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Miami Marlins' Michael Morse expected back for Cubs series

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The veteran first baseman is expected to return for the upcoming weekend series against the Cubs.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Miami's offense should receive a boost when the club heads to Wrigley Field for a weekend series with the Cubs. Michael Morse returned to Miami after being bothered by a back tweak, and according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro, the veteran first baseman is expected to be healthy by the end of the current nine game homestand.

Morse, 33, was placed on the disabled list at the end of May with a right finger sprain. He was signed to be the Marlins' starting first baseman last offseason and opened the year batting .211/.268/.289 through 37 games to complement two home runs and 10 RBIs.

Justin Bour has started at first base in Morse's absence and has had a notable amount of success. He posted a .254/.333/.437 batting line through 49 games and has hit six home runs in addition to 13 RBIs. Bour gives the Marlins an additional left-handed bat with Jeff Baker starting against lefty pitchers.

When Morse is reinstated, the Marlins will have a decision to make with regard to their active roster. Bour will likely remain with the club as a pinch hitter however it is unlikely the Marlins opt to create a platoon situation. Bour can make spot starts while Morse receives regular playing time, although the Marlins might opt to send Bour to Triple-A if they feel he can serve as their starting first baseman moving forward.

Even though he has been on the disabled list for close to a month, Morse's name has been mentioned in several trade rumors. Clubs in pursuit of first base depth will likely be interested in Morse, though he probably initially needs to prove he is healthy. Bour might also be attractive as a left-handed pinch hitter but the Marlins will likely hold on to him considering he is under team control and is an affordable infield piece.

Miami's lineup has had difficulty scoring runs at times in 2015 and should benefit from the return of Morse's right-handed bat. The Marlins have only scored 280 runs this season and the club will still be without Martin Prado and Giancarlo Stanton. But if Morse is healthy and has success, he can either be dealt or help the Marlins' offense throughout the second half.