Jun 20, 2011, 5:25 PM EDT
US Presswire photo
Michael Morse is establishing himself as a major offensive force.
In late June 2009, the Seattle Mariners were hovering just above the .500 mark, trying to keep themselves in the AL wild-card race. First-year general manager Jack Zduriencik, feeling the need to add a reserve outfielder to the roster, zeroed in on the Nationals’ Ryan Langerhans.
Langerhans had bounced back and forth between Washington and Class AAA Syracuse, a fine defensive player who just couldn’t hit big-league pitching on a consistent basis. He didn’t appear to have much of a future with the organization, so GM Mike Rizzo was perfectly willing to send him to Seattle.
The only question was who the Nationals would get in return.
Rizzo and others in the front office were intrigued by an injury-prone infielder named Mike Morse. Morse was 27 and having trouble sticking in the majors, especially as a shortstop, but he’d always shown an ability to hit (when healthy).
“We had recently scouted him,” Rizzo said on Sunday. “I had seen him in the past when I was scouting. I’d always like his athleticism, his size, his strength component. We always thought he looked out of
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