Morel went hitless on Friday, striking out four times. However that was not the worst of it, as he also bobbled a ball on defense that led to the go-ahead run scoring in the sixth inning.
“He is going to save more games than he is going to hurt us [in],” John Danks, who took the loss Friday, said. “He’s a damn good third baseman and he will be there all year helping the pitchers out.”
The 24-year-old California native came on strong in September of 2011, hitting eight home runs while driving in 19 as opposed to the two homers and 22 RBIs he had totaled the first five months of last season.
“You try to have the days when things go perfect rather than the ones like this,” Morel said. “It’s a 162-day fight and I lost the first one. But I’m looking forward to getting out there [Saturday].”
Morel also made an error and contributed a fine defensive play diving to his left as part of his opening day to forget.
“Defense is something I really take pride in,” Morel said. “It is something I think I can control better than hitting. It’s hard not taking it out there [after bad at-bats], but I try to do the best I can.”
Morel battled the injury bug all spring, becoming sidelined with lower back pain on numerous occasions.