Caught up with Logan Morrison this morning in Delray Beach, where the Marlins' designated first baseman was putting on his annual Camp for a Cure baseball camp for kids to benefit the American Lung Association. Because Morrison is only four months removed from knee surgery, he hasn't started running and says it's possible he might not be ready by Opening Day, though he says the knee feels better now than it did a year ago when he underwent a similar -- though less involved -- repair to the right patellar tendon.
"I'm optimistic in the fact that it doesn't hurt like it did last year," said Morrison, who never fully recovered from the initial operation, never gained 100 percent strength in the knee, and had his season end in late July when he couldn't continue any longer. "There's no pain like there was last year. There is no aching like there was last year."
Morrison described the 2011 procedure as a "debridement." The latest surgery, he said, was a "complete repair." Despite his cautious optimism, though, Morrison isn't entirely sure if the lingering damage is so great that he'll never be the player he was before. He said that unknown is what scares him more than anything.
"There's always that, 'Am I ever going to be the same,' in the back of my mind, so it's a little scary," Morrison acknowledged. "I'll do everything I can to help it out, bust my (butt), and if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. But at least I'll know I left it all out. I'm not thinking about that. I'm not saying I'll never be the same again. But I hope not."
Morrison said he plans to begin running in February in order to build knee and leg strength, but will not push it like he did last year when he rushed to get ready for the season. The knee never healed properly and the problem worsened. He has not started swinging a bat, either, but doesn't believe it will take him long to get his timing back.
"As far as knowing exactly when I'll be ready, I don't think anybody knows," he said.
Greg Dobbs and waiver claim Joe Mahoney are next on the depth chart if Morrison isn't ready for the start of the season.
-- Morrison said he's spoken a few times with Giancarlo Stanton, who has openly expressed his displeasure with the Marlins' salary dump. "I think when you're told one thing and something else is done, it doesn't make anybody happy," Morrison said. "It's understandable. But i think he'll be fine, and he realizes he has a job to do. He'll be fine."
-- When Morrison's caller ID lit up with Jeffrey Loria's name two months ago, his first thought was he was being traded like everyone else. But Loria was calling to thank Morrison for not taking shots at the organization in the wake of the sell-off. "It's not like I was doing it for him," said Morrison, who has never been one afraid to express his opinion. "I'm not going to talk about it. (Stanton) already said something about it. I hit .230 last year. What am I going to say?"
"You can't control it so why worry about it? I still have a job to do and it doesn't change my job description. They're going to do whatever they want to do, and I'm going to play. I have to play, so it really doesn't matter what I think."