Should Michael Morse play nine innings?

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Apr 10, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Morse (38) hits a two run double against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning of their baseball game at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

As all San Francisco Giants fans will know, Bochy, almost every game, has removed Michael Morse from the game around the sixth inning in order to play Juan Perez or Gregor Blanco to help with defensive matters. The concept isn’t very hard to fathom either, replace Morse – who typically is poor on defense – for Perez or Blanco who are excellent on defense.

There is one problem though, a rather big one. Evidently, when Morse is removed from the game, his bat is removed from the lineup. Which begs the questions, should Michael Morse play nine innings?

Whilst I do understand that defense can be pivotal late on in the ball game, a big hit can be so much more important. With the non-existent bat of Perez batting cleanup in late innings or high leverage situations, the Giants are ultimately accepting an out and at what cost? For Perez to make some routine plays according to the metrics.

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  • Mark ONeill

    Timmy, everything you write is on point, but that’s the rub. We want it to stay that way. Michael Morse is everything we want, but the 162-game marathon is a bear. So, no matter what it costs in offense, keep him on a schedule which allows frequent rest. Morse has already surpassed last season’s home run totals for left fielders. Let’s keep him on pace. I want a tee-shirt that says, “Give Morse Rest.”

    • Timmy Kennedy

      I understand where you, and everyone else are coming from – but I’m anti “Give Morse Rest.” Who says this guy can’t stay healthy all year, and put up some monster numbers? I don’t think settling for beating what Blanco and Torres did last year is a good enough benchmark!

  • Dave Edlund

    I love Morse and did even before he was a Giant as I worship power hitters. This is his 10th MLB season and so far and he has only had two seasons that he reached 100 games played, so that tell you a little about his tendency to get injured. And right now is is over 25% to that 100 mark. If I were Bochy, I would take him out of every game in around the 6th inning where the Giants are leading. But in games we are just out of the lead, like 1-2 runs down, I would keep him in.

    I wish I could predict when he would get injured, but I think it’s impossible to do. But if he stays healthy this year, he will be the first ever Giant outside of the PED to reach 30 HR’s. Only between 200 and 2004 did Giants hitters reach 30 and then PED’s were likely involved. Not Posey or Pence or Belt nor Panda have hit 30 HR’s. Morse is just a stronger hitter. He arms are like tree trucks and I pulling him to be the first!!!!

    • Timmy Kennedy

      I agree totally! Great points, Dave.When we have the games won, take Morse out. When the game is close, leave him in!

      I think he’ll easily surpass thirty home runs. My only point would be, again, who says Morse can’t stay healthy and play in 130/40 games. The last time he had a season as big as this one, was when he was superb for the Nationals and played in well North of 120 games.

  • Dave Edlund

    I met Morse a couple times this season and when I first met him at the Giants TV Commercial shoot in March, I told him I thought he would be the first MLB player to ever hit a right handed splash hit. I told him it had never been done. Not one of the over 90 splash hit by either team had been hit by a right handed hitter. I told him I knew half of his career HR’s went to right field as I had studied most of them. He smiled with excitement hearing this. I pulled out a laminated sign the said “Ist Ever RH Splash” and I asked him to sign it for good luck. I told him I would be out there in my kayak waiting! He signed and now I have to be ready for it! Good luck Michael Morse!

    • Timmy Kennedy

      That’s truly awesome. Love Morse even more now!

  • ben

    I wonder what it would take to swing a trade with the Yankees for Ichiro? I feel like he would be the perfect fourth outfielder for the Giants. He’s an excellent defender who can play all 3 outfield positions if needed, and he can still hit some (.373 in limited at bats this year), so you wouldn’t lose as much when you put him in for the late innings. (And for the same reasons, he’d have a better chance than Blanco or whats-his-name to actually hold his own if someone got hurt and he had to become a starter for an extended period.) He’s also still got some speed, so he would be a handy PR off the bench if you get a guy like Panda on base late in a close game… And of course, having a Pacific Rim player in SF can’t hurt the jersey sales!

    • Timmy Kennedy

      I love that idea. Really works well.