Friday, June 3, 2011

Michael Morse and his Surreal Streak

Because of the way the All-Star Game is selected (don't get me started), it's unlikely that a position player will end up a representative for the Nats in the Mid-Summer Classic. But one hefty argument could be made that Michael Morse would be the absolute best player to represent the Nats in Arizona in July.

The man they call Michael couldn't have started the season any worse after an incredible spring training. In March and April, Morse hit .211 with just 1 HR in 71 at-bats. People around NatsTown, including us, just figured it was the difference between hitting against guys working on stuff in Florida versus pitchers trying to get a win. But since May 1, Morse has proven just how wrong we were.

Since May began, Morse has logged 70 at-bats (compared to the 71 in March/April) and is hitting an awesome .429 with 6 HR. He's made great contact in at-bats and his strikeout rate has plummeted. On top of all that, Morse has put together a nice 11-game hit-streak that is still going, and he shows no signs of slowing down. Michael's successes seem to be lifting the Nats' bats out of their terrible slump.

As icing on the cake, his defense at first base has been impeccable since he replaced Adam LaRoche. He's committed no errors in over 110 chances at first base and continues to make great picks on throws in the dirt. It's easy to forget that this 6'5", 230 lb. monster used to play the middle infield in Seattle. He's got some real skills with the glove, and you'd never know it by watching him try to track a ball down in the outfield.

If Morse keeps up his offense and defense at first base, Nats GM Mike Rizzo is going to have a difficult decision to make for 2012. The Nats have LaRoche under contract next season, and it could be a matter of money and long-term career success, but you better believe it's a good problem to have.

But that's for another day. If you ask me, there's no doubt that, today, Michael Morse should be the Nationals All-Star representative in the 2011 Mid-Summer Classic.


  1. Plus, now that the All-Star game sorta matters, Morse would be a versatile man to have on the bench if the game goes into extras.

  2. The ASG is a popularity contest, monopolized by the obnoxious, big-market teams. Just the fact that Derek Jeter is going to go and start should tell you something. Is that what you would have said if we had gotten you started?

  3. Point taken, Nick.

    And macmom, yes. But you put it far more nicely than I would have.

  4. I would argue for Danny E over Morse, especially if he is able to get his average up to around .250 by then. Team leader in HRs, EBHs and RBIs plus he is playing awesome defense at a key position.

    As for Morse, I think what we now know is that when given a chance to play everyday he is a VERY streaky hitter. I wouldn't be surprised if he goes into another funk again at some point...but he HAS proven that those of us showing him the love during ST that we were right. :)