Archive for the ‘Kendrys Morales.’ Category

Saturday against Tampa Bay, Kendrys Morales hit his 19th homer of the season, a deep shot to right field off Rays right-hander Chris Archer.

One day later, he hit his 20th, a right-handed blast off Rays left-hander Matt Moore. Morales has now compiled back-to-back 20 home-run seasons. Over the two-year span, morales is hitting .278/.331/.460, good for a 123 OPS+ in the difficult coastal parks in Seattle and Anaheim.

Morales’s performance, unfortunately, hasn’t made much of an impact in MLB as a whole. He has toiled on a pair of non-playoff teams, and, as a DH, his performance grades out as merely slightly above average. Still, although Morales is far from a star, his performance over the past two years may be the most impressive in baseball.

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The Angels said they wanted an inning eater in exchange for Kendrys Morales and it appears that is exactly what they got. The Angels outfield/DH logjam is a little clearer now as Jerry Dipoto shipped out his most expendable bat – a DH with only one year remaining on his contract – in exchange for a reliable back of the rotation arm in Jason Vargas.

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The baseball season is really, really long. Beautifully long, but really long. Long enough that, come late July or early August, it starts to feel like it’s always been baseball season, and always will be. So then we get to this part of the year, and suddenly there are about twenty games left, and the fact that the season will end eventually (and pretty soon, at that) is a bit hard to get the ol’ head around. And then I realize that as closely and regularly as I follow baseball, and as much as I read about it, there’s been a ton of stuff going on in the game that I just haven’t paid any attention to at all.

That might be especially true this season.  It feels to me as though this year, more than any others I can remember, has revolved around a small handful of individual players. Trout and Pujols in Anaheim; Harper and Strasburg in Washington; Cabrera, Fielder and Verlander in Detroit. Hamilton, Felix, Braun, Cain. Your mileage may vary, and there are probably several I’m forgetting who belong there, but the national stories I’ve seen have tended to focus on one or two of the guys in that group.

Conversely, and naturally, there are plenty of players having great, good or merely interesting seasons who, as far as I can tell, have received essentially no national attention. Here are my favorite five:

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