When the San Francisco Giants announced in December 2013 that they had signed outfielder, Michael Morse, to a one-year contract, they took a gamble. A slugger and threat when healthy, Morse has been plagued with injury. Little did they know that 60 games into the season, Morse would become a franchise staple, not only to fans, but to their line up.
With the injury to first baseman, Brandon Belt, the Giants look to Morse to step up and cover the position while Belt is on the disabled list. Morse has experience playing the infield early in his career but mainly has been used as a left fielder for the Giants. In the 57 games he has started, 18 of them have now been at first base.
Morse has been the spark in the line up that the Giants have been missing. So far this season, his batting average is .286 with 13 home runs, 41 RBIs, and has a .577 slugging percentage. He is currently tied for the third-most RBIs in the National League with Colorado Rockies’ Troy Tulowitzki and ranks fourth in slugging percentage. He has homered in two of the last three games, already matching his home run total from last season on the Seattle Mariners.
His versatility is one of the main reasons why the Giants should keep him on the roster for at least another season. As long as the “Take On Me” hitter keeps healthy, he’s proven to be a threat at the plate. Defensively, he’s been improving at first base with each start, and on Friday night, he dug out a few balls that resulted in double plays and outs with runners in scoring position.
In the clubhouse, Morse has instilled an inner peace within the players. Telling them to not stress at the plate and to trust that your teammates will pick you up if you fall. With that mantra, Morse has succeeded in bringing up the team morale and driving in runs when it matters the most.
Although Morse is a gamble in age and injury, his $6 million, one-year deal is making a ton of sense. And many would agree, the Giants should look into signing this hybrid left fielder, and now first baseman, to at least another year.