You Are Going To Like Michael Morse

Jeff Sullivan · April 4, 2013 at 9:28 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The Mariners, at this writing, have played four games of the 2013 regular season, and they’ve gone more or less as expected. Felix pitched well, Iwakuma pitched well, Saunders and Maurer pitched less well, and the offense mashed some dingers. Thursday afternoon, the M’s dropped to 2-2 after starting out 2-0, but there’s little shame in splitting a road series against the defending division champs. Now then, this isn’t actually about the Mariners, but rather one particular Mariner, a new one and also an old one. I work for FanGraphs, and I love it, and FanGraphs has live-updating leaderboards. Which means their leaderboards have already taken into account Thursday’s action. I’m looking at the leaderboards, and what I’m seeing is that Michael Morse has already topped his 2010 WAR, and his 2012 WAR. Michael Morse has played four games.

Granted, the present WAR doesn’t yet include UZR, because it hasn’t even been a week, but because it hasn’t even been a week UZR isn’t going to say anything. And granted, in 2010 Morse wasn’t that valuable, and in 2012 he wasn’t that valuable either, at least by this measure. But Morse has made one hell of an impression, standing with a league-leading four dingers. The Mariners acquired Morse because they liked the idea of having his power, and it took one series for Morse to demonstrate all of which he is capable.

Because we’re Mariners fans on the more analytical part of the internet, precious few of us loved the trade that sent John Jaso away. Many of us loved John Jaso, and his position and his team control, and Morse is a one-year guy with dingers and only more dingers. But in fairness, when that deal went down, we knew only what it was like to watch a good John Jaso. We didn’t know what it was like to watch a good Michael Morse, and we’ve been given a glimpse in the season’s first week. We weren’t perfectly objective at the time and we’re not perfectly objective now, but safe to say Morse is going to win himself fans.

Morse will forever be associated with the trade, at least until or unless something else happens, but that’s not his fault, so that shouldn’t be used as a reason not to like him. If you absolutely hated the trade, that’s a mark against the front office. It’s not a mark against the guy the front office acquired, since he had nothing to do with the negotiations. Morse should be allowed to make his own impression, and he’s got a lot of the elements necessary to become a fan favorite.

It should be noted at this point that Munenori Kawasaki was something of a fan favorite, so sometimes fans don’t pick the best players. But baseball is simply entertainment and people like who they like. You know what scores points? Dingers. Morse has four. He drilled a low-outside fastball out to right field. He lined an inside fastball off the plate out to left field. He clobbered two inner-half fastballs out to straightaway center. Oakland’s is not a hitter-friendly ballpark. Morse made it look like one. He hits the ball as hard as it looks like he would hit the ball if you just glance at his body and frame. Michael Morse isn’t playing tricks on you.

But that one year, Jose Lopez hit 25 dingers. You know what really scores points? Impressive dingers, and Morse has already impressed. He’s hit the season’s third-longest dinger, he’s hit the season’s third-highest dinger, and the other two dingers were line drives on pitches most hitters wouldn’t have knocked over a fence. You remember how certain segments of the fan base fell in love with Russell Branyan, Wily Mo Pena, and Bucky Jacobsen. Morse hits what might be referred to as statement home runs, and he’s got himself a bat flip. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a Mariner with a bat flip, a Mariner who was that confident about his strength. I’m not saying a bat flip makes a player, but it’s indicative of likable traits.

On top of the power — and that’s really Morse’s whole game — the guy has personality. He’s energetic, and he’s a good interview, and he seems to do everything with enthusiasm and a certain flourish. I remember, over the past few years, watching a lot of Giants games and seeing how much fun those players seemed to have in the dugout. Granted, those were good Giants teams, and we’ve been watching bad Mariners teams. Of course a dugout is going to be a little more animated when you’re destined to win the World Series. But it’s fun to have enthusiastic, personable players. As much as I love Dustin Ackley‘s hit tool, I could happily go the rest of my life without ever hearing him speak. The Mariners have some perfectly nice guys who can be stiff as a door frame. Morse adds color, in the way that Felix Hernandez adds color even independent of his actual pitching. This is going to sound stupid, but it’s fun to see players look like they care, and it’s fun to see players look like they’re having fun. Raul Ibanez is here to provide veteran experience and leadership, but Morse is going to provide observable character.

And one shouldn’t overlook the fact that Morse is apparently absolutely thrilled to be in Seattle. This is a guy who the Mariners dealt away for a backup, a guy who only found success somewhere else, and this is a guy who got traded back to Seattle from a title contender. The Nationals are probably the best team in baseball; the Mariners are probably not. Morse easily could’ve reacted the way that Cliff Lee initially reacted. But Morse didn’t just go along with things — he told everyone he could get a hold of that he was beyond ecstatic with things. Unless Morse is a hell of a convincing liar, he wants to be a Mariner, and again, we get another parallel with Felix. One of the things that sets Felix apart in our hearts is his loyalty to the city and the organization. A lot of players seem like they’d be happy anywhere, just so long as they’re playing, and free agency typically bears this out. It renders as somewhat silly the idea that we should support a specific team in a specific place, since the players don’t really care. A guy like Felix, or Morse, indicates that there’s something special about this team, and it’s satisfying when loyalty feels like it’s a two-way street. Put another way: who the hell would want to be a Mariner? Michael Morse does, and that’s an unusual characteristic.

Morse isn’t going to average a home run every game. Sustaining that sort of rate is impossible, but there are going to be stretches where Morse makes it look like it’s possible. We’re in one of those stretches now. Every time he comes to the plate, a home run is going to be a distinct possibility, and his will be plate appearances to which we can look forward. A deficit is never that much of a deficit is Michael Morse is coming up. Power really does change the feel of things, in a positive way, for the team with the power.

What I’m not saying is that we’ll all come around and agree that trading Jaso for Morse was the right thing. That’s been analyzed to death, and there’s no reason to change that analysis now. That’s not how analysis works. But prepare yourself to either love Michael Morse, or like him, if you don’t already. He’s got a lot of likable elements to him, and even if the end result is something like a 0-2 WAR, it’s probably not going to *feel* like he was that mediocre of a player. It’s going to feel like Morse makes a significant impact, and he’s going to liven up what’s been a stiff team. You have to appreciate Morse’s unusual blend of traits. If he were homegrown, he’d already be a fan favorite.

Now, it’s going to be weird when the Mariners extend Morse for a bunch of years and we’re forced to try to like him into his decline phase. That’s never an easy ride. But for the time being, Michael Morse is going to do a lot of things to make you like him. Go ahead and like him. It’s the right thing to do.

Comments

47 Responses to “You Are Going To Like Michael Morse”

  1. BackRub on April 4th, 2013 9:43 pm

    1) I love listening to Dustin Ackley speak. He sounds like a focused, reflective young man.

    2) Morse’s power is impressive. Two of those homer’s didn’t even look like they were hit well. Looking at him, it’s crazy to think how much strength he’s added since he debuted as a shortstop for M’s in 2005.

  2. Westside guy on April 4th, 2013 9:44 pm

    Aw, shoot, Jeff – I was really hoping we’d see him hit 162 singers this year.

  3. californiamariner on April 4th, 2013 10:04 pm

    I agree that Morse is very likable. Just following him on Twitter since the trade and listening to his interviews/watching him in the dugout makes me like him. I definitely think we should all embrace someone that actually wants to be a Mariner!

  4. BelaBartok on April 4th, 2013 10:28 pm

    Instead of linking to a stats page, the words “Munenori Kawasaki” above should have linked to a GIF of him doing his tippy-toe, fake base steal.

  5. putnamp on April 4th, 2013 10:46 pm

    I watched Morse take a 12 pitch strikeout and I was sold. A hitter that works the count? I’m in.

  6. alan smithee on April 4th, 2013 11:42 pm

    I liked him when he was in the minors and was never clear why we traded him away for a handfull of magic beans. of course we do that. deveop guys, give them away, pay a lot to bring them back once others have sucked all the tasty marrow out of their bones. in 7years or so we will be trading away some prospects to get adam jones back.

  7. SeattleNative57 on April 4th, 2013 11:53 pm

    I liked Mike Morse before he was traded to the Nats. He was likeable then, too. While he didn’t display the power he now shows, he has always had good hitting skills and approach. He wasn’t good then defensively and is probably worse now. I think we can all agree he is not here for his defense. You take the good with the bad regarding Morse’s defense.

    I still don’t get the love affair with Jaso. He’s a good part-time hitting catcher with his own defensive deficiencies. Pennants will not be won or lost on John Jaso’s play. He was the best hitter on a team that didn’t hit … meh. Really doesn’t say much. A healthy Michael Morse clearly out-produces John Jaso career and season-wise. We’ve shipped out other productive Mariners, including Morse, without nearly the remorse expressed over John Jaso. Just think how much better we would have been with Cabrera, Choo and/or Jones. Those players I could love. Getting to know Morse again is a pleasant exercise. Not wishing Jaso any ill will, but I’m fine with his departure. The honeymoon was brief but no love affair.

  8. SonOfZavaras on April 5th, 2013 12:31 am

    I always liked Michael Morse. I like him even better on THIS go-around.

    Aw, shoot, Jeff – I was really hoping we’d see him hit 162 singers this year.

    No problem! We’ll just wait until a Tabernacle Choir is in town and tell him that they ALL insulted his momma! Then give ‘im a bat, pop a Coke and watch the fun!

    (Sorry, Westy. Hadda do it.)

  9. marinerbullpen on April 5th, 2013 12:59 am

    The hate on this site for the Morse/Jaso trade was unfounded.
    Worst trade EVER was mentioned.
    Just saying.
    Go Ms

  10. eddieranch on April 5th, 2013 1:12 am

    I do love the deep analysis on this site and love counting the “it’s a small sample size” comments (are the Mariners’ horrible 10 years a large enough sample?:) BUT, can we, for a moment, enjoy a Mariner leading the league in home runs. 4 game sample or not, when did that last happen? Cue statistician dude to say, “uh, Ed, that actually happened in 2011.”

  11. maqman on April 5th, 2013 2:20 am

    Morse is going to put more butts in seats at The Safe, Jaso never did that.

  12. alan smithee on April 5th, 2013 2:34 am

    it’s a can’t see the forest for the trees sort of thing.or maybe willful denial. people spent a lot of time obsessing over a 28-year-old Lf who is at best the light half of a LF platoon and ignoring the teams obvious inability to get anyone on base. or that the rotation was felix and 4 5th starters. or that the manager is a hapless buffoon.

  13. John Morgan on April 5th, 2013 2:59 am

    Can he do the hully gully?

  14. BackRub on April 5th, 2013 5:35 am

    There are those in the comment section who are keeping our heads, and not getting overly excited about four games. Just wanted to make that clear lest some people get the wrong idea about USS Mariner. Jaso is a very good player who in 400 PAs a year is more valuable than most in 600 PAs. As a player who can catch and should be again who figures to be one of the better hitters vs RHs, its tough to be as valuable as him. Perhaps you don’t think that because you don’t buy into WAR or OBP or w/e. If that’s the case, then please provide definitive evidence that you method of measuring production or value or w/e you call it accurate assess a player’s contribution to his team’s win total. If you are able to do so, you would probably become famous for revolutionizing baseball analysis. Many people have been demonstrating that a team’s cumulative WAR-which considers OBP and defensive position, among other things- is strongly correlated with games won for many years and in great detail. If you have found a better approach to determine what wins game, and thus sells tickets, please inform the rest of us. I’m sure everyone here, including staff, would love to hear about something that would deepen our understanding of the game.

  15. ivan on April 5th, 2013 6:06 am

    Jaso did plenty of good things last season, for a team that needed them. But the love for him around here borders on the irrational. No one has yet demonstrated to my satisfaction that his defense is, or ever will be, any better than Montero’s. Yet Montero behind the plate is called a “charade” and Jaso’s defense gets a pass, because, OBP!

    I applauded the trade that sent Morse to DC because at the time of the trade, Ryan Langerhans was a better player than Morse. Obviously, Morse today is a more valuable player than he was then, while Langerhans is in AAA somewhere.

    I didn’t much care for the trade that brought Morse back, because I considered it an unnecessary gamble on a one-dimensional player. If Morse proves that wrong, and provides greater value over this season than Jaso provided last season, I won’t mind admitting that I was full of shit. That appears difficult for others.

  16. Westside guy on April 5th, 2013 6:56 am

    The other side of the Jaso/Morse three way is the one Dave brought up soon afterward. Regardless of how some of us felt about Jaso, with Wedge in charge he was not going to be utilized all that efficiently.

    We also don’t know how that trade came about. Sure, the Nationals didn’t get a lot out of it – but maybe Jack Z wasn’t able to find a piece they were interested in, for whatever reason. Or, maybe, it started out as an Oakland-Washington thing but Beane wasn’t happy with what the Nats offered… who knows.

    Or perhaps our org is so high on Zunino’s near term prospects they just didn’t see a role for Jaso after July…

    Anyway, the team didn’t like Wells, and he wasn’t exactly forcing himself into any discussions this spring… and, other than him, Morse isn’t/wasn’t blocking anyone. If he keeps Peguero and Liddi off the 25 man all year, I will be a happy camper.

  17. Mekias on April 5th, 2013 7:41 am

    When I first heard about the trade, I looked at Morse’s WAR for 2012 and was worried. On the surface it looked like he had lost whatever made him good in 2011. 2011 looked like an outlier to an otherwise unremarkable career.

    But then I researched a bit more and noticed the injuries from 2012 and how he came back a bit early and that sapped his power. I thought, maybe he didn’t lose his ability from 2011.

    After watching him in Spring Training, it just sort of confirmed my hope. Dude has tons of power and will hit for a high average. I’m still concerned about the lack of walks but we’ll see what happens when more pitchers get afraid of him and start nibbling around the plate.

    I’m actually hoping we hear about Morse’s new contract fairly soon. It’s nice to have a power hitter who wants to be in Seattle.

  18. absolutsyd on April 5th, 2013 7:42 am

    I just want to say, as far as I could tell, the last time a Mariner had four home runs in the first four games was Junior waaaaaaaaaay back in 1997. Let’s enjoy it!

  19. dnc on April 5th, 2013 7:48 am

    18 – Didn’t Mike Cameron hit 4 HR’s in 1 game?

  20. stevemotivateir on April 5th, 2013 7:51 am

    Excellent post, Jeff. Although I’m as guilty as the next guy, having blasted the trade by picking on Morse a bit, I’ve since (like, two or three days later) been quick to point out it’s not a Jaso vs. Morse issue. It’s not an anti-Morse issue either. It’s simply how we acquired him and the fact that it didn’t have to be Jaso.

    So yeah, anger should be directed at Wedge and the front office, rather than Morse. I remember being furious when Morse was traded for Langerhans.

  21. MrZDevotee on April 5th, 2013 7:55 am

    Okay Backrub-
    I’ll take a stab at it. (Apologies to Westy…) WAR is nice and all, but comparing these two guys (who are both essentially Offensive assets only) is a bit unfair, because Jaso gets a +12 positional adjustment for being a catcher, while Morse gets a -7.5 for being an OF.

    Also, to compare offensive stats is a bit misleading, because everyone points to Jaso’s only excellent year to compare– 2012– where he only faced RHP (when we could help it).

    Morse is an everyday player.

    And in the last 3 years, Morse beats out Jaso handily in OPS+… Literally, OBP+Slug% refined to park differences. Literally, the TWO THINGS the Mariners need more than anything else if someone hopes to help them with just offense: Getting on Base plus Slugging %. Morse is better.

    Jaso
    2009: 111 OPS+
    2010: 84
    2011: 144

    Morse:
    2009: 133 OPS+
    2010: 147
    2011: 112

    The only reason to keep a Morse or a Jaso around is their offensive abilities. And Morse is worth more to a team with the Mariner’s desperate needs, based on OPS+. If you were building a team from scratch, in a perfect world scenario, perhaps not. But for the 2013 Seattle Mariners, Morse is a more valuable asset… Because he plays everyday, and provides greater value of OBP + Slugging.

  22. currcoug on April 5th, 2013 8:22 am

    I hated the Langerhans trade from the start. When I pointed out that Morse had posted a .822 OPS at Safeco, I was roundly derided me for the small sample size (173 PA’s). Morse also showed an ability to go the other way, and there were flashes of power, including a long HR to left center at Safeco.

    The problem with Morse is his injury history. He swings so hard, that something is inevitably going to break. Accordingly, I would support a two year extension, but it is probably going to take three.

    Finally, I hate to break it to Westie, but Morse spoke of having a “certain song” played at Safeco, when he comes to the plate in the later innings. I hope he wasn’t talking about “Take On Me”. I rather doubt Nats fans ever would have serenaded Ryan Langerhans by the tens of thousands…LOL.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnzPD-Sm4Fg

  23. ChrisFB on April 5th, 2013 8:28 am

    If his defense or injuries do not cancel out what he brings with the bat, I may like him.

  24. Westside guy on April 5th, 2013 8:29 am

    MrZ, you really need to stop with that “part time” versus “full time” argument unless you do your homework. Go add up how many major league games Jaso and Morse played in over the past three years, then report back.

    Bottom line… 74% of major league pitchers are right handed, and Michael Morse isn’t as “every day” as you seem to think he is.

    I get what you’re trying to say, but you really need to pick a different strawman.

  25. Westside guy on April 5th, 2013 8:30 am

    Currcoug – oh please, dear God NO.

    Morse looks like a guy who’d either go for Metallica or else Merle Haggard.

  26. vj on April 5th, 2013 8:33 am

    “Currcoug – oh please, dear God NO.”

    I think, the video and the “Take on me” singing is awesome.

  27. ripperlv on April 5th, 2013 9:10 am

    Actually I thought the trade was a no brainer, but I’m can’t argue and win on this site, that is for sure.

    However, my personal observation, I think the WAR formula may need some tweaking. It doesn’t seem like catchers are corrected fomulated. I’ve seen some of the arguments about the catching metrics, and I don’t believe everyone is on board with the grading. But I’ll leave the formulas to some of you wizards.
    I do know Jaso is no Molina and Morse is no Gutierrez. If you could call these guys even on defense then Morse looks even better. I don’t know if I’m comparing apples and oranges, but it’s easy to say neither one is going to win defensive accolates.
    Jaso has terrible splits, Morse doesn’t. Jaso is a platoon player, Morse isn’t. You know Morse can knock the ball out of any park in the world on any partical pitch, and so do the pitchers, the fans, the opposing managers, well everyone knows. You don’t spit into the wind and you don’t pinch hit for Morse. Jaso gets pinch hit for a righty late in the game. Fans love a power hitter, a masher, it’s just the way we are and it’s going to put more butts in the seats than Ichiro beating out a grounder. At least I would bet that way. I can’t argue the stats but I do feel they may not be right in this case. I like Morse.

  28. Bremerton guy on April 5th, 2013 9:29 am

    Traded for Ryan Langerhans. Sheesh.

    I’ve always liked Morse. Back in the day I would get shouted down on here when I would suggest he should get more time on the field. I was mystified when he was traded. For really, not much more than a bag of balls. I think it’s one of Z’s worst three moves (Fister and Morrow being the others).

    That being said, I like Jaso a lot and couldn’t figure out last year why he wasn’t on the field more. But with Zunino on the way up, the chance to get Morse back makes the deal a good one from where I sit.

  29. MrZDevotee on April 5th, 2013 10:04 am

    Westy-
    Okay, but the part time is an outlier… Forget the part time all together… It’s not like I was adjusting numbers for that? Just pointing it out. He’s NOT a 144 OPS+ hitter if you don’t platoon him.

    But even disregarding that critique in my argument… How does that change that Morse OPS+ the past 3 years kicks Jaso’s OPS+?

    How is that a strawman?

    I’m just saying, there’s no denying if you force Jaso to face more LHP, his numbers will go down… IE, his numbers go down closer to his 84 and 111 OPS+ BEFORE he got platooned.

    As a platoon player he’s better. But that’s not what we needed.

    How is that a strawman argument?

    As stated above by another poster: “You don’t pinch hit for Morse late in a game. Jaso gets pinch hit for all the time.” (Like, against us the other day… When a RHP reliever came in.) So a manager can actually force Jaso out of the game sometimes. Not gonna happen with Morse.

    Jaso is NOT a 144 OPS+ hitter. Not unless a wise manager makes him one. Jaso should tip his cap to Wedge for making him a starting catcher in the MLB this season.

  30. MrZDevotee on April 5th, 2013 10:11 am

    And also Westy… They may have played the same number of games, but all that does is strengthen the comparative numbers.

    There’s a difference between missing games ’cause you can’t hit the type of pitcher that day. And missing games because of injury.

  31. dnc on April 5th, 2013 10:50 am

    “When I pointed out that Morse had posted a .822 OPS at Safeco, I was roundly derided me for the small sample size (173 PA’s).”

    That’s because it WAS a small sample size. His Safeco OPS was much higher than his minor league OPS. There was no reason, at that point, to put more trust in his Safeco numbers than his minor league numbers.

    If Morse goes 1-15 on the home stand with 6 K’s that won’t prove he all of a sudden can’t hit at the new Safeco. Understanding sample size is extremely important.

  32. Westside guy on April 5th, 2013 11:09 am

    No, MrZ, a missed game is a missed game. It’s the exact same reason Dave said, last year, the team couldn’t go forward expecting Guti to be an everyday player. Lots of people found fault with that statement, but do you notice how the team is managing Guti so far this spring? One injury is not predictive, but trends definitely are.

    And you’ll notice I didn’t say a single thing about your OPS+ argument. But every time you bring it up, you also bring up the “part time player” argument. If Morse didn’t play more games than Jaso over the past three years, then that statement does not stand up to scrutiny and is, indeed, a strawman by definition.

    Morse is a more valuable hitter than Jaso. You should leave it at that, because that much is easy to show (and you have).

  33. marcus_andrews on April 5th, 2013 11:10 am

    Mr. Z-

    I don’t think your arguments are terrible and I think you have, to some degree, made me more accepting of the trade but there are a few things you keep sweeping under the rug.

    First: yes, Jaso is best platooned. But catchers don’t play every day regardless of handedness. Matt Weiters has no platoon splits, impeccable health, and is a stud defensively, and he doesn’t get 600 plate appearances ever. So yes, maybe Jaso is better only getting ~450 – 500 at bats but that’s only 100 or so less than the catchers who play the most often so it doesn’t kill you as much as you’re saying.

    Further, you can’t say the defensive adjustment is overstated so I’m ignoring that. The fact is even if it’s not THAT big, it’s big. Further, the offensive norm for a catcher =/= the offensive norm for a left fielder. Compared to the normal catcher, even Jaso’s wRC+ of 115 (the median year of the last three and close to the average of his last three) is much better than the average catcher. Morse’s wRC+ of 134 (his median and something like his average over the last three years) is about the same distance from the average left fielder.

    In other words: Yes, Morse is quite possibly a better hitter compared directly to Jaso. Once you compare them to the average at their position, it evens out considerably.

    Adding in other factors, Jaso is a good baserunner (not fast but smart) and Morse is a bad one. Perhaps this is a minor difference, but it still exists.

    So strictly focusing on ability to create runs compared to the average of their position it’s mighty close. Then you add in the fact that Jaso is capable of playing catcher (you can dispute how well but I don’t know that comparing how good someone is defensively favors Morse in any way) whereas Morse is only capable of a corner outfield spot or first base.

    Perhaps Jaso is overrated here, perhaps Morse is underrated here, but the difference in strict value they will provide is not that far apart and either side framing it to be too far apart is, in my opinion, disingenuous.

  34. marcus_andrews on April 5th, 2013 11:13 am

    Sorry for the novel.

  35. Westside guy on April 5th, 2013 11:16 am

    Actually I just became aware that my understanding of the term “strawman” was incorrect. While I disagree with MrZ, he is not misrepresenting my position in the argument in any way.

    I’d previously thought the definition was broader than that. Mea culpa.

  36. currcoug on April 5th, 2013 11:44 am

    DNC,

    I disagree. An argument can be made that the numbers Morse posted with the Nationals proved that the Safeco numbers were not a fluke. Moreover, Morse’s numbers at Safeco were solid, because he demonstrated an ability to go the other way in Seattle. At least, that is my recollection. Finally, in 258 PA’s in 2005, Morse’s home/away OPS split was 115 points better at Safeco, than on the road.

    It is just possible that Morse simply likes hitting at Safeco, and it would seem the new fences can only add to that. It is also fair to say that Morse is one of those rare birds that ended up hitting better at the MLB level. The trade was a mistake, which even Z has admitted, hasn’t he?

  37. MrZDevotee on April 5th, 2013 12:20 pm

    Marcus,
    Good point. But comparing them to the median isn’t exactly fair– when you could simply compare them to the Mariner alternatives.

    That actually HELPS my argument. Jaso can be replaced by Montero or Shoppach. Whereas, Morse’s numbers would need to be replaced by Wells, or Ibanez, or (NOOOOO!!!!) Peguero, etc.

    That’s why I think it’s important to point out his value SPECIFIcALLY to the Mariners, versus “the average LF”.

    But fair points overall.

    And Westy, it’s true, I should just leave out the Jaso doesn’t play all the time thingy. It’s just a point of contention and doesn’t help my argument.

  38. PackBob on April 5th, 2013 12:33 pm

    As long as Morse hits bombs he will be popular with many, and Wedge will wax poetic with worn cliches about his professional at bats. I’m much more interested to see how the young guys perform this year, if the Big Three show progress, and if Zunino continues to tear up the minors.

    I look for some gaudy games by the Morales/Morse tandem, which will be fun, but it’s still what the young guys do that will determine where the team goes from here.

  39. fcb on April 5th, 2013 12:48 pm

    I recall the Morse situation being a typical conundrum in how a lot of players develop- capable of maturing into a solid bat but long after his club control has run out. Dave makes that point about prospects periodically. Aside from the elite prospects, most hitters don’t reach the peak of their skills until their late 20′s. hitting major league pitching is really damn hard. The result is, a lot of guys end up like Morse, not evolving into a capable hitter until they are on to their second or third organization. I was skeptical of bringing Morse back, but he is a completely different hitter than the guy I remember. He’s ~40 lbs heavier, and he has shortened up his stroke a ton. I’m siked.

  40. currcoug on April 5th, 2013 1:07 pm

    I don’t believe Morse’s bat was the problem…it was his defense.

  41. davepaisley on April 5th, 2013 2:13 pm

    Geez, people react here like we traded Felix for Morse.

    I’ll bet less than 1% of mariner fans cared that Jaso was traded. He was great, but he was surplus to requirements on this team – no way the team was giving up on Montero so fast, and with Zunino, Jaso was destined to be nothing more than a backup. If anything, there’s a reasonable parallel with Matt Flynn – decent player caught in a situation where he wasn’t going to play.

    It was a win-win trade – Jaso went to a team that can use him regularly and we got to take a flyer on a rehabbing slugger with the potential to be pretty good at a position where we lacked power.

    And while Jaso is more valuable than Ryan Langerhans, he’s had one decent season primarily as a platoon player – his splits are telling (albeit small sample size, but that’s all you get when you can’t actually hit lefties.)

    vs R 252 AB .927 OPS
    vs L 42 AB .393 OPS (inflated by 2 HBP)

    Morse’s splits are remarkably even.

  42. currcoug on April 5th, 2013 2:39 pm

    At the time Morse was traded, his OPS with Tacoma was .851 (14 doubles, 10 HR’s)…in 289 PA’s. His numbers post trade with Syracuse in 2009 are even more impressive.

  43. fcb on April 5th, 2013 5:49 pm

    I never said he was a bad hitter when they traded him. My point was that he’s a much better hitter now, just as his cost controlled years are ending; Ideally you want guys to develop so you’re getting at least a few of their prime years at below the market value for the numbers they’re putting up.

  44. stevemotivateir on April 6th, 2013 7:36 am

    Really amazes me anyone is still attempting to argue the Jaso trade as a good thing. Every single point made, or brought up anyway, has been addressed a hundred times over (pros and cons). You’re not going to suddenly think of something that Dave, or any of the regulars here, haven’t already thought of or explained. Please, for the love of god, read through the articles and comments already posted -especially at the time of the move.

  45. madatms on April 6th, 2013 9:42 am

    I seem to recall that Mike Morse served a suspension for testing positive for PERFORMING ENHANCEMENT DRUGS WHILE IN MARINERS minor league system,just before him being traded? Does any else recall the story.

  46. madatms on April 6th, 2013 9:52 am

    I should really do my research prior to posting,according to Wikipedia,Morse was suspended in 2005 for 10 days for using PEDs . The PED was used in 2003 and he admitted using it ( http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2154494 )and he apologized for his use of said drug. the story tells it all,if my link works.

  47. davepaisley on April 6th, 2013 11:56 pm

    “Ideally you want guys to develop so you’re getting at least a few of their prime years at below the market value for the numbers they’re putting up.”

    Because that’s worked SO well the last ten years…

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