Michael Morse: Regular Outfielder

Sometimes the easiest posts to write turn out to be the most challenging. Earlier Thursday, the Giants signed Michael Morse for a year and a base salary around $6 million, and the plan is for Morse to be the team’s regular left fielder. This is the kind of post I could write in three or four sentences if I wanted to, a classic bloggy kind of post where I imply that the Giants are stupid. We know the Giants aren’t stupid, though, and this is a move that should be explored, not unlike any other move. The challenge here is to talk about the transaction without being insulting and dismissive.

Here’s one place we can start. The other day, there was talk that the Astros were interested in Morse, and apparently Bo Porter was pushing pretty hard. I don’t know the extent to which that’s all truthful, but the Astros are supposed to be a brilliant organization now, and they were said to be interested in the same player the Giants just picked up. If we figure the Astros have a clue, and if the Astros had interest in Morse, it follows that there’s reason for some optimism.

But there is one important difference. And it’s not that the Giants paid enough to bring Morse in.

Morse’s strength is his strength. He’s a pure power hitter, and he’s huge, so he looks the part. His weaknesses include defense and staying on the field. Morse has been fragile in the past, and there’s reason to believe he’ll remain fragile down the road as he only gets older. Playing hurt a year ago, Morse struggled after a hot start, but in 2011 he was a beast. Over a partial season in 2010, he was a beast. There’s a lot of offensive upside if a team can keep Morse’s body intact.

That’s why Morse had a market. A healthy Morse is one of baseball’s better power hitters. But the Astros could’ve put Morse at DH, with the occasional time spent at first. The only people in his way would be Chris Carter and Brett Wallace. The Giants are planning to put Morse in the outfield, often, and they don’t have a DH, and they have Brandon Belt at first. So there are two problems. One, Morse doesn’t defend well enough to play in the outfield. Two, as an outfielder, Morse will be more likely to get himself hurt. Oh, and I forgot, three, Morse sure seems like he’s worse than fourth outfielder Gregor Blanco. Maybe we’ll get to that later.

Morse is 31, and when he wasn’t 31, he was bad in the outfield by the numbers we have available. The last four years, Morse ranks third-worst in baseball among outfielders in UZR per 1,000 innings. He ranks 14th-worst in DRS per 1,000 innings, out of 155 guys. The last two years, he ranks third-worst in baseball among outfielders in UZR per 1,000 innings. He ranks fourth-worst in DRS per 1,000 innings, out of 103 guys. Over four years, he’s spent nearly 2,300 innings in the outfield. Over two years, he’s spent nearly 1,400. Now he’s older and he’s been more hurt. Everybody knows that Morse is a defensive liability out there, and over a full season he’s likely to cost something like 15 or 20 runs, in the hypothetical he were to stay healthy.

You know what the positional adjustment is between left field and DH? Ten runs. That is, if you’re a left fielder, and your defensive true talent is worse than ten runs below average, you’d probably be better off as a DH, depending on how your bat would adjust. Morse, presumably, should be a DH. He’d be more valuable as a DH. He could’ve DH’d with the Astros, but with the Giants he won’t have that option outside of interleague play. He’s going to have to run around, and he’s bad at that.

And there are the injuries. Absolutely, there are lots of ways for a guy to get hurt, and being a first baseman or a designated hitter doesn’t by any means eliminate that risk. Last year Morse got hurt by a hit-by-pitch. He also wound up needing wrist surgery, and he probably didn’t develop a bone spur in the outfield. He strained his quad running the bases. Nick Johnson got hurt all the time as a 1B/DH. But I think it’s reasonable to suggest that playing the outfield is harder on a body than not playing the outfield. Having to run that much increases the injury risk, and that can mean either extended missed time, occasional bits of missed time, or reduced productivity from playing through pain. Morse has played through pain for stretches at least the last two years and he’s done less as a result. As a matter of fact, by WAR, over the last two years, Morse has been among the least valuable players in baseball. Injuries haven’t helped.

And taking a seat behind Morse will be Blanco, whose WAR the last two years is higher by almost seven wins. The last two years, the WAR difference between Gregor Blanco and Michael Morse has been Freddie Freeman, and Blanco’s younger by more than a year and a half. Now Blanco’s the fourth outfielder, and while he should play often, Morse is the designated starter. It helps that Blanco is available as a late-inning defensive replacement, because that should limit Morse’s exposure in higher-leverage innings, but this situation isn’t necessary to begin with.

Brian Sabean wanted right-handed power. Just like how Kevin Towers wanted right-handed power, before swinging the Mark Trumbo trade. Morse is right-handed and powerful, so, that’s that. Blanco’s left-handed and the owner of ten career dingers. He’s good on the bases, he’s good in the outfield, he’s good at drawing walks, and he’s good at making contact. There’s one thing that Blanco doesn’t do well. There’s one thing that Morse does do well, when he’s healthy. The Giants seem to prefer what Morse can do, and if they’re right about that, then we simply don’t have the information to say so. If Morse is truly the better bet for the Giants this year, then there are a lot of things we’re getting wrong.

I’m sure we are getting a lot of things wrong, but not that much. It’s fine to make Blanco a fourth outfielder, because most teams need at least four outfielders, and Blanco is super useful. It’s important to have depth, and there’s nothing wrong with Brian Sabean looking to make an upgrade. But now he’s in a situation where, if his third outfielder gets hurt, his team is probably better off overall. If the Giants end up in a place where they need to swap Blanco for Morse, that shouldn’t hurt them, and what that tells you is they probably didn’t find an upgrade at all. They upgraded their right-handed power, but last year the team with the most right-handed home runs was the Brewers. It sure seems like there are a lot of better ways the Giants could’ve gone, and as much as Morse might bounce back offensively, he’s a poor fit for the roster and the league.

Kevin Towers set his sights on right-handed power and overpaid in assets. Brian Sabean set his sights on right-handed power and seems to be overpaying in playing time. Morse is not going to cost much, and there is no long-term commitment. But he’s probably not really going to help the team win. He’s a bounce-back offensive candidate committed to the wrong opportunity.



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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.


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TK
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TK
2 years 7 months ago

So the team that has won 2 of the last 4 World Series needs the team that had the worst record in the league three years running to desire the same move to validate it? I dislike Sabean as much as the next guy, but that seems pretty counterintuitive.

AK7007
Member
AK7007
2 years 7 months ago

It is called process. The Giants appear to have gotten to where they are through their fair share of luck, (Pagan, Torres, Blanco were surprises to everybody) great player development & drafting, (pitching, Sandoval, Posey, Belt), but not through their free agent signings. (Who’s the best player on the team acquired through free agency? Affeldt? Maybe Hudson if he works out?)

This one looks like another clunker – they should just count their blessings that they stumbled on Blanco and given him a platoon partner. Their process for choosing which free agent to sign isn’t the best, or so it appears. Maybe we are totally wrong, but like Jeff said – it would be strange to be polar opposite wrong. For an organization that gets so many things right, they also seem to go the opposite direction when it comes to outside free agents.

Belloc
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Belloc
2 years 7 months ago

But there isn’t a lot of room at the inn. The Giants have locked in many of their home-grown stars: Long term deals to Posey, Cain, Bumgarner, and Lincecum for another two years. They extended Pagan, Scutaro and Pence after trading for them. A team that chooses to retain their home-grown players and players acquired by trade necessarily won’t be huge players in the free agent market.

RainBall
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RainBall
2 years 7 months ago

Jeremy Affeldt, Ryan Voglesong (from Japan), Edgar Reteria and Aubrey Huff are all guys the Giants signed from Free Agency, and each were absolutely critical to one or both of the Giants’ World Series championships over the last 3 yeas. Check out Huff’s stats in 2010!

Javier Lopez, Hunter Pence, Angel Pagan, Melky Cabrera (All-Star Game MVP), Marco Scutaro are all guys that Brian Sabean FLEECED the opposing GM in trades to obtain – and each undeniably contributed to one of the two WS Rings. Look up who they got Hunter Pence for! AND look at his stats and Contract from this year’s FA pool, versus the other talent. (Sure, there was also Miguel Tejada, but you cannot win them all.)

Seriously, folks don’t be paying any attention..

Sabean Wannabe
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Sabean Wannabe
2 years 7 months ago

Only three comments before the Giants success was attributed to luck. I had the over/under at seven.

brendan
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brendan
2 years 7 months ago

jason schmidt is the best free agent (re)signing by sabean, I think. something like 24WAR over 5 years.

Scooter McFinch
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Scooter McFinch
2 years 7 months ago

The Vogelsong, Armando Rios deal?

Derek
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Derek
2 years 7 months ago

Jason Schmidt was not a F/A signing. He was traded to the Giants along with John Vanderwaal for Vogelsong and Armando Rios.

KDL
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KDL
2 years 7 months ago

Maybe that’s why the comment you refer to called it a “(re)signing”? The only reason he got traded was because free agency was right around the corner, and Pittsburgh wasn’t going to sign him.
Charitable (or even close, thoughtful) reading of comments before attacking them would make the internet a much nicer place.

Bengals Fan
Guest
Bengals Fan
2 years 7 months ago

Angal Pagan was luck?

Dude had 5.1 WAR the year before the Giants acquired him. That isn’t luck, that is buying low on a player who had a bad year, especially since the year before the Giants got him was some below average BABIP luck combined with a fluky huge negative defensive score.

AK7007
Member
AK7007
2 years 7 months ago

First off, there are a lot of things they do right, with development and drafting, and then signing those players to long-term deals. That’s one important part of the equation. That’s not to say that they can’t also be lucky.

Pagan was luck. The same logic could be applied to say they should have held on to Torres, who was even better than Pagan the same year that Pagan broke out. One player bounced back, the other couldn’t even get a dead cat bounce. Maybe they saw something, and really are amazing at identifying players about to trend upwards. (Melky anybody?) More probable? They threw the dice in a challenge trade for Pagan, and came out a winner.

Look, I think the Giants have a smart front office. I don’t think they are very smart when it comes to other people’s free agents, but hey – not many front offices are. It does annoy me though that they are somehow immune to criticism because “Rings, bitch!”

They aren’t very good at this one aspect of the game, building the fringes of a roster with free agents. Is that a crime? No. Is it something that we can recognize and hope that they hire more front office nerds to help with? Yes. I like the quote from Phil Birnbaum:

“If it’s true that sabermetrics helps teams win, I’d bet that most of the benefit comes from the “negative” side: having a framework that flags bad decisions before they get made.”

The Giants seem to be missing this framework that flags the bad free agent signings. I could be 100% wrong, who knows. But this is yet another in a long line of “not the worst thing ever” FA signings.

Shankbone
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

AK – I predicted the Pagan trade before it happened. He was a great trade target. Even Dave Cameron will agree on that one.

You talk about flagging bad decisions before they are made. The Giants are not going after any of the FA’s with years, Draft pick comp and huge money. I think they’re making the right call here. I think they have the framework lined up perfectly.

Shankbone
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

You’ve got a lot wrong in your comment. Angel Pagan wasn’t a surprise at all – he had a good track record, was undervalued because of his injury year and was an obvious trade target due to the Arb3. Torres and Blanco didn’t pop out of the luck basket, they were carefully scouted and developed.

Free agency is a wasteland, and its a minefield. Listen up, because I’ve seen you pile on in a few different Giant articles, the signing of short free agent contracts is a very deliberate strategy. Its not luck, its a process. They are placeholding for their draft and development, they are working on reclamation (a strategy they’ve employed for 17 years), and if it doesn’t work out, you’re not on the hook.

Free agency is the last place to look, teams have to build a core and then supplement it the best they can. I have no idea why it is, but the Giants core gets continually discounted as not enough. Morse is a 7 hole hitter, he’s a last piece guy. If he works, great. If he doesn’t, its trade time in July.

AK7007
Member
AK7007
2 years 7 months ago

It’s not piling on. They are a great organization, the team that I personally follow day to day, that I fell asleep listening to on the radio throughout my childhood. While I’ll “listen up” – there wasn’t anything you said there that I disagree with besides that I personally think the Blanco and Torres surprises were more luck than skill.

Their front office is by all outward appearances great at developing and drafting players, smart when it comes time to lock them up to long-term contracts, and doing well overall. I totally agree that the build a core and supplement with short contracts is the way to go. I generally get annoyed at the end of long-term deals.

However, they haven’t done well in this one aspect. Why Michael Morse? There were better ways to spend the money. Chris Young, Franklin Gutierrez? Trade for one of Ruggiano, Gentry, Stubbs, Maxwell? Any of those would put a better team on the field in 2014 (maybe longer for some of the trade targets) without sacrificing valuable long-term assets or commitments.

It’s not a crime to want to see your favorite team do better than they have. I think one way they could improve is in this area. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe WAR is a lie, analysis is worthless. Any of those players I mentioned could bust. But I’m pretty sure that the error bars in their performance dip into that “bust” category a smaller amount than Morse’s do. I’m just worried that the Giants don’t understand that last sentence.

DrBGiantsfan
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

WAR is not a lie and analysis is not worthless,but they are also not perfect nor processes you can solely rely on. Scouting and coaching are also essential parts of the process as well as strategy to maximize your chances of getting “lucky” and minimizing your risk of getting burned. The Giants have been burned on big longterm FA contracts for Zito and Rowand. They have deliberately moved toward developing their own player and signing them longterm and then take educated guesses on smaller, short term contracts for outside players they think have some upside.

While individual performances may be luck, the success of the overall strategy is not.

Shankbone
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

OK, lets look at the FA choices. I don’t see any clearly superior takes there.

Gutierrez – is always injured. He just got injured in winter ball. He also can’t really hit righties. So he’s the 300 PA part of the platoon.

Chris Young I just covered below, I personally think the Mets are way out on a limb here going no-platoon.

Gentry cost Michael Choice. And his arb salary. He has some noise in his away splits, and he he will have to be protected some to put up the numbers he has achieved so far.

I liked Ruggiano, and I’m surprised the Cubs got him that cheap. But I’m not sure what they might have wanted from the Giants.

Morse has an advantage over these guys though, he has real power, and he doesn’t have splits. So you take your lumps with the defense. But you can also change that at any time, you have two plus defenders ready to go.

WAR analysis isn’t useless, but its only one part of the equation. Juan Uribe put up 1.1 WAR in 2010. He was way more valuable than that, ask any Giants fan what 24 HRs meant.

AK7007
Member
AK7007
2 years 7 months ago

Hell, If dingers are all that you are willing to get out of bed for, and you don’t like any choices that you have to give up anything for, J.D. Martinez is probably slightly above league average vs lefties. (And is projectable based on scouting and analytics!) J.D.+Blanco>Morse

Bottom line, the if Blanco is losing plate appearances to Morse – the Giants spent $5 to get worse. There were ways to spend that money and get better.

Shankbone
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

If you’ve read my comments, you would realize I’m not advocating just dingerz. Did you see the one about league average for the 7 spot down below? Did you see Morse’s potential slash and see what they’re trying to do?

LF NL 2013: 263/328/417
Gigantes LF: 257/314/337

That was with Torres, Frenchy, Tanaka, Peggs, Kieschnick, Blanco.

Morse is a much better hitter than JD Martinez, and all of MLB agrees on that, or he’d be on a 25.

Scooter McFinch
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Scooter McFinch
2 years 7 months ago

good reply by Shankbone. Interesting point about Uribe’s 1.1 WAR in 2010 with 24 HRs and last year he had 5.1.

RJ3
Guest
RJ3
2 years 7 months ago

He actually had 3.0 WAR that year.

KDL
Guest
KDL
2 years 7 months ago

Were the Giants burned by Zito and Rowand…or did they make horrible decisions in offering those contracts? To think they were “burned” is the root of the criticism here. Homers think Sabean can do no wrong. But didn’t he offer those contracts? Didn’t most everyone (Giant homers excluded) think those deals were bad the day they were signed.

It’s a little odd to use terrible decisions (NOT getting burned) as the reason to make other suspect decisions. It’s like saying, “Yeah this is dumb. But’s not nearly as dumb as that thing I did yesterday!” There’s something to be said for being less dumb or having a slightly better process. But things can improve and still be sub-par. (Analogy: Paul Konerko could improve by 2 runs on the bases this year and still be TERRIBLE.)

DrBGiantsfan
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

This has been rehashed over and over. The Giants beat writers have established with a reasonable level of certainty that the Zito and Rowand signings were driven by Peter Magowan and that is likely one of the reasons he “retired” as managing partner.

TK
Guest
TK
2 years 7 months ago

Even if you were right and San Fran is lucky and has no clue what to do in Free Agency using the Astros who are “supposed to be a brilliant organization now” as your metric for Free Agency makes no sense. Who have the Astros signed to have confidence in them?! That was my point, the most successful franchise over the last 5 years makes a move and because the least succesful wanted to make the same move it is good? That is ridiculous!

RainBall
Guest
RainBall
2 years 7 months ago

Jeremy Affeldt, Ryan Voglesong (from Japan), Edgar Reteria and Aubrey Huff are all guys the Giants signed from Free Agency, and each were absolutely critical to one or both of the Giants’ World Series championships over the last 3 yeas. Check out Huff’s stats in 2010!

Javier Lopez, Hunter Pence, Angel Pagan, Melky Cabrera (All-Star Game MVP), Marco Scutaro are all guys that Brian Sabean FLEECED the opposing GM in trades to obtain – and each undeniably contributed to one of the two WS Rings. Look up who they got Hunter Pence for! AND look at his stats and Contract from this year’s FA pool, versus the other talent. (Sure, there was also Miguel Tejada, but you cannot win them all.)

Seriously, folks don’t be paying any attention..

ghost of andy sonnanstine's future
Guest
ghost of andy sonnanstine's future
2 years 7 months ago

since when is nate schierholtz worse than hunter pence? also about 15 million dollars cheaper.

Ruki Motomiya
Guest
Ruki Motomiya
2 years 7 months ago

Nate Schnierholtz the last 3 years: 3.1 WAR
Hunter Pence last year: 5.4 WAR (If you wanna do all 3 years, 11.3)

Yeah, since when.

Pitcha
Guest
Pitcha
2 years 7 months ago

Is there any talk of him platooning with Belt against all or just especially tough lefties? Kershaw, and the like? Belt has little to no power against lefties and hits .260.

AK7007
Member
AK7007
2 years 7 months ago

Maybe that could help. I just really don’t want to see the guy rack up 1500 innings in the outfield. It would be plain stupid. For the money, they could have had Chris Young’s “Right-Handed Power!!!” in a package that would actually work with the roster. But, crapsicles.

Shankbone
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

You have no idea what the over-bid on Chris Young might have been. And there is a lot to be worried about with him, that BA is crazy low, the power might just be shot. 7.25MM to find out has its own risks. The Mets are going to try him without a platoon. That is a hugely risky play.

Hunter Pence played almost every inning last year. That was 1431. I don’t think the Giants are planning on Morse touching anywhere past 900. So lets cut that 1500 stuff out already.

AK7007
Member
AK7007
2 years 7 months ago

Fine, not 1500. So I guess he’s not a full-time LF then (that’s what 9 innings played over a full season is, even though nobody plays a full season). Got it.

Yeah, Chris Young has warts. That’s why he got a 1yr deal. But it’s probably a better bet than Morse, who has been hurt or atrocious since 2011. So, even riskier play?

channelclemente
Guest
channelclemente
2 years 7 months ago

It might even be closer to 600-700 depending on how wear and tear show up on Morse. He’ll be an MRI magnet, I suspect.

obsessivegiantscompulsive
Member
2 years 7 months ago

Bochy has said he wants to get Belt 150+ starts at 1B, which limits Posey’s starts at 1B when “resting” from catching. So no talk of platooning.

Plus, Belt changed his grip late in the season, and his OPS jumped – unfortunately, no way to get splits by month, so no way to see if that helped his hitting against LHP. But he was so good overall, you don’t really sit that type of player, usually.

AK7007
Member
AK7007
2 years 7 months ago

I suggest you learn to ignore anything PR-ish that Bochy ever says to the media, because it’s just that – public relations/make players feel good. Not reality. Belt is going to get some rest, but still get a ton of PA. So is Posey. And Morse? He’ll be there, mucking it all up.

Also, you are trying to attribute a ~215 PA spike in OPS in Aug/Sep as newfound effectiveness vs LHP? Roughly 1/5 of his PA last season came vs LHP. Extrapolate that to his Aug/Sep playing time, and that comes out to 50PA vs LHP. I don’t think anybody can really tell you if he’s better vs LHP by looking at 50PA. This is a situation where if there was a legit change, a real-life scout could tell you, but the numbers are going to have a tough time.
http://www.fangraphs.com/library/principles/sample-size/

Bottom line: Belt is good. He hits better than the average first baseman, and plays defense to boot. He really is amazing though vs RHP, nearly 50% better than the average hitter in fact. There is a caveat – he’s merely an average first baseman versus LHP. League average wRC+ for first basemen: 110. Belt over the last two seasons? (omitting his weird 1st season) 113 wRC+

Morse though? 121 wRC+ vs lefties career. And it would get his oafishness out of left field if he spelled Belt every now and then. (He’s merely slightly below average defensively at 1B) He’ll see some AB as a 1B if the front office isn’t asleep. Not as a platoon, just sometimes start him there instead of the OF. He’s not the better player, and could end up as a total bust. As long as you are paying the guy, squeeze whatever value there is to be had out of him. Even if it means Juan Perez is occasionally roaming LF for a whole game and Belt takes a little breather. You probably weren’t going to win that game against Kershaw early anyways – let the Baby Giraffe pinch hit for a night.

AK7007
Member
AK7007
2 years 7 months ago

And then there are interleague games, Pagan needs the occasional day off, etc. I’m gonna just imagine the ways that Morse could be awesome over 450 strategic plate appearances. Before I have to watch 162 games of whatever this is:

Shankbone
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

For some reason saber fans think they discovered Brandon Belt. They did not. Doug Mapson did. The Giants tweaked his mechanics (multiple times) and have that on their arm. Bruce Bochy has got Belt into 150 games each year. He’ll continue to do that.

The Giants don’t load up on 1B. They like their 1B to have defensive chops. They don’t waste time on picks like Justin Smoak, nor do they trade for them. This is quite deliberate. You can check the article a couple weeks back on drafting 1B, the Giants are one of only a couple teams to never have drafted a 1B with a first round pick. There is a reason for it. You don’t go collecting stiffs who can’t play elsewhere on the diamond. I can think of one GM who hasn’t got that memo yet…

Belt is going to be playing 1B, he hasn’t played LF at all in 2013, very little in 2012. The Giants are very aware of his superior d there. If Posey wasn’t their best player, there wouldn’t be all this angst. Having a catcher as your best player… it is what it is. There will be angst about moving him until he moves. Which will be a while, much more likely a long time now that the rules just got changed.

LookItUp
Guest
LookItUp
2 years 7 months ago

“…the Giants are one of only a couple teams to never have drafted a 1B with a first round pick.”

Umm, Will Clark was the #2 overall selection in 1985.

Shankbone
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Look it up got me good. Will Clark was the 2nd selection in the 1986 draft, and he changed Giants baseball forever. However, Brian Sabean and Dick Tidrow were off doing something else at the time at some dusty road on the way to some long forgotten park. So I will have to cap it off at 20 years, say 1993-4 or so…

Bob
Guest
Bob
2 years 7 months ago

I know Belt has limited time in the OF but wouldn’t he be a better fit there than Morse? Wouldn’t flipping them keep both bats in the lineup and improve defense?

obsessivegiantscompulsive
Member
2 years 7 months ago

I would agree, I’ve been hoping the Giants would move Belt to LF, but apparently they want to keep him at 1B for now, maybe they are afraid that he will lose his good batting stroke worrying about fielding LF in 2014.

DrBGiantsfan
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Belt had 3 errors in 34 games in LF in 2011. I’m guessing that was enough to convince the Giants they don’t ever want him out there again. Of course that begs the question of why they signed Michael Morse, but still….

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
2 years 7 months ago

If the Giants used “3 errors in 34 games” as a reason to not play someone at a position, they are incredibly stupid.

DrBGiantsfan
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Not if he did not pass the “eye test” of the coaching staff. He is an excellent fielding first baseman. Why force him to try to learn a new position that he may not be successful at?

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
2 years 7 months ago

Sure, but you said 3 errors in 34 games was what convinced the Giants he couldn’t play there. There have been plenty of guys where 34 games, or even 3 or 4 games, make it clear they can’t play a position (like the Braves trotting Gattis out in left field, to use an example from my team).

walt526
Guest
walt526
2 years 7 months ago

You touch on it briefly in your penultimate paragraph, but I think that the advantage of having Blanco available to start in CF if Pagan gets hurt again shouldn’t be understated.

Whether Morse is a net asset or net liability depends entirely on how he gets used to Bochy. He has the potential to complement the existing roster. If he starts 150 games in LF (assuming he could somehow stay healthy), then he’s not being used optimally. But if deployed strategically (starting at DH in interleague, spell Belt at 1B against lefties, start in LF when Blanco spells Pagan, occasional start in LF), he could be a useful part. And for $6M over one year, that’s a fair price.

In other words, before we start criticizing the Giants for how Bochy uses Morse, let’s first see how Bochy actually uses Morse. My guess is that Blanco will still find his way to 500+ PAs and Morse will be limited to well under 1000 innings in LF. At the end of the day, the incumbent Giant whose playing time will be most decreased by this deal is Juan Perez–and I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing.

AK7007
Member
AK7007
2 years 7 months ago

I’m going to sit in a corner and pray that this is what happens. Not 1500 innings of terror.

walt526
Guest
walt526
2 years 7 months ago

Well considering that his career high (by far) in defensive innings played is ~1150 (2011, split between 1B and LF) and his next highest with 774 (2012, split between LF and RF), I think that we can say with near certainty that he’s not a good bet to record anywhere close to 1500 defensive innings.

DrBGiantsfan
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Morse is going to get used exactly like a very similar player who went by the nickname Pat the Bat AKA The Machine. He’ll start most games and stay in until the Giants get a lead then come out for a defensive replacement in somewhere in the 6-8’th inning range. It worked out pretty well with The Machine.

B N
Guest
B N
2 years 7 months ago

Oh no. Is Pat the Bat his defensive comp? Pat Burrell was atrocious in the OF. The guy could make routine flies look like line drives. If that’s the case, Morse should be out shagging flies starting yesterday so that he can improve his jumps.

BFR
Guest
BFR
2 years 7 months ago

“But I think it’s reasonable to suggest that playing the outfield is harder on a body than not playing the outfield.”

I’m not sure I follow this. Outfielders don’t move that often relative to infielders and they certainly aren’t making the same number of abrupt change in directions that a 1B would be making. I can see how playing OF would lead to more hamstring injuries, but wouldn’t 1B be harder on knees, ankles, achilles etc?

Mr. X
Guest
Mr. X
2 years 7 months ago

A 1B usually never has to leave a 30-feet radius around him. Outfielders have to sprint to catch balls sometimes, and more effort means less control which adds up to a higher risk of injury.

BFR
Guest
BFR
2 years 7 months ago

1B does have to turn and sprint for foul balls by the railing though – maybe at a similar rate as the RF? There’s also more players in that 30 foot radius, so I’d assume a larger number of collisions as well.

Ian R.
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

I thought he was talking about playing the outfield as opposed to DHing, not playing first base. I don’t think it’s terribly controversial to say that playing left field is harder on the body than sitting on the bench.

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
2 years 7 months ago

I was going to make a similar comment to yours. I must have read something like “move him to 1B from the outfield so he’s less likely to get injured” a thousand times.
A few dozen of those times I have challenged this assumption and asked for proof.
Nobody has ever supplied any proof, just “logical” arguments.
I believe it is not true. Somebody prove me wrong.

obsessivegiantscompulsive
Member
2 years 7 months ago

Signing a free agent is not always about improving on what you got already. In this case, the Giants have almost zero depth in the OF, with Perez, Kieschnick, and Brown as the most likely call-ups, and none of them looking particularly good as a starter. By getting a player like Morse, now they have better coverage should Pagan (or Morse) be felled by injury, with Blanco taking over in that case. Last season, instead, Torres came in and sucked.

In addition, the Giants seem to have some success working with guys who have historically been poor defenders in the OF and getting some improvement. I recall Burrell and Huff playing much better than expected in the OF. I assume they hope to do the same with Morse, which would improve on his WAR/600 greatly if, say, they can turn a strongly negative player to positive, as they did with those two, until health affected both. I think Pence too had a turnaround as well.

In addition, Pagan is pretty speedy and could shade towards LF to help Morse out. And Blanco can and probably will come in the late innings and help reduce that negative fielding issue, Bochy has done that before in the past.

Also, Morse was once athletic enough that his team put him at SS, roughly 50 games. He is much older now and is a huge guy, but he’s also never really had that much experience with playing LF, and as they say, practice makes perfect. Maybe the Giants puts him through a lot of extra drills in spring training to prepare him better to play LF than the Nats did. Again, they have had success turning water buffaloes into good fielders in the OF.

Depth is also important should the Giants make it into the World Series again, NL teams normally are at a disadvantage with the DH in AL home parks, but as long as Morse is healthy and productive in the fall, Blanco can start in LF and he could be the DH, neutralizing the AL advantage for a good part.

Lastly, for $5M, they might pick up 20-30 homers to their lineup.

It’s not like I’m in love with the move, but I see the positives of the move for the Giants, and there are areas where they can help tilt the balance towards the Giants favor. Unlike many others, I was OK with Blanco/Perez in LF, but improving our OF depth helps mitigate the risks of either an injury or poor performance by one of the outfielders, plus Morse could man 1B should anything happens to Belt for some reason (hey, weirder things can happen, see Kendry Morales).

obsessivegiantscompulsive
Member
2 years 7 months ago

Oh, and Bochy never sticks to what his starting lineup is at the start of the season. If someone isn’t producing, he’ll sit him down regularly and the Giants will have no problem dumping Morse if it comes to that.

This move is about the depth and about trying to catch lightening again, like they did with Huff, for example, who had a down year after a number of good years. And like Huff, Morse had a very poor BABIP year in 2013, very low relative to both his career and to his prior 3 seasons.

It didn’t help that his strikeout rate went up a lot too, so that’s a worry too, but at $5M, I would think that you are buying a lot of worries, that goes with the price tag, but its a high risk, high reward type of situation that they are hoping works out for them. And if not, well, they have a pretty good backup in the wings, plus Perez was amazing in the OF, a 6 WAR pace just in fielding, and while it was small samples, he still tied for the lead in DRS on the Giants with 10 for the season, so he played a lot of games, enough to rank among the best in the position.

EricR
Guest
EricR
2 years 7 months ago

Bochy rarely sits his favorite players, even if they aren’t producing. Pence had a horrendous July last year, putting up .242/.279/.333. Played every game. Pagan hit .229/.276/.307 over June/July 2012, played 48 games. Aubrey Huff got almost 600 PA in 2011. Played Jose Guillen almost every game. If you’re one of Bochy’s guys, he will make every excuse to play you during your slump, no matter how long that slump lasts. “He’s seeing the ball well, he’s making good contact, hitting the ball hard, gotta keep his bat in the lineup so he can turn it around, had a good BP.” Based on how much Bochy fawned all over Morse the other day in the press conference, Morse will not be “dumped” if he doesn’t produce. He will make many excuses for him and get him as many at bats as possible. I would not be stunned if Belt gets only 140 starts this year because of it.

Shankbone
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Mean Bruce Bochy doesn’t like Brandon Belt, and yet Belt has 132 starts, 150 games played, 571 PAs in 2013, 106 starts, 145 games played, 472 PAs in 2012 with Aubrey Huff there to kick around.

Now Bochy can be frustrating, I really can’t think of any manager who isn’t, but he generally irons it out over time. There were some definite questionable calls in 2011 (Miggy Tejada, Orlando Cabrera, Jeff Keppinger – one of the worst defensive IFs the Giants have mixed and matched in club history) but some of this was related to the crazy MASH unit shenanigans.

Are you seriously advocating benching Hunter Pence?

And as far as this LF, we have the positive example of Bochy handling Pat Burrell exactly the correct way: get him out of the game in the 6/7. I’d add that they somehow got him to neutral stats defensively in 2010.

EricR
Guest
EricR
2 years 7 months ago

Come on, don’t act like I was turning this into a “wahhhh Bochy hates Belt” thing. Bochy himself stated Morse could see time at 1B, and since they’ve also been adamant about Belt not playing LF any longer, it’s pretty clear to me who would be losing playing time there. Morse taking time away from Blanco is one thing, but if Belt continues to only start 80% of games then that would be ludicrous.

I never said Pence should be outright benched, just pointed out that during his absolute worst 30 game stretch last year when he OPS’d .600, he didn’t even get a one game breather. I think all players would benefit from a game off here or there. But Bochy has shown he keeps the players he likes most on the field at all times, no matter the production.

Shankbone
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

That stretch coincided with all Giants hitters at the same time. It was very strange. And the Dodgers went on one of the all-time runs. And that was the season.

Bochy has benched Pablo, moved him around the lineup, and he pulls him from games because he was out of shape and couldn’t defend properly.

No argument here on the 1B, and I believe he also said he could play some 3B. Which is all Bochy silliness.

EricR
Guest
EricR
2 years 7 months ago

Seems like we’re both looking at things similarly, but I’m approaching from a half empty view and you’re coming from half full. Mainly I’m projecting my concerns that Morse is the type of guy who Bochy really gets stars in his eyes for, the same way he would not give up on Huff in 2011.

The “Morse can play some 3B” comment I just took as standard Bochy interview silliness, like when he mentioned how Hector Sanchez may take ground balls at 1st. But the “Morse can play 1B” I took as him still desperately clinging to the idea that Belt has an extreme platoon split and needs to be saved from LHP. In reality Belt’s career platoon split is practically nothing, .801 vs. .789

obsessivegiantscompulsive
Member
2 years 7 months ago

You know who is Bochy’s favorite player? A guy who’s hitting. :^)

You need to have context on things. Yes, I’m aware Pence didn’t hit for much that month. But neither was Blanco, Torres, and whichever rookies happen to be up that month. If nobody is hitting, would you sit the only guy who has a history of hitting?

In Pagan’s case, the only alternative was Blanco, and he was in the midst of a .211/.289/.316 June/July himself. Again, why sit the proven vet when the unproven guy is struggling himself.

Guillen was hitting .800 for 6 weeks with the Giants when he suddenly froze solid in the batter’s box, never saw such cold stats in his last two weeks.

Bochy knows hitting. A study in THT found that hitters hit better once they come under Bochy’s management, it was estimated that it added about a win per season. So if he’s letting someone play while not producing, it because the guys approach still looks OK to him.

So if Morse is not hitting, he will get sat down. And if they determine that Morse is done, they will get rid of him, just like they got rid of Rowand and Tejada, or Francoeur (no money involved there), and others.

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
2 years 7 months ago

The notion that a better outfielder can “shade over” to help a poor outfielder is false. It is a ridiculous notion to begin with, and it has been proven wrong in studies, though I must admit I don’t have links to any.

Sabean Wannabe
Guest
Sabean Wannabe
2 years 7 months ago

As a Giants fan I am also not in love with the signing, but think its ok for the price. Worst case scenario is Morse doesn’t hit well and is a horrible defender and becomes a role player/pinch hitter. If that happens, they are back to the World Series winning outfield of Pence/Pagan/Blanco…..so there are worse things in life. He can always be a trade piece to an AL team looking for a DH if he fails with the Giants. Best case scenario is he hits pretty well and is serviceable defensively.

I predict he will start against all lefties and about half the righties and be replaced by Blanco if the Giants have the lead after six innings. With other names being dropped like Jeff Baker and Franklin Guiteierrez, this seems ok.

Belloc
Guest
Belloc
2 years 7 months ago

I’m finding it difficult for the writer to reconcile his opinion in this piece with the piece he wrote yesterday in support of the Mariners signing Corey Hart, also 31 years old, to a similar one-year deal. It is particularly difficult to reconcile the two pieces when considering that Seattle already has a logjam of players like Corey Hart on their roster – corner outfielders/firstbasemen who are defensive liabilities best suited for DH, whereas the Giants have no one like Morse competing for the LF position.

I am not a fan of Morse’s game. But the Giants probably don’t want to go through another season giving 500 PA to a leftfielder who projects to be a .305 wOBA hitter. Blanco is terrific defensively, but his poor hitting makes him better suited to be a fourth outfielder and late-inning defensive replacement. And Blanco’s value at Fangraphs may be overstated due to the reliance of UZR as a metric when calculating WAR.

MrKnowNothing
Guest
MrKnowNothing
2 years 7 months ago

We are at the point where we fret over a one year deal for $5m? For a guy who will likely be the 3/4 OF?

Honestly, even as just a power bat off the bench, this isn’t terrible.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
2 years 7 months ago

The contract isn’t bad; there really aren’t bad 1 year contracts. The problem is the opportunity cost of giving Morse 400 PAs + 850 innings in the outfield. If he could be a DH or as platoon player vs lefties only, it’s a lot better. If he plays too much, the Giants are missing out on the opportunity to play someone better, even at more money.

If Morse plays too much and the Giants win 86 games instead of the 88 they might have won with someone better, it could cost them a playoff spot. That cost is much greater than $6 million.

KDL
Guest
KDL
2 years 7 months ago

Even if we go with the extremely generous $7 million/WAR… there’s only one season in Morse’s entire career that he created $5 million in value. Yes, he had a hell of a year that one time. But it was 1 year out of 9. Oh, also, last year he was TERRIBLE.

Bengals Fan
Guest
Bengals Fan
2 years 7 months ago

Morse seems like he’d be very valuable if platooned to hit lefties with Blanco hitting righties and to spell players on rest days. Not entirely sure on him as a full time starter. Depth improvement is nice, at least.

Maverick Squad
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Isn’t LF in SF pretty cavernous, esp. compared to Hou? As a Nats fan, damn he was awesome that year- watching him ding homers out to right-centre. As a 1B he looked alright with the eye-test and a full offseason of training there would’ve polished the skill.
I wish the Nats could’ve got him back to platoon with LaRoche- he really was a fan fave there.

walt526
Guest
walt526
2 years 7 months ago

No, it’s RF that’s exceptionally difficult to play at AT&T. LF is pretty straightforward. It’s 339′ down the line and about 360′ to mid-LF. In LF, the wall is at a consistent angle and it’s surface is uniform.

By comparison, MMP is only 315′ down the line and 350′ in mid-LF, but it has bleachers that create a goofy dimension just a little past mid-LF where it suddenly goes to 362′.

So AT&T is a bit deeper than MMP, but it’s an easier wall to play.

Electric
Guest
Electric
2 years 7 months ago

I wouldn’t be surprised if Houston was in on Morse for the sole reason of trading him at the deadline to a team like San Francisco.

Morse as an everyday LF’er is laughable, but this isn’t the worst thing in the world as long as he is only providing platoon depth at LF and 1B. 20-30 games of Morse in LF won’t kill them.

Shankbone
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Overpaying in playing time? You neglect to mention that either Blanco or Juan Perez will be coming in for the 8th/9th inning. This was called the “water buffalo” strategy when employed with Huff/Burrell and Andres Torres in 2010.

The Giants have better defensive metrics than what’s on these pages. They also have a proprietary video system. They are well aware of his shortcomings, they’ll patch it up the best they can.

Nowhere in the piece is a look at the alternatives, I guess Eno covered them yesterday enough. They are all… crap. You take your shot. What did they not have last year? Power. Last in the NL for HRs from LF. Morse can potentially add 150 points in SLG, to shorthand it. He’s a top ten guy in ISO on your own leaderboards from the past 3 years in the FA market. The rest of the guys? Most cost a draft pick, 5-7 years (or 10) of commitment, and 15-24MM in salary.

A commitment like that would take the Giants to the luxury tax, and for what? Choo is going to be massively overpaid. A “cheaper” alternative” like Nelson Cruz might get closer to Pence’s contract than Angel Pagan’s.

Giants just upgraded their 7 hole hitter to above league average (NL last year: 249/307/381 Giants: 257/303/336 (most of it Blanco)). Morse might not get to his career line of 281/334/473, and he might be hurt half the year, but if they hit on this they’ve improved an offense a ton.

And here is the rub: Giants have position advantage at C, 1B, RF – big time advantage. They have good bets at 2B, 3B, CF but coming back from inconsistent injury years. Then they have LF and SS. SS was actually league average with Brandon Crawford playing with screwed up fingers for half the year. So the hang wringing bout LF is overblown.

Also, if Pagan gets hurt again, Blanco/Perez form the CF platoon, then one of them comes in late for Morse. If Morse gets hurt, that platoon rocks in. Its a contingency plan built after examining the cost of the market. And sometimes you don’t get your choice – they bid on Hart as well, he went elsewhere.

So you did get a lot of things wrong, just like you dismissed the scouts/Gms choice for best in the game on Clubhouse Confidential. Your loss. You’re trying to call a 7 hole hitter who will platoon in a non-traditional way (start games but not finish them) a bad move. But this is actually a bounce-back play, one that if done by a clever analytic team like the Rays would be heralded as “undervalued”. I’m sick of it, the Giants have a great analytic staff, they combine it with their great scouts, and they have one of the absolute best FOs in the game.

Krog
Guest
Krog
2 years 7 months ago

I agree with you that the Morse signing is a decent move, but most of your rationalizations are terrible. Arguing that Morse improves the “7 hole hitter” spot or that he adds ISO or that the Giants are above average at lots of positions so they can afford to be below average in LF are awful rationalizes that ignore what matters in baseball analysis: runs. Runs scored and runs created is the economy of baseball and Morse doesn’t add very many runs when his awful defense and low OBP are taken into account.

Again, you are right that Morse for this price is probably the best available option for the Giants, but all that other garbage is superfluous nonsense.

Shankbone
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

You lost me at garbage there. I showed that they are improving their offensive line both with LF and the 7 spot. I also pointed out that the defensive doomday predicted is getting cut off at the pass by heroic Gregor Blanco and laser armed Juan Perez. Your attempt at explaining the economy of baseball was… amateur hour. And your user name is terrible.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
2 years 7 months ago

Sheesh, if someone here isn’t inundating your boy, Sabean, effusively with plaudits you start acting like it’s time to change your diaper. You’re pissed not because Jeff said something bad about Sabean…because he didn’t. Instead, you’re pissed because he didn’t call him the best GM in the game. Get over it. People are allowed to have different opinions from you and now you’re crying because Jeff didn’t celebrate the genius of Brian Sabean. It’s pretty clear that you’re no fan of objective analysis. That’s your loss.

Shankbone
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Not what I’m asking for bud. People are absolutely allowed their opinions. Some just express themselves better than others. You show up like clockwork to Giants articles, but you really don’t add much to the conversation.

DrBGiantsfan
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

The Giants ranked #8 out of 30 in MLB in non-pitching WAR last year, mostly because they ranked #4 in team defense. They also ranked #11 in wRC+. At the same time, they ranked just #21 in Runs and #29 in HR’s.

Were they just incredibly unlucky last year, or does the wRC+ calculation become unstable if you get too far from the mean in power?

Is it possible the Giants knew all this and made a calculated decision to sacrifice some D at one position in order to increase power?

Belloc
Guest
Belloc
2 years 7 months ago

These are the questions that come to mind: (1) Does Fangraphs place too much value on defense in its WAR calculations? (2) Does the Fangraphs park adjustment overstate the production of hitters who play in a pitcher’s park?

Maybe what sums up my question is this: Was Gregor Blanco really worth 2.8 wins above replacement in 2013?

Park Chan-ho's beard
Guest
Park Chan-ho's beard
2 years 7 months ago

You usually want to put your best players on the field to give your team the best chance to win games.

DrBGiantsfan
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Really? I never would have thought of that!

Park Chan Ho's Beard
Guest
Park Chan Ho's Beard
2 years 7 months ago

Blanco is a better player than Morse

tz
Guest
tz
2 years 7 months ago

You might be on to something here, namely that the Giants had raw material for offense but had a “sequencing” problem. I’m curious where they ranked in runners left on base.

For pitching, the SIERA metric uses non-linear components to reflect the combination of preventing baserunners and preventing power, and adding this component apparently provides a better predicitive tool than a pure linear “FIP”-family metric. So I wouldn’t be surprised if the correlation between a team’s wRC+ and its run production weakens at extremes for power (or OBP).

RetardGiantsFan
Guest
RetardGiantsFan
2 years 7 months ago

hurr durr October hardware hurr durr

jruby
Member
Member
jruby
2 years 7 months ago

Well, he might not have good *baseball* health, but at least he’s got good *DIGESTIVE* health!

… because he’s… a… “regular”… outfielder…

sigh, never mind, I’m going back to bed.

John Stamos
Guest
John Stamos
2 years 7 months ago

In this comment thread: People arguing how valuable right-handed power is.

EricR
Guest
EricR
2 years 7 months ago

A lot of the people in favor of Morse are basing it off of him being used properly in a platoon and upgrading our 7-hole. Bochy will not use him this way. He is going to start MANY games, slumping or not, as long as his injuries don’t keep him off the field. Bochy also mentioned that he could see him hitting anywhere from 3-7. Just because he’s mostly replacing Blanco, don’t assume he’ll be used like Blanco. Morse is Bochy’s dream player. I’ve never heard a manager gush so much over a player as Bochy did the other day over Morse. Morse will be hitting high in the order, and he will be starting a LOT.

DrBGiantsfan
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

To make a blanket statement that Morse is Bochy’s dream player when there is only one player on the team that fits the profile is just absurd.

The Giants finished #29 out of 30 MLB teams in HR’s last year. That just might have something to do with why they were #21 in Runs despite being #11 in wRC+. They got Morse because he hits HR’s. It’s as simple as that!

As long as Morse stays healthy, Bochy will use him the same way he used Pat the Bat when the Giants won the WS in 2010.

Cove Chatter
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

“Here’s one place we can start. The other day, there was talk that the Astros were interested in Morse, and apparently Bo Porter was pushing pretty hard. I don’t know the extent to which that’s all truthful, but the Astros are supposed to be a brilliant organization now, and they were said to be interested in the same player the Giants just picked up. If we figure the Astros have a clue, and if the Astros had interest in Morse, it follows that there’s reason for some optimism.”

Seriously, Jeff? How can you say the Astros, 100-game losers for 3 straight seasons, are a “brilliant organization?” Because they have a farm system full of studs? Generally, that’s what happens when you draft #1 for multiple seasons. They also have a waning fan base that believes the franchise is committed to losing. If the Giants ever get to the point where Houston is now, please, gut the franchise. But don’t say a Mike Morse signing by the Giants is made better because Houston was interested in him. The Morse signing makes sense for the Giants because the Giants wanted a RHH power bat to play LF.

Comments like that make me wonder why I even read articles on this site anymore. You’re better than that… but it’s not hard to wonder why the authors here get a bad rap with Giants fans.

Bobby Melody
Guest
Bobby Melody
2 years 7 months ago

Cove Chatter- Seriously? You can’t see the sarcasm?
I am a Giant’s fan and have a high regard for the Fan Graph site.
Please don’t speak for Giant’s fans.

Bobby Melody
Guest
Bobby Melody
2 years 7 months ago

2014 Lineup
Pagan
Scuturo
Posey
Sandoval
Pence
Belt
Morse
Crawford
Pitcher

I could see if Morse is healthy and hitting, put him in the 5 spot. I have always thought Pence is more of a number 6 hitter, paleo diet or not, mega-contract or not.

Bobby Melody
Guest
Bobby Melody
2 years 7 months ago

Hey Chatter- er, I think Dave was being, uh, sarcastic.
I am a Giants fan who has a high regard for Fan Graphs.
Prefer not to have others speak for me. Use the word “some” more often.

Sixto Lezcano
Guest
Sixto Lezcano
2 years 7 months ago

I am not at all convinced that the Giants aren’t stupid when it comes to offering contracts after watching the Zito, Rowand, Huff, Scutaro, Pence and Lincecum deals. I actually think the evidence is leaning strongly.

DrBGiantsfan
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Zito and Rowand were ownership driven signings and one of the reasons why Magowan is no longer the Managing Partner. Huff, Scutaro and Lincecum are all short term deals.

When you look at Ellsbury’s contract and what Choo is likely to get, Pence’s contract looks very reasonable. 2 years shorter than Ellsbury’s and $63 M less.

Sixto Lezcano
Guest
Sixto Lezcano
2 years 7 months ago

I certainly don’t think the Ellsbury contract is good either. The problem I have with Sabean is that he doesn’t recognize when he just got the best a player has (Scutaro, Huff, Pence). It’s highly unlikely that Pence will duplicate last year’s numbers, but he’s getting paid as if that’s is career norm. I prefer the buy low/sell high theory opposed to the buy high for multiple theory.

DrBGiantsfan
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Wrong again! In 7 MLB seasons, Hunter Pence has earned a total of 24.5 WAR or 3.5/year. The Giants will pay him $18 M/year which at $6 M/WAR buys you 3 WAR on the market. If they were paying him for what he did last year, 5.4 WAR, they would be paying him $30 M per year. You can wonder if he will continue to produce 3.5 WAR/year over the next 5 years, but the Giants are most certainly not paying him to duplicate last year’s performance!

Park Chan Ho's Beard
Guest
Park Chan Ho's Beard
2 years 7 months ago

hahaha DBGiantsFan, by that logic, Yankees can expect A-Rod to produce 5.5 WAR/yr for the remainder of his contract. Get a grip dude.

craig richards
Guest
craig richards
2 years 7 months ago

Thanks Jeff. God what a hoot. I mean I’m a hardcore Ms fan and love Michael but Jesus H. Montero, why would Giants sign him to play the outfield? Crayzy! Been working all night and this will make it hard to get to sleep–thinking Giants signed him as regular OF…

DrBGiantsfan
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Giants made it work with Pat the Bat in 2010. They are very savvy at positioning and will pull him for a defensive replacement as soon as they have a lead from the 6’th inning on, thus minimizing the downside to his defense. If he doesn’t hit a ton, he won’t be the starting LF by the end of the season.

Park Chan Ho's Beard
Guest
Park Chan Ho's Beard
2 years 7 months ago

Defense matters in innings 1-6 too

kiss my GO NATS
Guest
kiss my GO NATS
2 years 7 months ago

The sad part is Morse could have made a very real difference in wins and losses for the Astros without costing them any of their future. Sure we may be talking about a difference of 60 or 63 wins, but if your a die hard fan of that franchise those 3 extra wins help you feel a tad more like things are getting better soon. I know I’ve been a die hard Nats fan since day 1 in DC and they just downright sucked for a while.

pwozz
Guest
pwozz
2 years 2 months ago

this is looking like a dumb write up now ay?

Brad
Guest
Brad
2 years 2 months ago

It’s taken 10 HR and he only leads in WAR 0.4 to 0.1.

Blanco likely won’t have a .176 BABIP all year either.

Splendiferous
Guest
Splendiferous
1 year 11 months ago

As a fan of both Morse and the Giants, I am pleased to see that time has proven that there were a lot of things you (not “we”) were getting wrong. Although I am amazed at just how many people bashed this move. AK7007, for example, should be deeply ashamed of just how wrong he was. Come on, Chris Young? REALLY?

Also, I’m sick of seeing idiots wielding BABIPs as if they are some definitive performance derivative. Players like Morse who hit baseballs so hard that outfielders take bad angles and miss cutting them off are going to have a higher BABIP than mere mortals. And Brad, Blanco is now up to a .307 BABIP and his wOBA is still a dismal .286. What was your point?

Face it – Morse is an elite hitter who more than makes up for his defensive shortcomings, and that’s before you consider his impact in the clubhouse and with the fans. Excellent signing by an excellent front office who, unsurprisingly, is wiser than the internet hacks.

Brad
Guest
Brad
1 year 9 months ago

The point is that Blanco’s gains via defense are so large that he only needs a ML average BABIP for (for a .286 woba) to be as good as Morse overall. It was the entire point of this article, and it is now officially correct after the season’s stats are evaluated.

Morse just needs to be a DH. He is a good hitter and he hit like it for the Giants, which was awesome. I thought it was a solid signing actually. They needed a right handed hitter and got one.

wpDiscuz