Morse was unconditionally released from the Pirates on Thursday, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports. Morse had previously been designated for assignment but has now been released by the Pirates. The 34-year-old went 0-for-8 in six games this season and will now begin looking for another team.
Morse was designated for assignment Wednesday. Morse has failed to get a hit in eight at-bats this season, and given the Pirates multitude of options at first base and the corner outfield positions, he was deemed to be expendable when the Pirates wanted to get pitcher A.J. Schugel to the majors. Morse can reject the assignment and become a free agent rather than spend more time in the minors, which could be an appealing option if teams looking for some pop at first base are willing to give him another chance.
Morse is making his first start of the season Tuesday against the Tigers, Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. John Jaso will take a seat, while the Pirates are using Matt Joyce as their DH and leadoff man for Tuesday's matinee. Morse has collected just five plate appearances this season, and Tuesday's nod against right-hander Anibal Sanchez marks his first turn in the starting lineup in 2016.
Morse (leg) played in games on consecutive days Monday and Tuesday after missing three days with a minor injury. After a 2-for-3 showing Monday, Morse went 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored Tuesday. He's expected to open the year as the starter at first base against left-handed pitching, working on the small of a platoon with John Jaso.
Morse left Thursday's game after tweaking his right leg while running the bases, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. "I felt a little grab while running," Morse said "It's nothing big." He's not expected to play a big role with Pittsburgh, coming off the bench as a pinch-hitter while playing occasionally in the outfield or at first base. It wouldn't be surprising to see the big righty end up with another team sometime this summer.
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