Last night we learned that the Orioles were awarded the claim on Twins left fielder Josh Willingham, giving them until Friday to work out a potential deal, and now they’ve claimed another right-handed bat.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Orioles were awarded the claim on Mariners left fielder Michael Morse, who’s similar to Willingham in that he’s terrible defensively and has good power. One key difference is that Morse is an impending free agent, whereas Willingham is signed for $7 million next season. And generally speaking Morse hasn’t been as good as Willingham, although they’ve both struggled with production and injuries this year.
Obviously the Orioles would like to add another bat for the stretch run and it’s a smart approach to claim multiple, similar hitters to give themselves some options if the demands for one prove too costly. Seattle could always pull back Morse and keep him, like they did with Kendrys Morales, although getting anything they can in return for him would seemingly be the easy call.
The Reds have sent second baseman Scooter Gennett in for an MRI exam after he was forced to make an early departure from Friday’s 6-4 loss to the Brewers. The exact nature of the injury has yet to be reported, but starting pitcher Robert Stephenson said Gennett may have hurt himself after he “rolled weird” while trying to rein in a ground ball. He appeared to be grabbing at his right thigh/groin area immediately afterward and was helped off the field.
Following the incident, the 28-year-old was swiftly replaced by veteran infielder Carlos Rivero, who went hitless as he finished out the game. Though Gennett went 0-for-1 in his lone at-bat on Friday, he’s been tearing through the Cactus League competition this spring with a .351/.405/.486 batting line in 42 plate appearances so far.
The extent of Gennett’s injuries have not been disclosed — and may still be unknown to the team as well — but any significant setback would undoubtedly throw a wrench in the Reds’ plans this season, as he was the presumed starter at the keystone after turning in his first All-Star worthy performance in 2018. Although they have a promising alternative in top infield/outfield prospect Nick Senzel, the 23-year-old has not seen any time at second base this year and was recently reassigned to Triple-A Louisville to start the 2019 season.