Weary Morales takes breather to recharge

Weary Morales takes breather to recharge

Weary Morales takes breather to recharge
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Angels slugger Kendrys Morales was previously slated to start at Goodyear Ballpark on Wednesday, but the Reds changed their mind about utilizing the designated hitter, so Morales instead took a day off while feeling a little fatigued.

Part of the reason for that is Morales is still working himself back into baseball shape after being unable to run for so long because of his left ankle. He's normally somewhere between 232 and 235 pounds but is currently at 240.

Another reason is that he's not really a morning person.

"I've been getting up early a little too long," Morales said in Spanish on Wednesday. "All my therapy has been during the day. It gets to a point where it takes a lot out of you."

But the 28-year-old switch-hitter doesn't think he'll be fatigued much during the regular season, where he'll be called upon to play five or six times a week. The drastic schedule change -- with everything being early in the morning in March, then everything being later in the day beginning in April -- will benefit him, Morales believes.

"I think it'll be easier [during the regular season]," Morales said. "It'll give me more chances to rest up during the day. Here, you have to get up at 6 a.m., the game starts at 1 and at 4 you're out. It's too long a day. At night, you feel a little more fresh."

Morales went 2-for-4 but didn't run the bases while playing in a Triple-A game at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale on Tuesday. He has gone 8-for-13 with a homer in Cactus League play and has compiled 29 at-bats this spring if you count his Minor League games.

The plan is for Morales to serve as the DH on Thursday and Friday, then Sunday and Monday (at Angel Stadium). He'll then pinch-hit in the two games at Dodger Stadium, likely giving him just under 50 plate appearances this spring.

Considering where Morales is at, manager Mike Scioscia believes that will be enough.

"It's tough to find anything he's not ready for swinging," Scioscia said. "He's laid off off-speed pitches, hit off-speed pitches, catching up with the fuzz, both right-handed and left-handed, so he feels good with where he is."

The Royals will have two lefties starting the opening series at Angel Stadium, with Bruce Chen going in Game 1 and Jonathan Sanchez going in Game 3. Morales will either sit or hit lower in the lineup on those days.