With Morales beating out Drew Butera for the second catcher spot (officialy yesterday), now seems like a good time to familiarize ourselves with the backstop.
Jose Morales was a third-round draft pick way back in 2001, which was the same draft that included Joe Mauer, Matt Macri and Nick Blackburn. He started his slow climb to the majors that season, appearing in 35 games for the GCL Twins, finally making his debut in a cup of coffee in September of 2007...before being the unlucky recipient of an ankle injury.
He made it back last summer, but not to the majors, hitting .315/.348/.426 in 197 at-bats for the Red Wings. That's been his attraction thoughout his time in the minors--he's generally hit for decent average, posting a .283 career average in the minors. That doesn't always translate into good power or on-base skills, but any offense for a catcher is still deemed an asset in the world of baseball.
Morales, 26, hits his share of ground balls (44-51% ratio from '06 - '08), and doesn't walk often. But he's a professional who can play decent defense and call a decent game, and if the Twins are looking for a temporary catcher to hit two or three days a week he's probably the best option in the system. There are teams out there who would take a battery including Morales and Mike Redmond over who they currently have.
Welcome to The Bigs, Jose Morales. This is your opportunity, and here's hoping you shine.