Finally healthy, Logan Morrison looking to establish a presence in M’s Lineup

Logan Morrison is back with the Mariners and he means to stay.

Morrison returned to the lineup Wednesday after missing nearly two months with a strained hamstring he suffered against the Rangers in mid-April. Because of the injury, Morrison had just 20 at-bats in eight games with the M’s before hitting the disabled list.

Now back, the 26-year-old hopes to show what he can do when fully healthy.

“Being hurt is never fun. Been hurt way too much,” said Morrison. “Just to be able to come back and be able to contribute is a good feeling.”

In an 18-game rehab stint with Triple-A Tacoma, Morrison hit .308 (20-for-65) with three home runs and two doubles. After a tough first game back against the Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka, Morrison responded to go 2-for-4 with a home run, double and two RBI against New York Thursday.

The solo home run in the second inning off of Chase Whitley was his first of the year and subsequently the first for Morrison as a Mariner. It’s a sign that the wealth of at-bats with Tacoma got his swing in shape as much as his hamstring.

“It’s been huge,” Morrison said in reference to the consistent at-bats in the last 20 days. “At the beginning of the year  I didn’t even have a feel as to how, what was going on — everything was to the second baseman. Now when I hit the ball to the second baseman at least I know what I did. Now I got to correct that and maybe not hit so many there.

“It’s still a work in progress and, you know, hopefully by September I’ll be hitting my stride and helping us get into the playoffs.”

His manager Lloyd McClendon knows he can certainly make a positive difference with Justin Smoak and Michael Saunders currently on the 15-day DL.

“We know what LoMo is,” McClendon said. “We know he’s got some thunder in his bat. I mean obviously he hadn’t been out there. I think he had like 30 at-bats coming in. It was tough to lose him early, but it’s good to see him swinging the bat well now and hopefully he can help us win some ballgames.

“He swung the bat pretty good (Thursday),” McClendon. “Hopefully he can get going. That would be a big lift for us.”

In portions of four seasons with Miami, Morrison hit .249/.339/.427/.764 with a 264 to 164 strikeout to walk ratio and 42 homers in 363 games. But after missing 40, 70 and 80 games from 2011-2013, being on the field is as important as anything else for Morrison. When he is, he knows the type of factor he can be in Seattle’s lineup.

“Very important,” responded Morrison. “I know what I’m capable of when I’m healthy. I feel like every baseball player — or hitter — should: that no pitcher is better than them. Now it’s just up to me to execute. Swing at a good pitch to hit, put the barrel on it, whatever happens, happens.”


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