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Logan Morrison (knee) cleared to run on a treadmill

Feb 19, 2013, 7:45 PM EDT

Logan Morrison shared the good news through his personal Twitter feed:

Morrison is about five months removed from surgery to repair a torn patella tendon in his right knee. He also underwent surgery on that same knee before the start of what became a disappointing 2012 campaign.

LoMo’s agent told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald that his client should be ready to join the Marlins’ lineup around April 15. If the eccentric 25-year-old can avoid setbacks, that’s a reasonable target date.

  1. Old Gator - Feb 19, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    Oh joy! Now maybe the Feesh front orifice will finally be conveenced that Tweeter can’t drive in runs because he’s a mediocrity with the plate discipline of the last starving lab chimp you invited to dinner with your daughter and her boyfriend to stave off the unwanted announcement that they planned to get married, not because his knee is damaged.

    • buddaley - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:51 PM

      I am not certain how you are defining plate discipline. One of the skills most often attributed to Morrison is his ability to draw walks and avoid lots of strikeouts. Generally his BB rate has been near or better than 10% and his K rate under 20%.

      Looking at fangraphs, his swinging strike rates outside and inside the zone, and his contact rates, are pretty good. Compared to Evan Longoria, for example, generally considered a hitter with good plate discipline, Morrison swings at fewer balls outside the strike zone and makes contact with them more often when he does. Longoria swings more often at pitches in the zone, but Logan makes contact more regularly, and in other measures Morrison compares very well with Evan. Do you have some definition of plate discipline that discounts those types of stats?

      • Old Gator - Feb 19, 2013 at 11:43 PM

        Yeah – the guy batted .230 with 36 RBI and an RSP of around .163 in 93 games last year. Great that he doesn’t think he can handle a lot of pitches other guys would have put in play, and given his results when he did swing, it’s probably just as well that he didn’t swing at them. Plate discipline also requires that when you do swing, you hit the ball well enough and in approximately the right spot to get it past the fielders. Going by his overall results including his .308 OBP, you can surmise that when he does swing, he either still swings at bad pitches or that he’s incapable of handling a pitch where it is to his advantage. That’s also part of plate discipline. The Feesh want Tweeter batting low in the order – “protecting” the Iron Giant. Great. He’s supposed to drive in runs. He doesn’t. He had one decent stretch when he came up in 2010 and one decent stretch early in 2011, then fizzled out like a badly pumped bottle rocket. It’s as if that praying mantis vectored Pazuzu at him.

      • buddaley - Feb 20, 2013 at 5:55 AM

        His career OBP is .339. It has declined every year from an excellent .390 to a mediocre .330 to a very poor .308-more due to a declining BA than a lack of walks. It is not a good sign, but it is possible that his injuries have played a role.

        The BB% has also declined although it remains good while the K rate has stayed steady. It seems to me you are conflating a number of different criticisms and calling them all plate discipline.

        I think it possible that he is too passive and should be swinging at more pitches in the zone. That one problem might be subsumed under plate discipline. It is also possible, given his good rate of contact, that his swing is off leading to weak contact, a different issue. His line drive rate is not particularly good. Perhaps he has not adjusted to pitchers who have figured out his weaknesses.

        Except for his 23 home run season and a few good power seasons in the minors, he really does not demonstrate the kind of power you like from a corner player. And his major league history of hitting with men on base is poor. Although a decently large sample, that may yet be more coincidence than a measure of ability.

        At age 25, and with lots of interruptions due to injury, he is young enough to have reasonable hope that such performance will even out over time. In fact, he does hit a fair number of doubles which is also promising.

        Your antipathy to Morrison is well-documented, but I think it is overblown. There are reasons to be disappointed in Morrison, but also evidence that he has the talent to emerge as a useful ball player, especially if he can overcome the injury problem.

      • Old Gator - Feb 20, 2013 at 10:11 AM

        Oh, I am definitely conflating other issues because the term “plate discipline” as it refers only to walks and strikeouts is misleading in itself. A disciplined hitter gets hits. Tweeter doesn’t – and I did note in my prior response to you that he started out strong out of the gate and fizzled. This is not unique – it happens when (a) pitchers adjust to hitters who don’t adjust back and (b) when they’re not themselves adequately protected in a lineup. In Tweeter’s case I think it’s a matter of the former. Injuries surely played a part in Tweeter’s decline but so what? He is what he is. It’s nice that he draws walks and if he were a one or two hitter that’d be more of an asset than it is in a middle-of-the-order hitter. He’s not fast enough to be a one or two hitter and with a bust-prone knee he never will be. Some of those doubles you cite might well be triples for someone who can run. Regardless, his role in the lineup is supposedly to drive in runs. 163 isn’t a “poor” RSP, it’s a terrible one. It’s the kind of hitting profile in a number five, six or even seventh position hitter that leads to last-place finishes.

      • buddaley - Feb 20, 2013 at 11:09 AM

        We disagree. Plate discipline has a specific meaning that is not misleading unless you use it to mean “good hitter”, which I am not doing. It is, however, a particular aspect of hitting that is an asset, whether or not it is enough of one when other aspects are weak or missing.

        As an analogy, were I to say that a person demonstrates rational thinking, it would not be the same as saying s/he is an A student. But it is certainly an asset and not misleading to note it as long as I recognize other needs as well.

        The “so what” regarding injuries is that if they account for his struggles, we may be optimistic-with reason-that the struggles are not permanent. Of course, some players never overcome their injury problems. I don’t know whether the prognosis for Morrison is that he will or won’t, but some do and thrive. At age 25, unless there are fundamental physical disabilities, it makes sense to focus on his basic skills rather than those injuries, even if it is also prudent to remain wary. As he is still inexpensive, giving up too soon is more risky than waiting.

        I am less concerned than you about his poor (ok terrible) rate of hitting with RISP or with his puny RBI totals. While it is probable that some players are unable to succeed in those areas due to some psychological issue, I think at the major league level such failure is rarely the player’s fault and more likely random.

        In any case, as terrible as some numbers look, they are somewhat contradictory and inconclusive. For example, when Logan leads off an inning, he is slugging .606! Does that mean we should consider him a great leadoff hitter? And with a man on 1B, his line is .290/.359/.480. In late and close games his line is .252/..365/.459. Does that mean he is at least adequate in the clutch? Or since his line in medium leverage situations is .285/.370/.514, do we interpret that as indicative of his excellence in such situations? (I am using BB-Ref. definitions and data.)

        I don’t think any such interpretations are legitimate, and while you are absolutely correct that he has been awful (so far) in most instances when RBIs were available, and while he does have 1147 PAs already, I still think it premature to assert he is not a good RBI man. There are too many variables (and enough alternative data) to make such a judgment.

      • Old Gator - Feb 20, 2013 at 11:38 AM

        Well, it’s nice to be able to agree on something, even if it’s to disagree. On the plate discipline thing, I still think it’s a misleading stat. I’ve seen him walk, but I’ve also seen him take some execrable swings at bad pitches and pop or ground out. It’s one of those things where I think he’s failed so often that he has actually managed to spook himself out of swinging at pitches a disciplined hitter could serve over a first or third baseman’s head. Since those are usually outside or inside pitches the result is that he looks like he’s got a great eye – except that eye is connected to some place in his brain that’s more highly developed in advanced hominids who can swing and drive in a run or two.

        I’ve watched him closely as he failed, even against lousy pitchers, just too often to have any optimism left where he’s concerned. My prediction: Tweeter is going nowhere. If the Feesh are lucky, he’ll be just good enough with his knee healed as well as it can be so that they can unload him for…well…it’s the Feesh, so, for more prospects. It still kills me to think that they could have traded him in a package for Matt Garza two orfseasons ago – though, of course, that just probably means that Garza would be pitching for Toronto now.

  2. digbysellers - Feb 20, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    I’ve been cleared to run on a treadmill for years…still haven’t done it though.

    • Old Gator - Feb 20, 2013 at 11:39 AM

      Don’t blame you. It’s boring.

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