Following an excellent two homer night in Minnesota, skipper John Gibbons voiced his opinions on the troubled slugger, saying he’s going to get things going in no time. Morales himself also spoke out on his first stolen base in almost a decade, noting that he was once a track and field runner.
During Wednesday’s matinee against the Minnesota Twins, Sportsnet’s Arash Madani said during the broadcast that he’d spoken to John Gibbons regarding Kendrys Morales. While Madani was clearly leaving things out of his report, he had some interesting things to say that bring to attention just how much faith Gibby has in Morales.
According to Madani, Gibbons has said that Morales’ confidence at the plate has been “unwavering” and that he’s just as comfortable at the plate now as he was during his hottest stretch last year. Morales, who appeared sans batting gloves in Wednesday’s game, went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts, bringing his average to .211 on the season.
Madani also went on to ask Morales himself about the base that he stole in Tuesday night’s contest, his first stolen base since the 2009 season. Morales jokingly replied that he “ran track a bit in his youth, but the coach cut [him] because [he] was too slow”. Even though the stolen base can almost be attributed to defensive indifference, it’s still amazing to see.
Believe it or not, Kendrys Morales has as many stolen bases this season as Jose Altuve. Yes, you read that correctly. Altuve, who has swiped 30 or more bases in each of his last six seasons, has as many stolen bases as Morales – one. If that’s not the best statistic you’ll see this season, then I don’t know what is.
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Overall, not much was learned from Madani’s conversation with the skipper. It was light hearted and fun, and showed that Gibby really does believe in his guys. As hopeless as Morales looks at the plate, his manager sees something in him.
Now, this doesn’t excuse his awful month of April, but as Tuesday’s game showed, this man is capable of great things. He has some great home run power, he just needs to lay off the breaking balls.
Hopefully the Cuban born switch-hitter can build on his performance over the last couple of days and restore the fan base’s confidence in him, at least to some degree. While he hasn’t lived up to the hopes many had for him when he signed with the Blue Jays last offseason, he wasn’t exactly awful, slashing .250/.308/.445 with 28 home runs and 85 RBI. He’s been worst than that in 2018 to be sure, but there is plenty of time for the soon to be 35 year old to turn things around, as long as he’s getting enough at bats.