Ever since Kendrys Morales broke his leg at home plate after hitting a walk-off grand slam off of the Seattle Mariners in 2010 as a member of the Los Angeles Angels, injuries have been a continuous struggle.
Morales became a member of the Mariners in a trade that swapped him for LHP Jason Vargas, a player that the Mariners organization thought very highly of.
Morales did not play for close to two seasons while recovering from his leg injury, but he was able to play injury-free through the entire 2012 season with the Angels. The 29-year-old veteran played in 134 games last season, hitting for a solid average of .273 with 22 home runs and 73 RBI in 522 plate appearances.
The 2012 season was a positive sign for Morales, a player that will be relied upon heavily in the middle of Eric Wedge’s lineup. The Mariners would love to see Morales hit the way he did when he was fully healthy in the 2009 season.
That year Morales hit 34 home runs, with 108 RBI and an incredible average of .306. This was by far the best season of Morales’ six-year MLB career, as he finished fifth in the American League MVP voting.
Morales has been impressive in camp for the Mariners, hitting for an average of .333, with five home runs in 48 plate appearances this spring.
He has seen some time at first base in the spring, but I see Morales’ primary role as a designated hitter in 2013. Every time Morales has been healthy for an extended period, of time he has hit the ball very well. If he does not have to play the field, it will be a lot easier for him to stay healthy.
Morales is going into the last year of his contract in 2013. If he stays healthy and has a successful season, it will be very likely that Morales will receive a large contract in the winter.