Tag:Kendry Morales
Posted on: March 28, 2011 10:39 pm
 

Morales takes batting practice

By Matt Snyder

Angels first baseman Kendrys Morales, who is recovering from a broken lower leg suffered last May, was cleared to take batting practice Monday. He had been shut down last week as some pain was still lingering. Monday, he contacted his doctor and said the pain had subsided and was cleared to swing the bat. He'll begin some agility drills and other baseball activities Tuesday.

Right now, it's what he can tolerate," manager Mike Scioscia said. (Angels Blog )

It's still pretty evident Morales will have to begin the season on the disabled list, but it's a good sign he's back swinging the bat. The 27 year old hit .306 with 34 home runs, 108 RBI and a .924 OPS back in a breakout 2009 season. Last year, he had an .833 OPS through 51 games before the injury -- when he broke his lower leg in a celebration of his own walk-off grand slam on May 29.

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Posted on: March 16, 2011 2:56 pm
Edited on: March 20, 2011 2:23 pm
 

Morales will begin season on DL

By Matt Snyder

A big piece of the Angels' lineup will not be available for the start of the season. Kendrys Morales -- remember, it's not Kendry anymore -- is recovering from a broken leg and has reportedly hit a "plateau" in his rehab efforts. (Los Angeles Times )

Angels manager Mike Scioscia has stated Morales needs to get on the field this weekend in order to be ready for the start of the season, but Morales was unable to run curves in the grass Wednesday.

"It's not a setback; there are just some plateaus guys hit," Scioscia told the Times. "You can't force things. He's going to keep working, keep moving forward."

If Morales can't do anything but run straight forward on the dirt, he can't do much good for the Angels. It looks pretty likely he'll be a week or two late to the majors during the regular season, but there shouldn't be setbacks after that. The silver lining here moving forward is it's a bone injury -- not ligament or muscle -- so once it's healed completely, he shouldn't have to worry about reinjury. It's just a matter of getting himself back into shape.

Morales hit .306 with 34 home runs and 108 RBI in 2009. Last season, he was .290/.346/.487 until fracturing his lower left leg during a celebration after he hit a game-winning grand slam.

Fortunately for the Angels, they do have Mark Trumbo waiting in the wings. The 25-year-old slugger is tied for the league lead with five spring home runs. He hit .301 with a .945 OPS, 36 home runs, 122 RBI and 103 runs in Triple-A last season.

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Posted on: March 10, 2011 4:53 pm
 

Ear on Baseball podcast, Episode 6

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Shawn RyanThe Eye on Baseball podcast -- Ear on Baseball -- is back.

Matt Snyder and I talk a little bit about the change in expectations for the Phillies and Brewers since spring training began, as well as Kendrys Morales' new/old name.

Then I talked to creator of The Shield and The Chicago Code, Shawn Ryan (pictured). Ryan's new FOX series is shot in his hometown of Chicago and he talks about how baseball is central to one of his characters.

We also discuss Moneyball -- the book and the movie -- and Ryan's own college Sabermetric work to win his fantasy leagues.  Also discussed is the problems and possibilities of a baseball-themed television show.

Check us out, and if you want to have new episodes delivered automatically, subscribe to Ear on Baseball through iTunes , Zune or XML.

Ear on Baseball, Volume 6 (38 minutes, 51 seconds)

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Posted on: March 9, 2011 3:20 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2011 4:30 pm
 

Don't call me 'Kendry' anymore

By Matt Snyder

Since you're visiting the Eye on Baseball blog, let's assume you're a baseball fan. In assuming as much, that means you've heard of Kendry Morales.

Only that's not really his name. At least not the correct spelling.

As told to the Los Angeles Times , it's actually Kendrys (pronounced KEN-dreez) Morales -- Kendrys Morales Rodriguez, to be specific. That's the name that appears on his birth certificate and all other personal documents except his major-league contract.

Back in 2004, when Morales defected from Cuba and signed with the Angels, the contract erroneously contained no "s" at the end of his given first name. He signed the contract and "never bothered to correct it."

Don't mistake that for his being OK with the name Kendry. According to the Times, he's "adamant" that his real first name is Kendrys.

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Posted on: February 25, 2011 8:23 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2011 8:52 pm
 

Morales only running only at '60 to 70 percent'

Kendry MoralesKendry Morales won't be ready to play in spring training games any time soon, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he expects his first baseman to be ready for opening day.

"What the time frame is for [Morales playing in spring training games] to happen remains to be seen but we have a long way to opening day," Scioscia told the Orange County Register. "By the time guys are playing every day [in spring] that last week to 10 days of the spring, hopefully he will be in the rotation at first base."

Morales will start off DHing and hitting in minor-league games.

But at what point do the Angels start getting nervous? The Angels open the season March 31 in Kansas City. For Morales to have the week to 10 days of spring training, he'd need to start by the 20th of March to get 10 spring training games. That's still somewhere in the range from 20-35 at-bats and that doesn't seem like it's quite enough to start the season.

Scioscia said he'd like Morales to get a certain number of at-bats, and he could get 40-50 in those 10 days with minor-league at-bats, but is that enough?

Three weeks out, Scioscia said Morales is running on the treadmill "while carrying only 60 or 70 percent of his body weight." Does that seem like something that can be overcome in three weeks? Perhaps, if there are no setbacks. If there's any kind of hiccup, Morales may not be ready for opening day.

If Morales isn't ready to play every day, it's likely Brandon Wood or Mark Trumbo will man first for the Angels. Wood has been hampered by a lower-back injury and hasn't been cleared to run the bases yet, either. It's unlikely he'll be cleared to play in exhibition games until later next week.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: February 21, 2011 1:24 pm
 

Morales could DH to start season

MoralesAlthough Kendry Morales is making progress in his return from a fratured ankle that knocked him out for the majority of 2010, he's still not quite all the way back which could land him in the DH spot to start the season.

The problem isn't offense, as manager Mike Scioscia clarified to the Orange County Register.

"The way he’s swinging the bat -- particularly right-handed, where the landing foot gets a lot of torque on it, there has been no issue. Swinging from the left side, there’s been no issue."

Nope, the problem is on defense, where Morales isn't quite where he needs to be in order to man first base on Opening Day. And while that could change in time for Opening Day, Scioscia said Morales will still see time at DH.

"Whether he comes through spring training with flying colors ready to go 100 percent on Opening Day, there’s certainly going to be some DH days for him," Scioscia said. "We would definitely use that to get a little different look."

That begs the question: who will play first base should Morales be unable to go?

Surprisingly, there isn't much depth behind Morales at first. None of the outfielders -- Vernon Wells, Peter Bourjos, Torii Hunter and Bobby Abreu -- have any experience playing first and there's been no indication of changing that. Bourjos would be pushed out of the lineup if Morales became a DH, but he's not a consideration at first. Backup infielder Brandon Wood could possibly get a shot, but the Angels appear to be giving Mark Trumbo every opportunity to win a backup spot.

Trumbo is a first baseman, although he will receive some work in the outfield to improve his versatility. The 25-year-old has no major league experience beyond a cup of coffee but broke out in Triple-A by hitting .301/.368/.577 with 36 home runs in 595 plate appearances. That's put him on the map in L.A. to win a bench spot, but Trumbo will have to prove he can handle first base as well as show that his breakout season is not a mirage.

"We feel it’s important he concentrate on first base," Scioscia said. "He has the opportunity to win a lot of playing time."

Given how Morales progresses in playing the field, Trumbo may win playing time by default.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: February 14, 2011 3:30 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2011 4:10 pm
 

Morales unsure he'll be ready for opening day

Kendry Morales Much of the defense of the Angels' 2011 offseason was that the team would improve if only for the return of first baseman Kendry Morales.

Well, that's not so set in stone.

Monday, MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez (Twitter link ) asked Morales if he'd be ready for opening day. The response? "No se." For those who don't speak much Spanish, that means "I don't know."

Morales, of course, missed most of 2010 after he fractured his lower leg in the celebration of his walk-off grand slam against the Mariners' Brandon League on May 29.
 Kendry Morales

Until that point, Morales hit .290/.346/.487 with 11 home runs, a year after hitting .306/.355/.569 with 24 home runs in 152 games.

UPDATE: Sanchez's tweet sounded a little more dire than the eventual story, written by MLB.com's Lyle Spencer .

Morales says he hopes to be ready for opening day and also this:

 

"This is the first time I've had an injury of that magnitude," Morales said when asked about his rehab. "It wasn't easy, but it wasn't difficult, either.

"I'm not really feeling any pain, but I feel tightness for a lack of flexibility. I'll keep working out and the inflammation goes down again, and I'll get mobility.

"The first thing would be to get fully in shape to play -- and then maintain the numbers I had."

 

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: January 17, 2011 5:07 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2011 5:09 pm
 

Who can win the AL West?

CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler took a look at the Athletics and whether the club can be contenders in the AL West after importing Grant Balfour and Brian Fuentes to bolster the bullpen.

The answer? Oakland is close to contention, but isn't quite there.

A bullpen that ranks as one of the five best entering spring training will pair with a young, dynamic rotation and improved offense with the additions of David DeJesus and Josh Willingham -- even if the offense may still fall short of being taken seriously. Oakland is beginning to emerge as a popular sleeper pick and should be in the thick of the race, but how do the other teams in the division stack up?

Seattle Mariners

BradleyThe Mariners have been quiet this offseason with minimal money to spare. The only significant acquisition the club made was importing Miguel Olivo to catch, although Jack Cust was also added to the team and should get some at-bats at DH.

The Mariners will be banking on bounceback years from Milton Bradley (pictured) and Chone Figgins as well as Erik Bedard staying healthy for a full season out of the rotation. Seattle is in a retooling process with Justin Smoak at first and rookie Dustin Ackley eventually taking over second base. The only chance they have of being relevant in the division late in the year is playing a spoiler role.

Los Angeles Angels

DownsThe Angels' offseason has been nothing short of awful, whiffing on every premier free agent after owner Arte Moreno declared they would be heavy players. Carl Crawford landed in Boston while the club dragged its feet on Adrian Beltre and saw him wind up in Texas. Now, the Angels have a roster eerily similar to the one that finished 80-82.

Oh, excuse me -- they signed lefties Scott Downs (pictured) and Hisanori Takahashi to pitch out of the bullpen. That's not nearly enough to change this team's prognosis as a .500 team. Kendry Morales returning to first base will do a lot, but this is a team on paper that will need a whole lot of luck to hang with Texas and Oakland.

Texas Rangers

BeltreThe reigning AL champions may have lost Cliff Lee, but they made up for it by adding Adrian Beltre to man third. In one fell swoop, they significantly upgraded the infield defense (which the pitchers will certainly appreciate) and ensured their offense wouldn't take a hit with Vladimir Guerrero's foray into free agency. No, Cliff Lee is no longer a Ranger and the rotation looks a bit suspect, but they are still a cut above any other team.

What Texas needs to happen in the rotation is for C.J. Wilson to prove he wasn't a fluke in a successful conversion from reliever, for Tommy Hunter to emerge as an innings-eating stalwart in the middle of the rotation and for Colby Lewis to continue his successful return from Japan. The Rangers need Scott Feldman to bounce back from a 7-11, 5.48 ERA year and return to his 17-8, 4.08 mark from 2009 and for Brandon Webb to finally brush off the injuries that have plagued him the past two seasons in order to round out the rotation.

The Rangers should be able to win the division, but Oakland could push them especially if the Rangers' rotation falls apart. It's difficult to envision the Angels as a factor -- too much has to go right -- and the Mariners aren't close to contending.

-- Evan Brunell

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com