Kendrys Morales hasn’t played since breaking his ankle on May 29, 2010, suffering numerous setbacks along the way, and the Angels first baseman still sounds iffy to be ready for Opening Day.
Bill Plunkett of the Orange Country Register reports that Morales “has been taking batting practice and has been cleared to start light jogging on a treadmill equipped with a harness that takes some of his weight off his legs.”
Plunkett notes that Morales advanced more or less that far last spring before undergoing a second surgery and missing the entire season, so his progress this time around isn’t exactly encouraging.
Or as Mike Scioscia put it: “I think we want to just tread lightly on this one and make sure that he’s along before you start to get excited about it.”
The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.
The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.
This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.
Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.