Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly told me he thinks Michael Morse looks good at first base. Mattingly also described the Nats first baseman to me Sunday morning as "a beast."
"He's a beast. That's one thing I noticed, his size is huge," Mattingly said. "He scares you up there. Honestly he's got pop."
The former Yankees first baseman added Morse is one of those guys who is dangerous because he's strong, big, athletic and physical, and he looks like he's going to be a force.
Jayson Werth spent a lot of time in Philadelphia working alongside former Nationals coach Davey Lopes, who is now the Dodgers first base coach. Werth told me Lopes is the best coach he's ever had.
He said Lopes meant a lot to his career. Lopes was a good teacher and Werth learned so much from him on a variety of topics, ranging from baserunning to little things away from the game. One of the biggest things, though, that Lopes did was instill confidence in Werth. Lopes believed in the outfielder's ability, which was so helpful to his career.
The former Phillies coach told me his best advice to the struggling Werth was to be patient. Lopes knows Werth has the tools and ability; it was just matter of getting an opportunity and then slamming the door, and Werth did just that!
Before Sunday's game against the Dodgers, Werth told me it was cool that Pat Gillick - one of the brightest and most respected baseball executives in the game - was going into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. After all, Gillick took a shot on Werth twice. Gillick drafted Werth when he was with the Orioles. Then, when the Dodgers released Werth after the 2005 season, Gillick, who by then had moved to the Phillies, was the first to call.
Werth recalled being down and out and at the lowest point of his career after his release from L.A. He found out late in the evening he was released (minutes before the midnight deadline) and then fell asleep on the couch after wondering what he was going to do next. He remembered his phone rang at 7:30 a.m. and he thought, "Who is calling me this early?"
Then he heard Gillick's voice say, "Jayson," as he was leaving a message. Gillick wanted to speak with Werth about joining the Phillies.
Werth described Gillick as a good guy who came to his home in Springfield, Ill. twice. When Gillick worked for Baltimore, he made a visit there and scouted Werth and met his family. Years later, Gillick came to Springfield again as he gave Werth an opportunity with the Phillies that would really alter his career.
Werth appreciated the hard work and dedication that Gillick put into his work over the years, which is why Gillick is now a Hall of Fame executive.