By Ian Kay
The Marlins have wanted to get Logan Morrison into the Major League lineup for a while, but probably not like this.
Left fielder Chris Coghlan will miss six to eight weeks after suffering a knee injury in a shaving cream pie celebration gone bad following Florida’s walk-off win on Sunday. Morrison has been promoted from Triple-A to take Coghlan’s roster spot and presumably keep an eye on any uppity toothpaste, shampoo or hair gel hanging around the Marlins clubhouse.
Losing Coghlan isn’t a major blow for most owners. The outfielder had a big June but did little in the season’s other three months, hitting .268 with five homers and 10 steals overall. Morrison, however, could be the real cream filling in this unfortunate situation.
Baseball America’s No. 16 mid-season prospect, Morrison profiles closer to current Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez than right fielder Mike Stanton at this point. The 22-year-old has a career .292/.383/.465 Minor League line and is hitting an even more appetizing .307/.427/.487 with six home runs in 293 Triple-A at-bats this season. He controls the strike zone very well (48 BB, 35 SO this season) and hasn’t shown a major platoon split, which should make for a relatively easy transition to the big leagues.
Morrison is primarily a first baseman, but he’s played 19 games in left field this season and figures to see most of his lineup time there unless the Fish deal Jorge Cantu before the Trade Deadline and shift Sanchez to third. While skipper Edwin Rodriguez said Morrison will initially share playing time with Emilio Bonifacio, that arrangement shouldn’t last long. Bonifacio can’t hit; Morrison can.
While he’s probably long gone in dynasty formats, Morrison should be an immediate add in all NL-only leagues and 12-team mixers. As long as an early-season shoulder injury isn’t an issue, he’ll provide immediate help in the average category and could surprise with his power. Owners in OBP leagues should pay even closer attention. I peg him for a .291 AVG, 26 R, 7 HR, 23 RBI and 2 SB the rest of the way, with more value than Johnny Damon, Jose Guillen, Troy Glaus and Ike Davis.