Logan Morrison’s status for Opening Day in question as he rehabs from knee surgery

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When Logan Morrison underwent season-ending surgery in September to repair the patella tendon in his right knee, many assumed that he would have enough time to be ready for Opening Day. But that may not be the case.

According to the excellent Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Morrison said today that he has has yet to hit, throw or even run since the surgery. While he’s expected to make the move from left field to first base this season, his readiness for Opening Day is now in question.

“I’m not going to be able to run until the middle of February,” he said. “It’ll take a week into spring training, then it will be a progression to lead up to bases at some point. I don’t know when that will be.”

If Morrison needs some extra rehab time, Greg Dobbs would likely function as a placeholder at first base, though Kevin Kouzmanoff and Joe Mahoney could also be in the mix.

Morrison was limited to just 93 games last season and had surgery on the very same knee last winter. Since hitting .283/.390/.447 in 62 games as a rookie in 2009, the 25-year-old has an underwhelming .240/.321/.441 batting line.

The Cards dealt Stephen Piscotty to the A’s, in part, so he could be near his ailing mother

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Last night we wrote about the rumored deal between the Cardinals and the Athletics for Stephen Piscotty. The deal is now official, with Piscotty going to Oakland for minor leaguers Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock.

Something else emerged about the deal today: a big reason why St. Louis traded Piscotty to Oakland as opposed to another team was so that he could be near his mother, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease last May. Piscotty and his family are from Pleasanton, California, about 35 miles from Oakland.

Here’s Cardinals GM John Mozeliak:

This was certainly a baseball trade — Piscotty became expendable for the Cardinals after they acquired Marcell Ozuna yesterday — but it was one which could’ve been made with any team with a couple of red or white chip prospects. That Mozeliak considered Piscotty’s personal situation in making the deal with the A’s is a credit to him and his staff.

The 26-year-old Piscotty hit .235 with nine homers and 39 RBIs in 107 games last season. He has hit .268 with 38 homers and 163 RBIs in 2+ major league seasons. He agreed to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension last spring.

As for the prospects in return: Munoz, 22, hit .300 with 13 homers and 68 RBIs this year for Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville. Schrock, 23, batted .321 with seven homers and 46 RBIs for Midland, and was a Texas League All-Star.