Miami Marlins News: Michael Morse – “I’m All About Winning”
By Ehsan Kassim
Jarrod Saltalamacchia struggled early in the season, lost his job to rookie J.T. Realmuto, and then was eventually designated for assignment and released.
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With first baseman Michael Morse struggling of late, he finds himself in a similar position, as Justin Bour has taken the last two starts at first base. It seems though Morse has learned from the “mistake” Saltalmacchia made of voicing his displeasure of losing his starting job.
"Am I mad? Yeah I’m mad, I want to play. I’m not going to hurt this team. I’m not going to be the reason that causes a distraction. No hard feelings whatsoever. I want to win. My job is to help the team win so whatever I can do to help is what I’m going to do."
I had zero issues with Salty’s comments, as any player would be upset over losing their job. I’d be especially mad if I were a player and I only had 33 plate appearances to base the benching off in 2015. Salty said he didn’t want to be a distraction and we’ve yet to hear any story of him being one. That’s why the decision to DFA him was baffling.
Michael Morse has seemed to learn from Salty’s “mistake,” as he offered this up to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald about his potential benching.
"Mike Redmond played Justin Bour ahead of Morse for the second consecutive game tonight, but Morse told our Manny Navarro tonight in Washington D.C. that he has no problem with that at all.“I’m always just about winning,” said Morse, who signed a two-year, $16 million deal this past winter. “I’m happy for anybody that gets a chance to play — especially Bour. He’s swinging the bat awesome.”"
The only difference between the two statements is that Salty stated he was mad that he got benched, otherwise both seemed like perfectly reasonable responses. I think Morse was more subdued due to the situation that arose with Salty.
Morse is off to a .193/.253/.284 slash line with a 52 wRC+ in 95 plate appearances is on track for his worst season. He’s been worth -0.7 fWAR to this point and was pegged as a 1.0 fWAR player, at best, before the season. There should be a lot of concern about first base at this point.
To Morse’s credit, he is trying to find different ways of coming out of his slump, including talking to Hall of Famers that work with the Marlins, according to Jackson.
"Among the things Marlins first baseman Michael Morse has done to try to snap out of his month-long slump to start the season: He asked Andre Dawson (the Marlins’ special assistant to the president) to watch him and tell him exactly what he sees.Dawson suggested Morse use a lighter bat “to have more bat control,” and Morse has tried that."
Hopefully Dawson can snap Morse out of his slump. The Marlins have played better of late, but will need a bat like Morse’s as other hitters start to slow down and slump, as most do over the course of a 162-game schedule.
Bour has played well of late, but he’s about to be 27 and has only sniffed the majors leagues, there’s a reason for that. I don’t believe his hot play will continue.
Next: Marlins Scoot Past Nationals, 2-1