The title of this post is not a serious indication of my feelings about Davey Johnson's post-game comments last night about the possibility (likelihood?) of Michael Morse moving back to left field once rosters expand to make room for Chris Marrero, and staying there next season when (if?) Adam LaRoche comes back healthy (hopefully).
"Ideally, when LaRoche comes back we'll have LaRoche at first and probably [Morse] in left field," Johnson said of potential plans for next season. Earlier in his comments, about roster expansion, he mentioned Morse moving back to the outfield, couching it with the comment, "We got a guy down there [in the minors] that can play a little first base."
But, but... anecdotal evidence suggests (in ridiculously small sample sizes) that Morse can't hit when he plays the outfield! In 35 games as a left fielder, Morse is hitting .248/.292/.339 in 120 plate appearances. At first base, in 93 games (373 plate appearances) he hits .334/.389/.607! He's a FIRST BASEMAN!!!
Making the decision that Morse can't hit playing left field based on those numbers in that small a sample size is akin to nominating a party's candidate to run for President based on the exit polls of the first state to hold their primaries. Oh wait. That's probably a bad example.
Michael Morse dealt with a knee injury earlier this season. He hit .258/.286/.351 through May 21. Since that date, when he coincidentally took over at first base for the injured Adam LaRoche, he's hit .345/.401/.641 with a .390 BABiP.
He got healthy, benefitting from playing a less physically demanding position. He's been somewhat lucky. It was a coincidence.
Of course, Morse has to continue at the pace he's on for this debate to remain pertinent, but that's another story. But if he can hold his value for the remainder of this year and next year, this team is much better off with him in left field and a healthy LaRoche at first, as opposed to the NRI platoon of Laynce Nix and Jonny Gomes in left.
Bottom line though, when Bryce Harper (then 20) and Chris Marrero (then 24) take over in left and at first Opening Day 2013, none of this will matter.