How does Logan Morrison fit into the Brewers 2020 plans?

Matthew Dewoskin
CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 04: Logan Morrison #8 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a two run pinch hit home run in the 5th inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 04, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 04: Logan Morrison #8 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a two run pinch hit home run in the 5th inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 04, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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The Milwaukee Brewers have added Logan Morrison as a minor league free agent with an invite to Spring Training. Is he just around to fill out the roster at San Antonio or is there a bigger plan?

Logan Morrison coming to the Milwaukee Brewers would have been a bit more exciting three years ago. In 2017, Morrison hit 22 homers, drove in 85 runs, and posted an .868 OPS in 149 games for the Tampa Bay Rays. Since then, he’s become a free agent three times, and spent time in three different organizations.

He also underwent hip surgery at the end of the 2018 season, and hasn’t returned to his previous form yet.

Why did the Brewers add him on a minor league deal, and will he actually see time in the Majors in 2020?

How did 2019 go for Morrison?

Morrison split 2019 between the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies organizations. He spent time in Triple-A with both organizations, and managed a .308/.369/.640 OPS in 61 games in the minors highest level. He requested his release from the Yankees after they called up Mike Ford instead of Morrison when Luke Voit needed time on the Injured List.

He caught on with the Phillies, and eventually played for the Major League team. He appeared in 29 games for Philadelphia, but only managed to accumulate 38 plate appearances. He slashed .200/.263/.400 and blasted a pair of homers in very limited action.

How will the Brewers use Morrison?

It looks like Morrison is essentially insurance in case Ryan Braun or Justin Smoak needs time on the Injured List in 2020. If either player has to sit for an extended period, Morrison is likely to get the call.

2020 will only be Morrison’s age-32 season, and he’s always been capable against right-handed pitching. The Brewers haven’t exactly been the healthiest team in recent years, and adding Morrison allows the team to carry a solid Major League-caliber first baseman / left fielder in case they suffer a few injuries at first or in their outfield.

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The only way Morrison makes the Major League roster is if there’s a Braun or Smoak injury, or Ryon Healy is a complete disaster AND the team adds a veteran third baseman. Morrison could make sense as the 26th man, but a few moves and a Healy injury or terrible performance would allow him to work his way into the active roster. He’s ticketed for Triple-A otherwise, but he could be the first player to get the call if there’s a need.

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