In the wake of losing OF and slugger Jayson Werth to free agency, the Philadelphia Phillies have inquired about Washington Nationals OF Mike Morse.
Morse hit .295 last season with 15 home runs, 12 doubles and 41 RBI's in only 293 plate appearances for Washington last season. He has shown great power, and at age 29, could have finally found his swing. More importantly to the Phillies, he is a right-handed hitter.
Reportedly, the Phillies have put out a call to Nationals GM Mike Rizzo to check on the availability of Mike Morse.
However, via twitter, Jon Heyman reports that Rizzo will not be listening to any offers for Morse because the team is interested in the work Morse did this off season with team hitting instructor Rick Eckstein.
The Nationals already have a very crowded outfield going in to Spring Training. In camp they have Rick Ankiel, Roger Bernadina, who looks like the incredible hulk, Nyjer Morgan, IF Jerry Hairston Jr., who can also play OF, and Veterans Layne Nix and Matt Stairs.
Even with Werth, the Phillies had a bit of a lefty-heavy order, with Ibanez, Utley and Howard all in the middle. Now, with the departure of Werth, that opens up a spot for minor league farmhand Domonic Brown. The Phillies are high on Brown, and have been for quite some time, as he is their top prospect.
The only problem, in terms of team match ups, is that Brown is a left-handed hitter, meaning the 3-4-5-6 of the Phillies' batting order could potentially be filled with four consecutive left handed hitters, which does not bode well in late-game situations when a team has a lefty-specialist.
I normally do not put much stock in what Ladson thinks but I do listen to what his 'connections" have to say
as "they" appear to be pretty good albeit not as good as Boz's:
<b>Could Nats deal a catcher?</b>
The Washington National begin full squad workouts early next week, but pitchers and catchers reported Thursday. The club has three catchers in camp that figure to compete for the two jobs on the 25-man roster, but Bill Ladson tweets that the starting gig is not up for grabs, as veteran Ivan Rodriguez will handle the regular duties.
Battling for the backup spot are Wilson Ramos and Jesus Flores. Flores would seem to have a leg up heading into camp, but Ramos might be the club's future at the position, and the future is likely to start sometime in in 2011, writes Mark Zuckerman.
We say "might" because the Nationals have a catching prospect that has made marked progress defensively the past year or so that is likely the better option long term. ESPN Insider's Keith Law chimes in with a scouting report.
Ladson adds Saturday that the Nationals could trade Ramos or Flores for pitching,
and such a move could happen by Opening Day.
- Jason A. Churchill
No. 33: Derek Norris, C -- Washington
"Norris has gotten something of a bad rep as a catcher, which could be the Nichols Law of Catcher Defense (the worse a catcher's bat, the better his defensive reputation) working in reverse, as Norris is fine behind the plate and won't have to move unless he gets hurt. He has an above-average arm with a quick enough release, and he's agile enough to block balls and be at least an average receiver. And that's all good news, because Norris can hit. He's always had outstanding plate discipline, and he pairs that with a sound swing with excellent rotation and upper-body strength that should produce above-average or better power down the road. His performance suffered in 2010 as he recovered from a broken hamate bone that occurred during instructional league the previous fall, an injury that can sap power for 12 to 18 months. Look for Norris to move up to Double-A this year and pick up where he left off in 2009, getting on base and hitting for power while playing adequate or better defense behind the dish."