With the opening of the new season on April 1 came the news that Logan Morrison had been placed on the 60-day disabled list. LoMo will not be eligible to join the active roster until May 31st, or as it is better known, two months from now. In this critical year for the future of the Miami Marlins, LoMo might be finding himself on the way out of Miami.
Logan Morrision's tenure with the Marlins thus far has been confusing to say the least. Morrison was, in the minor leagues, a first baseman. In both 2009 and 2010 Baseball America ranked him among their top 20 prospects and it seemed clear that he was the first baseman of many Marlins teams to come. However things, as they often do, failed to go as planned. The first real issue with Logan Morrison was that he failed to live up to expectations.
Morrison's current career line of .250/.339/,442 just is not enough to cement Logan into the lineup on a daily basis. After you consider Logan Morrison's lack of defensive prowess in left field, you end up with about a more than below-average regular, and that was reflected in his 2012 FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement (fWAR) of -0.1. As was mentioned earlier, Logan Morrison is not naturally an outfielder and that, in of itself, could be what is holding back his career.
Morrison was raised through the minors as a first baseman. When he actually got the call to play in the majors it was as an outfielder. Gaby Sanchez already had proven himself to be a major league first baseman and LoMo was thus forced into the outfield, where the fun began.
The outfield is what some consider to be the problem with Morrison. Playing the outfield makes him that much more susceptible to injury and his knee seems to be the real injury concern, a concern that is only magnified by playing in the outfield where sprinting and diving are a must. Plus, it is possible that playing the outfield got Morrison out of his rhythm at the plate. He was exerting much more effort to field his position in the outfield. This extra effort in the field could have helped fuel a decline at the plate.
Logan Morrison is an interesting case and ultimately I think he can become a solid starter in the majors. A team just needs to stick him at first base everyday and see what happens. The move to first should help him prevent future injuries and both better utilize his skill-set as a player and keep him focused on the at bat.
The issue with the current injury is that Morrison is out until practically June. Leaving Logan with just two months of playing time until the July 31 trade deadline, two months that can go any which way. Morrison could play the best baseball of his life in the two months, but he could also play the worst. Either way, at the trade deadline the Marlins are going to have to make a choice about Morrison's future. Will Logan Morrison become the useful player he was once expected to be? Will he be traded to start for another team? Will he prove himself unworthy of a lineup spot? These are the questions that need the be answered in July by the Marlins' front office staff, and I'm sure they would rather have four months of a season on which to base their decision.