Michael Morse is the biggest off-season signing for the San Francisco Giants. The right-handed utitility man has only been a member of the Giants organization for a few weeks, but his presence in the 2014 line-up is already highly anticipated.
“He’s gonna be the guy that obviously can swing the bat pretty much anywhere in the park,” starter Matt Cain said. “and that’s always big. I think he adds another threat to that line-up.”
Morse was signed by San Francisco on December 12 to a one-year contract. Despite coming up as a shortstop, he’s mostly played in the outfield throughout his career. Morse will anchor the left field spot for the Giants in 2014, allowing Gregor Blanco to come off the bench as a fourth outfielder, although Morse’s new team is eager to test his defensive depth.
“I wonder if he can still play shortstop,” Cain laughs.
A wrist injury sidelined Morse last year in Baltimore, but throughout his career he owns a .281 average with 83 home runs and 272 RBIS in nine major league seasons. His raw power and long swing instantly bring a pop to a Giants line-up that hit the second-fewest home runs in baseball in 2013. His teammates are already looking forward to the effect that his swing will have on opposing teams.
“It’s a huge impact,” fellow outfielder Hunter Pence stated. “Looking at the line-up with him in there, there’s just a long line where the pitcher has to be focused and can’t make a mistake because there’s a lot of power potential. He’s definitely a big bat, a big presence, and he does change the frame of this ballclub in a big way.”
And while it’s already presented manager Bruce Bochy with some questions about the batting order, Bochy seems ok with it.
“It’s nice to have this – it’s not a problem – but this depth in your line-up to where somebody’s gonna be hitting seventh who’s not accustomed to it; That means you’re pretty good, and you should score some more runs.”
While Bochy is excited to manage Morse into the every day line-up, Morse says that Bochy was a huge factor in his decision to come to San Francisco.
“Bochy’s a players manager. He believes in the player, trusts in the player, and fights for the player.”
And just to make sure he endears himself to the entire Giants organization, Morse is quick to add, ‘It’s a professional organization. They’ve got professional fans and a professional front office. And I just love the manager.”
It seems that the feeling is mutual.