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A healthy Morse comes to Giants’ camp enthusiastic

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February 19, 2014 | 8 Comments

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Mike Morse is healthy again, and he thinks he’s ready to return to the form that made him one of the top hitters in the National League in 2011.

All it took was a little guidance from friends.

Morse agreed to a one-year contract with San Francisco in December and is expected to play left field. He said Monday he has no restrictions following surgery to shave a bone spur in his left wrist last October, a condition that was discovered in a visit to orthopedic surgeon Richard Berger at the Mayo Clinic.

Former teammate Jayson Werth, who had a wrist operation done by Berger, directed Morse to the Mayo Clinic. Mark DeRosa, another former teammate, directed Morse to the Giants.

The 31-year-old Morse played most of last year with the pain in his wrist, thinking it was just part of the routine bumps and bruises.

“I thought, ‘Well, this is it,’” he said. “It was just something I had to play with.”

He hit 11 home runs through May for the Seattle Mariners and then hit just two more the rest of the way, and none with the Baltimore Orioles, who acquired him in a deal at the end of August.

“DeRosa would like to touch my arm and say ‘Does it hurt here?’” Morse said. “Yeah, it hurts there. Then he’d walk away like it was pretty bad.”

Werth, who had his surgery with Berger in 2006, went on to help the Philadelphia Phillies win a World Series title two years later.

“He was really high on Dr. Berger,” Morse said. “My wrist hurt and no one could find anything wrong with it. I decided to go to the Mayo Clinic on my own dime.”

An MRI scan was inconclusive, and Berger decided the best course of action was exploratory surgery to find the problem. The bone spur was shaved off and Morse returned to swinging the bat about 10 days later.

“Dr. Berger is legit,” Morse said. “He’s the real thing.”

Now Morse is looking for the type of numbers he had in 2011 with Washington in his only full season, when he had 31 homers and 95 RBIs. If he can return to that form, he could provide a big boost for San Francisco’s power-starved lineup from a year ago.

Morse, who has a .281 career average, also has played shortstop and first base. With the Giants, he replaces speedy Gregor Blanco and will share the outfield with Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence.

“I’ll catch the routine balls,” Morse said. “I may not make the spectacular catch but we have Pagan in center. He can make those plays.”

When it came time to look at free-agent offers, Morse said DeRosa was a big reason he chose to play in San Francisco.

“He told me this was the place to play,” Morse said. “He thought highly of this place.”

DeRosa played with the Giants in 2010-11.

NOTES: Position players are scheduled to report Tuesday. … Hard throwing LHP Edwin Escobar is expected to start the season at Triple A, after making 10 starts in Double A a year ago. “We want him starting for now,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’s ahead of where he was last year at this time. He has a better look about him.” … Bochy said there’s an emphasis on pitcher’s fielding drills earlier this year. It was a problem last season. “I don’t think we executed as well as we should have,” he said. “We’re spending more time on it and getting people focused.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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Discussion | 8 comments

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  • Mike KirchubelFebruary 18, 2014 - 8:41 am

    We give the other teams the odd years, just so they don't feel too bad, but 2014 is an even year, so it's our time to win the World Series. Go Giants!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksFebruary 18, 2014 - 12:20 pm

    Looking forward to some good baseball this year. Going to be some great series between LA and SF too. GO DODGERS!!!!!!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mike KirchubelFebruary 18, 2014 - 1:03 pm

    I'm thinking of reporting an abusive comment, CD. I think many here would agree.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksFebruary 18, 2014 - 1:33 pm

    Mike, HA! HA! Let the abuse begin!!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mr. PracticalFebruary 18, 2014 - 6:02 pm

    CD, put the Giants down for 93 wins. Dodgers could still get the wild card!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksFebruary 19, 2014 - 6:06 am

    Mr. Practical, only 93? This season has real potential for a "loud finish" with AZ, LA and SF having some serious desire to win it. SD is always lingering but I think this is a 3 team race this year. I liked reading about Lincecum and his workout ethic, he was getting a little tired I think and maybe the new conditioning will be a bonus? I will be hoping for another long winning streak from LA to put it away early. We shall see...

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  • Mr. PracticalFebruary 19, 2014 - 5:30 pm

    CD, I think 93 will win because of the depth in the West. Both the Dodgers and Giants have quite a few "ifs." The Dodgers need Kemp, Crawford and Puig to stay healthy. Puig also needs to learn discipline doing the little things. He's a loose cannon. Giants need a healthy Morse and Sandoval. Between Hudson, Lincecum and Voglesong, two of the three need to have strong seasons. The other big if is Belt hitting like he did in the 3-hole in the 2nd half.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksFebruary 19, 2014 - 6:00 pm

    Mr. Practical, of course there are so many variables it's hard to say. Should be fun for we fans to watch!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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