Miami signed Michael Morse this offseason to add power behind Giancarlo Stanton in the lineup and bring stability to first base for at least the next two seasons. And according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, scouts believe the Marlins made the right decision by adding Morse.
A veteran scout who has watched the Marlins this spring says first baseman Michael Morse looks poised for a very big year;
In addition to adding starting pitching this winter, the Marlins wanted to upgrade their lineup and were able to do so by signing Morse and Ichiro Suzuki and acquiring Martin Prado and Dee Gordon in trades. The club wanted a bat to protect Stanton in the lineup, and Morse could prove to be just that.
Morse, a South Florida native and Nova High School graduate, posted a .279/.336/.475 batting line to complement 16 home runs and 61 RBIs with the Giants in 2014. He has 99 career home runs to his name, and may see time in the cleanup spot starting on Monday when the Marlins open the 2015 season against the Braves. Morse has been consistent this spring, and while he grew up a Marlins fan and welcomed the chance to play in Miami, the organization was also fond of his ability to be a leader in the clubhouse.
While the scout is expecting big things from Morse, Jackson notes that he was told Dee Gordon, who was acquired from the Dodgers in December, has looked notably good throughout the course of Miami's spring training schedule.
and loves how second baseman Dee Gordonhas looked: "Hit the ball hard in games I saw and he takes these long, graceful strides running the bases, which reminds me of [retired ex-Met] Mookie Wilson. It’s one of the most fun things to watch them run first to third."
Gordon will likely be Miami's lead off hitter in 2015, and after acquiring him the organization has been impressed with his spring performance. Christian Yelich had success in the lead off spot last season, but Gordon is a natural lead off hitter who adds value on the base paths and similarly could have a solid season batting in front of Stanton and Morse.
Although the Nationals and Mets are expected to compete with the Marlins for the National League East title in 2015, Miami plays Atlanta and Philadelphia, two teams currently rebuilding, 18 times each. A pair of young division teams may give the Marlins an edge.
said the Nationals, Marlins and Mets will benefit from playing diminished Atlanta and Philadelphia 18 times each
In other news
***The Marlins' rotation heading into the season is now finalized. Henderson Alvarez, Mat Latos, Tom Koehler, Dan Haren, and Jarred Cosart make up Miami's starting five.
***Rule 5 draft pick Andrew McKirahan was claimed off of waivers by the Braves on Wednesday. McKirahan was competing for a spot in the bullpen.