’m all for it.

  25. G-Man on April 1st, 2009 7:07 pm

    No LOOGY means far fewer mid-inning pitching changes.

    This will never do. The sponsors will insist on pitching changes in order to get in the required commercial breaks.

  26. SonOfZavaras on April 1st, 2009 7:25 pm

    Jakubauskas as a potential 5th starter. Clement, Shelton and Olson in AAA.

    My head is spinning, this is nowhere near the way I envisioned this roster shaping up.

    And is anyone else getting the sick feeling like this is gonna be a wild ride of pure suck for the first two months, at least?

  27. Steve Nelson on April 1st, 2009 8:48 pm

    To rehash some information that should be obvious:

    When evaluating a player you need to consider his entire body of work, minor league and major league. In the case of Morse you need to assess his MLB performance in the context of his minor league career. If you do, you realize that his MLB stats are not sustainable.

    It’s another situation like Rene Rivera. People started getting all excited about him because his MLB performance looked great in the theater of the small sample size. But Rivera’s minor league career screamed out “unsustainable”. Yet there where those who believed Rivera was a budding superstar.


    Spring training stats are also virtually meaningless. The significance of spring training is an opportunity for a player to show that he had addressed some issue that was a concern. Maybe he needs to show better control of a breaking ball. Maybe he needs to show he can hit a breaking ball down and away, or recognize the pitch and lay off. If a guy demonstrates that ability, then the team can update their previous evaluation of the player.

    But the reality is that there is virtually no chance for a guy to play his way onto the roster when he didn’t have a chance of making the roster coming into camp. What a guy can do is make an impression that makes the team remember him for the future. Maybe he can get placed at a higher than he was previously ticketed for, or maybe he gets slotted into a starting position to see what he can do.

    In almost all cases, though, when a guy “breaks out” in spring training the club will want to see proof that it truly is a breakout and not a hot streak. And the way they do that is to see if the guy can sustain that performance for a half season or more at an appropriate level. If he can do that, he will elevate his profile in the organization.

    But doing so requires more than a hot streak against inferior competition in the desert.

  28. jjracoon on April 1st, 2009 10:33 pm

    Unless Morse can go to AAA and suddenly find a homerun swing, he is an after thought. Move on as who would you rather have up here Shelton or Morse???
    Wow! I had Lugo already on my final roster. Guess that is why I blog and Wak manages!!!
    Where is the warm fuzzy in starting
    Hernandez, Bedard, S$$$A, Washburn, RRS????
    I wanted Hernandez, Bedard, Morrow, RRS, Silva
    That would have kept me happy 4 days in a row!!!

  29. jordan on April 1st, 2009 10:40 pm

    Jakubauskas looks like a young Brandon Webb to me.

    Too bad Brandon Webb is younger than our 30 year old Jakubauskas.

  30. vj on April 2nd, 2009 4:36 am

    I’m all for Jakubauskas making the team, if only to see comments edited like this:


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