The Tampa Bay Rays took a chance and gave a second one to Morrison with hopes that his mid-season surge from last season was the real deal, so far after three games all is looking good.
After Morrison’s first month as a Ray, he was knee-deep in the worst slump of his career. He only mustered six hits in 60 at-bats, with 25 strikeouts, two extra base hits, and zero runs batted in during April.
Morrison did not record his first RBI until the 29th game, and his first homer came one game after.
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However, he bounced back admirably. From June until the end of the season, Morrison hit .237 with a slugging percentage of .466 in 219 at-bats. Unfortunately, his season was cut short due to a wrist injury. But, Morrison was forced to sit out long after the Rays were eliminated from playoff contention.
The Rays wisely resigned Morrison to another one year deal, as he offers some much needed pop to this lineup.
LoMo wasted no time this year, blasting a frozen rope into the right-center field seats on opening day. He finished the game with three hits, and three RBIs, possibly his best performance as a Ray.
Morrison seems to enjoy hitting right in middle of this Rays lineup. Dating back to least season, he is batting .267 when either hitting fifth or sixth, opposed to .177 when hitting in any other spot of the lineup. The protection offered from the middle of the lineup may have been the missing factor, as batting second surely did him no favors.
Obviously, multi-hit games are not something to expect from LoMo all that often. I have Carlos Pena-esque expectations for him this season, at least offensively. A lot of power, a lot of strikeouts, and a batting average that falls somewhere between .225 and .250.
If the opening series was any indication of what to expect from Morrison, it’s going to be a fun ride.