Wednesday, May 30, 2007

There has been much discussion amongst Angel fans wondering why Mike Scioscia is not using 1B/DH prospect Kendry Morales more. There is no question that having a switch hitting power bat off the bench is a desirable option. That said, is Morales, who will turn 24 years old in June better served playing everyday at Salt Lake City.

On the surface the answer is probably yes, but there are reasons why Morales is with the Angels. First off, he hasn't shown a problem not starting for days on end then coming off the bench for a spot start. Yes, Morales is 0-3 as a pinch hitter, but in his two May starts he's come off the bench and delivered RBI hits. I believe because of this, Scioscia sees a player who can deal with a bench role. Unlike the recently dispatched Tommy Murphy who was given some starts over the weekend and rewarded Scioscia by going 1-14. This led to the designating for assignment of Phil Siebel and the purchasing the contract of Nathan Haynes.

This answers the other reason why Morales is with the big club. Who's better to call up in this situation ?

The answer might be veteran outfielder Curtis Pride. Problem is, Pride would need to be added to the 40 Man Roster and another player DFA. With Haynes this was an easy decision for Stoneman since Siebel is out for the year and at little risk to be claimed. While it's doubtful that Greg Jones or Chris Resop will go onto save 40 games for another team, is it worth making another Bobby Jenks type mistake just so Morales can play for the Bees ?

Without tinkering with the 40 Man Roster, the Angels are limited to recalling those players already on it.

It's doubtful that the Angels would recall another pitcher, so this leaves other players that would be better suited to playing every day as well. Matt Brown, Nick Gorneault, Jeff Mathis, Brandon Wood and the afore mentioned Tommy Murphy.

Regarding his lack of playing time. Honestly, if Morales was getting a lot of pinch hits, it probably means the Angels are losing. So if the only time I see Kendry is at the end of the game giving high fives, that's fine with me.

Also, this isn't time wasted. Morales is getting an education on how to be a professional baseball player just by being with the Angels than hitting everyday at AAA. This is especially important when you consider Morales is still only two years into his journey of America.

With Shea Hillenbrand finally coming around, Garret Anderson on the mend, Casey Kotchman and Reggie Willits establishing themselves as a regular player. Morales will be back at AAA. This isn't a case of Scioscia not liking Morales, or an aversion to playing rookies. Sometimes it's just not a players time to shine. Morales has a bright future be it in Anaheim or elsewhere. While it would be preferable that Morales play everyday, the Angels have made the right choice when choosing the 25th man on the roster.
Love to hear what you think!


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