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Another Quick Thought About Nyjer Morgan

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We'll see pretty quickly whether this talk from the Bucs' front office about Morgan's "development" is even believable. The Pirates have Andrew McCutchen and Steve Pearce in two of their outfield spots. In the other is Kevin Thompson, who's Indianapolis' best hitter so far and probably next in the queue when the Bucs need a bench outfielder. Indy's already doing a bunch of juggling trying to play those three guys plus find occasional at bats for Craig Wilson, Adam Boeve and Jorge Cortes. If you're the Pirates and you know McCutchen and Pearce absolutely have to play, and you have Thompson tearing the cover off the ball and you already liked him enough in the offseason to add him to the 40-man roster, then how does Morgan get this development time? You can free up some by moving Pearce to first, but the Bucs already said a couple months ago that they wanted him to concentrate on learning the outfield. 

My guess -- and this is purely speculative, so take it with a grain of salt -- is that the Pirates' new management doesn't even view Morgan as a prospect. In an effort to seem open-minded after his exciting 2007 debut, they kept him on the roster at the beginning of this season, but they didn't play him, and he helped them out by playing badly when he did end up on the field. (Also, Nate McLouth went crazy, so finding a centerfielder doesn't seem like such a big deal anymore. ) If the Bucs had sent Morgan down after Spring Training, half the fanbase would have been furious. Now no one's mad and there won't be any pressure to start Morgan in Pittsburgh anytime soon, and all it cost the Pirates was a handful of bad at bats. My guess is that the Pirates' management probably won't exactly cry their eyes out if Morgan doesn't get a lot of playing time in Indianapolis, either.