Latest Kendrys Morales News, and Burying Your Head in the Sand

For a large chunk of the past year the Mariners have seemed intent on over thinking the 1B/C/DH/Cleanup hitter spots on their roster. I wasn’t a fan of the trade that sent John Jaso to Oakland and ensured that Jesus Montero would receive an inordinate amount of time behind the plate for another season. I wasn’t a fan of the signing of Raul Ibanez. I wasn’t a fan of a potential trade for Justin Upton either.

And while I was deeply and madly in love with the trade that brought Kendrys Morales to Seattle, according to Greg Johns the use of Morales, much like the use of many other players in those positions in the past year, is a bit perplexing:

“Right now the plan coming in is we see him getting the bulk of his at-bats at DH,” Wedge said, “but we want him to get reps at first base because that’s an option for him as well.”

You may remember a couple weeks ago when I pointed out that Morales has been statistically good at first base defensively. One of the reasons I thought Morales made sense was that it basically guaranteed that Justin Smoak would end up spending some time in AAA this year. He’s got a remaining option and hasn’t done the big club much good, and hasn’t really “earned his spot.”

So here’s my new approach to this topic, per

Bury your head in the sand


Refuse to confront or acknowledge a problem.


This comes from the supposed habit of ostriches hiding when faced with attack by predators. The story was first recorded by the Roman writer Pliny the Elder, who suggested that ostriches hide their heads in bushes. Ostriches don’t hide, either in bushes or sand, although they do sometimes lie on the ground to make themselves inconspicuous. The ‘burying their head in the sand’ myth is likely to have originated from people observing them lowering their heads when feeding.

You may notice that Pliny the Elder is mentioned, and remember that Russian River, the brewery that makes the IPA known as Pliny the Elder has pulled out of the Washington market. You may also note that scientific studies have shown that ostriches don’t actually bury their head in the sand. PLINY THE ELDER IS A FRAUD!

Nonetheless, I’m not going to confront the idea that Raul Ibanez, while aged, has posted 115, 102, and 117 wRC+ against righties in his last three seasons, and has no position to play.

I’m not going to confront the idea that Jason Bay or Casper Wells may make a viable candidate to split time with Ibanez at the position.

I’m not going to confront the idea Jesus Montero and Justin Smoak should probably spend some time in the minors.

Instead, I’ll just leave you with the words of Gregori Rasputin, whose namesake beer I was privy to a barrel-aged version of last night, and who may be writing Jack Zduriencik’s resignation speech if this doesn’t all work out:

When the bell tolls three times, it will announce that I have been killed. If I am killed by common men, you and your children will rule Russia for centuries to come; if I am killed by one of your stock, you and your family will be killed by the Russian people! Pray Tsar of Russia. Pray.

Which is too bad, because I think Zduriencik is a really good general manager. And of course, this stuff is all correlated, and if Smoak comes out and goes O-for-Spring or breaks his kneecap, then this may all be moot. But whatever.

  • maqman

    I note you are having Jaso withdrawal problems. I suggest a substantial consummation of Budweiser, after which you will have something sincerely more vexing to consider. I think Smoak will earn 1B, although if he does he and Morales (who I really like) can job share between 1B and DH, until Zunino arrives and Montero needs a place to hang his bat. Then I guess it’s a case of the weakest link sits or goes to Tacoma, is traded or designated for assignment. Wonder if/what they get for Carp. Should find out soon. Won’t be worth his value. The Rays might make sense.

    • Casey McLain

      No Budweiser for me, sir. Carp will be fun to watch if he gets a chance, he should be a fail or hang-on guy though. I’m glad there is one less blond beard around.

      • gmantacoma

        eeeww, no bud for me either!

        Casey will you be drinkin any IPA’s in Peoria this spring?

        I will be buyin mine from the 2nd thru the 16th, and would certainly buy one for you if I was to see you.

        One place I will be visiting is the Mariners old spring training grounds in Tempe, you know where The California Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Angels of Tempe play.

      • Casey McLain

        Arizona isn’t in the budget for me this year, but I wouldn’t rule it out for next year. I’m always open to drinking beer, though! Now you’ve got me wondering about Arizona breweries.

    • Matthias_Kullowatz

      I’m hoping that some of those changes Smoak purportedly made after being sent down last season are for real. But with the current make up of the team, and Smoak’s remaining option, it does make some sense to let him remember those changes in Tacoma to kick off the season.

      If Montero were 30, he would make for a perfect platoon player with, say, Ibanez. But when he’s 23 with a lot of potential, you kind of have to let him take his cuts against righties and try to figure it out.