Tag:Justin Morneau
Posted on: June 24, 2011 5:50 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 7:45 pm
 

Morneau to have surgery, miss 6 weeks

Justin Morneau

By C. Trent Rosecrans and Evan Brunell

Already on the disabled list with a strained left wrist, Twins first baseman Justin Morneau will undergo surgery next week to alleviate pain from a  pinched nerve in his neck, the team announced.

"He should be back playing full in six weeks," trainer Rick McWane told the Associated Press. "Even though the risk is small, there still is a risk that if he continued to play through this and not get it fixed that his full strength would not come back, so we made the decision."

The pain, it should be noted, is not related to the concussion that kept him out of the second half of the 2010 season. The surgery is non-evasive, but will still sideline Morneau for an extended period. McWane also noted the time off should help Morneau's wrist injury, so there's that.

"I was honestly kind of looking forward to him getting out of this cast [from the wrist] and seeing where he was at, kind of hoping we'd have him back here in four or five days or whatever," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I know Morny didn't want any part of this, really, he's been fighting this stuff with the surgery and trying to stay away from anything like that so he can finish out the season. ... I know it's frustrating for him, so I feel bad for him more than anything else."

This is just another in the long list of Twins injuries. So far, Joe Mauer (legs), Tsuyoshi Nishioka (broken leg), Joe Nathan (elbow), Denard Span (concussion) and Jason Kubel (foot) have all missed significant time due to injuries this season.

Also, designated hitter Jim Thome was expected to come off the disabled list today, but could return early next week when the team returns home and to the American League rules.

Morneau is hitting just .225/.281/.338 with four home runs and 21 RBI in 55 games this season. 

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Posted on: June 15, 2011 5:39 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2011 7:48 pm
 

Nishioka back for Twins, Mauer to return Friday

Tsuyoshi Nishioka

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Tsuyoshi Nishioka, out since April 7 after suffering a broken fibula, returns to the Twins tonight, taking the roster slot of Justin Morneau, who was put on the DL with a wrist injury.

The Twins will be  getting catcher Joe Mauer and former closer Joe Nathan back soon, as well. Mauer will return to the Twins for Friday's game against the Padres, while Nathan will likely go to Triple-A before returning to the Twins, Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters before Wednesday's game.

Nathan (elbow) threw 30 to 40 pitches to Mauer (bilateral leg weakness) on Wednesday morning, and both players told the Fort Myers News-Press that they expect to return to Minnesota soon. 

Nathan said he would be leaving for Minneapolis on Thursday afternoon along with Mauer, but Nathan will still get some minor-league time before pitching for the Twins.

"It was a lot longer than I had hoped," Mauer told the paper about his rehab. "But I got my work in, and I worked with a lot of great people down here. It was nice, but obviously I want to be up there in Minnesota and be up there playing. I feel like I'm ready to get out of here."

Nishioka was the Twins' biggest offseason pickup, and played just six games before his injury. He was now had more rehab games than big league games, going 4 for 12 for both the Twins high-Class A team and for their Triple-A team, playing four and three games, respectively.

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Posted on: June 14, 2011 6:32 pm
Edited on: June 14, 2011 10:05 pm
 

Morneau hits DL with wrist injury

By Matt Snyder

Twins first baseman Justin Morneau has been sidelined with a wrist injury since June 9, and he's headed to the disabled list. He had a cortisone shot in his left wrist Sunday and took batting practice Tuesday, but it reportedly didn't feel well. Morneau then went to see a specialist. He ended up on the 15-day DL with his wrist immobilized, where it will remain for 10 days. The move is retroactive to June 10.

The setback illustrates the kind of misfortune the Twins have had with injuries this season. Just as it appears Joe Mauer is ready to come off the disabled list, Morneau lands there himself. Morneau hasn't been hitting the ball well this season, either, as he's coming back from a bad concussion and now had the wrist malady. Through 55 games, he's hitting .225 with four homers, 21 RBI and a .619 OPS.

For the past five seasons, when healthy, Morneau has been one of the best hitters in baseball. This season he's been a detriment to the Twins lineup. Still, he hasn't lost his talent, and keeping him in the lineup is the only way to let him hit out of his season-long slump. A stint on the DL only means more time before the real Morneau is back anchoring the lineup.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: April 19, 2011 5:35 pm
Edited on: April 19, 2011 5:36 pm
 

Twins flu spreading; Young joins Mauer, Morneau

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Delmon YoungIf you've got to be around a Minnesota Twins player, may I suggest a surgical mask?

First Joe Mauer was hospitalized with flu-like symptoms and put on the 15-day disabled list, then Justin Morneau missed the team's last two games with a flu and is out tonight. Now, Delmon Young is out of the lineup and unavailable with the flu, according to the St. Paul Pioneer-Press' Kelsie Smith (via Twitter). Smith notes Young is also dealing with soreness in his ribs.

Jim Thome is the team's designated hitter, while Dusty Hughes is playing first base and Jason Kubel replaces Young in left field, with Michael Cuddyer in right. 

The Twins are in Baltimore and it's been raining much of the day, but the team still expects to get the game in.

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Posted on: March 31, 2011 11:13 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:58 am
 

Morneau will be in Twins' opening day lineup

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Justin Morneau Justin Morneau will be the Twins' starting first baseman tomorrow when the Twins open the season at Toronto, manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters at the team's workout on Thursday (via Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on Twitter .)

Morneau was limited to 11 games this spring after missing half of last season with the effects of a concussion suffered, incidentally, in Toronto last July. Morneau hit .152/.194/.242 in a homer-less spring.

Still, a return to the field for the former MVP is a welcome sight, not just for the Twins, but for baseball.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: March 29, 2011 2:34 pm
 

MLB to implement new protocols for concussions

By Matt Snyder

In light of several recent players' bouts with concussions -- such as Jason Bay and Justin Morneau -- and increasing national awareness about the dangers of the head injury, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have come together to announce several new protocols for dealing with concussions for the 2011 season.

In terms of day-to-day operation, the biggest change will be the establishment of a seven-day disabled list. Previously, the minimum a player could be placed on the disabled list was 15 days. This new DL option will "aim to allow concussions to clear, prevent players from returning prematurely and give clubs a full complement of players in one's absence." (via MLB press release)

When a player wishes to return after a concussion, his club must submit a "return to play" form to the MLB's medical director. This is required even if the player was not placed on the disabled list.

“I believe that Major League Baseball is taking a major step forward on a vital shared goal with the MLB Players Association,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “This policy, which reflects the collective expertise of many of the foremost authorities in the field, will benefit players, umpires and clubs alike, and I am proud of the spirit of cooperation that has led us to this result.”

Another prong of the new policy is that during play, any incident which typically leads to a higher risk of head injury -- such as being hit with a pitch in the head -- there are additional protocols in place to immediately evaluate the possibly-injured players or umpires. Also, a "mandatory baseline neuropsychological testing" requirement is in place for every player and umpire during spring training or when a player joins a team during the season.

“The MLBPA is pleased to have worked with the Commissioner’s Office, members of Club training and medical staffs and some of today’s leading experts in neurology to develop new protocols for the diagnosis and treatment of concussions,” said MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner. “Player safety is a major concern of the collective bargaining parties, and these new protocols and procedures should enhance our ongoing efforts to protect the health of players and umpires.”

The commissioner's office has also formed a committee to conduct an orientation for the medical staffs of each club. It is chaired by Alex Valadka, MD, FACS, who is Chief of Adult Neurosciences and Neurosurgery at the Seton Brain and Spine Institute in Austin, Texas.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: March 19, 2011 11:21 am
Edited on: March 19, 2011 11:49 am
 

Pepper: Live from my mother's basement!

By Matt Snyder

It just won't go away, this petty little feud.

I speak, of course, of the "old school" baseball people who hate blogging -- yet blog themselves, which is weird -- and despise anyone who dares to disagree with their beliefs, especially when it comes to "newer" statistics (though OBP is hardly new). Check out this really awesome paragraph from Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle :
It won't be long before we get the first wave of nonsense from stat-crazed dunces claiming there's nothing to be learned from a batting average, won-loss record or RBI total. Listen, just go back to bed, OK? Strip down to those fourth-day undies, head downstairs (to "your mother's basement and your mother's computer," as Chipper Jones so aptly describes it) and churn out some more crap. For more than a century, .220 meant something. So did .278, .301, .350, an 18-4 record, or 118 RBIs. Now it all means nothing because a bunch of nonathletes are trying to reinvent the game?
Now, I'm not gonna go nuts. Several people already have across the 'net, though the great Joe Posnanski already took care of the heavy lifting in the most rational post possible -- and came back for a little more .

I'll just add that my personal feeling is that it's always dangerous to side with someone who attacks people for simply disagreeing. I prefer on-base percentage over batting average because not making outs is a much better measure of a good baseball player than disregarding walks and hit-by-pitches and figuring a hit percentage. In fact, I don't understand how it's not obvious -- seriously, a walk doesn't even count in batting average! -- but I'm not about to attack the character of someone who disagrees. If you feel compelled to freak out and use a decade-old joke that makes no sense, maybe you are the one with the problem? Just a thought.

As for the "non-athlete" thing, I have a short anecdote to illustrate my point. I realized I hated batting average as compared to OBP one time when I went 0-1 with three walks and three runs scored -- noticing it was a .000 batting average for the day, yet a pretty damn good day of helping my team win.

And the game wasn't even in my mother's basement. Seriously!

Honestly, though, don't you think guys in a similar situation in the bigs would feel the same way? What about a pitcher who throws a complete game and only allows one unearned run, yet loses 1-0. And he goes home and sees on MLB Network that a pitcher for the Yankees allowed seven earned runs in five innings and got the win because the Bombers' offense went nuts. Judging pitchers on wins and losses would have us believe the latter performed better. Really?

Again, I don't understand how it's not obvious these stats aren't the best ones. If this was elementary school you'd get an F for disagreeing. Maybe I should start making lame jokes in return instead of having an actual, meaningful conversation. Apparently that's the best way to plead your case when it comes to the old school.

MORNEAU AT NIGHT: Justin Morneau played his first night game in a long, long time Friday night, and things went well. "It's just different. For the most part, the stuff has come on later in the day. So I wanted to see, because we usually play night games during the season, I wanted to see where I was at, and I felt pretty good." That "stuff" to which he is referring, in case you've been asleep since last July, would be lingering symptoms from his concussion. (MLB.com )

STOREN STRUGGLES: Second-year pitcher Drew Storen was supposed to be the Nationals' closer this season. He still very well may be eventually, as he has the highest upside of any of the candidates. But he's had a pretty disastrous spring and might be in jeopardy of being optioned to the minors. It's not likely, but possible. (Washington Post )

DON'T DOUBT DAVIS: Doug Davis has worked out for four teams in Arizona and is looking to catch on somewhere (MLB Trade Rumors ). It's uncertain that he'll definitely be able to grab a job in a rotation at some point this year, but I don't plan on wagering against the veteran. He's already kicked cancer's butt.

UBALDO GETS NOD: We've been posting the announcements of opening day starters as stand-alone pieces, but Ubaldo Jimenez as the Rockies' opening day starter is far too obvious. It would have been shocking if he wasn't handed that responsibility. Just a heads-up, don't expect posts on CC Sabathia, Roy Halladay or Felix Hernandez on this subject either. (MLB.com )

ELVIS MUSCLES UP:
Elvis Andrus hit a home run Friday. He hasn't done so in a regular-season game since September 2 ... of 2009. (ESPN Dallas )

FANS HAVE CLOUT?
You always wonder if teams take these sort of things under consideration, but it's incredibly rare -- if not unprecedented -- for a team to admit fan venom played into a move. But the Mets did so with Luis Castillo (ESPN New York ). Manager Terry Collins and general manager Sandy Alderson both admitted that the Mets' fans' collective hatred of Castillo played a role in the team cutting him.

WESTY'S ROAD BACK: Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland has stared death in the eyes and survived. Now he's on the comeback trail. I won't even attempt to do this lengthy feature justice, instead I'll just say please go read it. It's great stuff. (Boston.com )

RETURN TO DODGERTOWN? The Dodgers' spring training games are not drawing well. In fact, attedance is down 42.3 percent from last season in Camelback Ranch. The average draw per game is barely over half the capacity. (Los Angeles Times )

A QUESTION OF DURABILITY:
Scott Rolen hasn't played more than 140 games since 2006 and not more than 150 since 2003. He's 36. He faltered in a big way in the second half last season. But he's saying all the right things and preaching accountability. (MLB.com )

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Posted on: March 11, 2011 7:36 pm
 

Twins finally get Morneau back in lineup

By Matt Snyder

It had been since July 7 that Ron Gardenhire was able to put Justin Morneau's name into the middle of the Twins' lineup. So, even though it was only spring training, filling out the March 11 lineup card had to feel nice.

Morneau had taken part in some game action earlier this week, but it was only in so-called "B" games. Friday marked the first time he was in the lineup with his fellow big league bretheren. There was no Joe Mauer, but he got to join Delmon Young, Jim Thome and Jason Kubel among others.

Though he was hitless in two at-bats -- including one strikeout -- just playing in real game action was a huge step forward for Morneau in a long road back from a brutal concussion last July.

"When you're not out there playing, when you're not out there battling, you don't always feel like you're part of the team," Morneau said. "You feel like you're on the outside looking in." (via Big League Stew )

He played four innings in the field, in addition to the two plate appearances.

From here on out, assuming there are no setbacks, it's probably safe to assume Morneau will be in the Twins' opening day starting lineup. If he returns to form, that's bad news for opposing pitchers. He had a menacing 1.055 OPS through 81 games before going down last season.

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