We’ve seen Nyjer Morgan cross-check major league catchers in the past, but he’ll have a chance to go back to his roots tomorrow. According to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, the outspoken outfielder will suit up to practice with his hometown San Jose Sharks.
“I’m really excited to get on the ice with the team,” said Morgan. “I’ve been a diehard fan since the team came to San Jose in 1991. I will never forget the George Kingston and Patty Falloon days. I’m not sure the guys are ready for me!”
Morgan gave up hockey about a decade ago in order to focus on baseball, but he did play with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League in 1999-2000. You can watch him on the ice here. He scored two goals in seven games and wouldn’t you know it, he also logged 20 penalty minutes.
Zack Greinke began last season on the disabled list after breaking his rib in a pickup basketball game prior to spring training, so some minor trepidation on the Brewers’ part would be understandable, but GM Doug Melvin told McCalvy that they aren’t concerned given Morgan’s previous experience as a hockey player. The Brewers and Morgan avoided arbitration earlier this month by agreeing to a one-year, $2.35 million contract, but the deal is not guaranteed.
Mets assistant general manager John Ricco told Newsday today that he expects minor league outfielder Tim Tebow to return for a third season in professional baseball.
Tebow, 31, broke the hamate bone in his right hand while swinging a bat in late July, ending his season. It was a fairly successful season for him all things considered. After being promoted to Double-A Binghamton to start the year he hit .273/.336/.399 with six home runs, a stolen base and a .734 OPS in 298 plate appearances and made the Double-A All-Star team. That’s not the stuff of a top prospect — he strikes out far too much and the power numbers aren’t fantastic given that power would figure to be his strongest tool — but it’s pretty respectable for a guy his age and with his relative lack of baseball experience. As I said back in July, you can believe the Mets’ interest in Tebow is more marketing than baseball, but that does not preclude you from giving the guy a deserved tip of the cap for working hard and sticking it out in the bush leagues.
Assuming he does come back, the Mets are likely to start him at Triple-A Syracuse in the hopes that he’d eventually get to the bigs as a late season callup if the Mets aren’t in contention. Indeed, many believed that was the plan for him this year had he not been injured.