Injury roundup: Justin Morneau no longer a first baseman ... for now
Justin Morneau, for the foreseeable future, will serve as the Minnesota Twins' regular DH, plus more injury-related news and notes from around spring training.
Besides the bad news on Andrew Bailey, the bad news on Sam Fuld, the bad news on Josh Beckett, and the good news on Corey Hart, there's word on Justin Morneau.
The Minnesota slugger, who's been sidelined by post-concussion symptoms since last August, will open the season as the Twins' DH, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. It's not certain when -- or if -- he'll be to resume playing first base. Chris Parmalee will man the position in his absence. "This is something since last year that was thought about for sure," Morneau said Monday. "I came into spring preparing to play first and tried to be ready to do that. I didn't come in with any goal other than playing first and being able to do that and help us win ballgames. But it didn't work out that way for right now. It's something that didn't come easy and didn't come without a lot of thought."
Morneau, since suffering his concussion, has also undergone surgeries on his knee, foot and wrist. At this point, keeping him healthy sounds like luxury.
Morneau has slugged a respectable .467 this spring, but he's averaged just 95 games played over the last three seasons. As well, a hitter's production tends to suffer when he serves as the designated hitter rather than plays the field, and Morneau has been no exception throughout his career.
With that said, Morneau is still just 30 years old and is obviously capable of performing at a high level. After all he's endured, here's wishing him the best in 2012.
- Braves right-hander Tim Hudson (back), in his first game action since last September, allowed no runs and one hit in two innings against the Mets on Monday. He also struck out a pair. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
- The swelling in Troy Tulowitzki's elbow has gone down significantly, and he should be in the lineup on opening day. [Denver Post]
- Rays center fielder B.J. Upton, who's recovering from a March collision with teammate Desmond Jennings, will open the season on the DL, but he was able to run and throw without incident on Sunday. Upton says he should be able to come off the DL at some point during the road trip that begins on April 10. [MLB.com]
- Mets closer Frank Francisco had fluid drained from his injured left knee on Sunday and underwent an MRI on Monday. It's possible he'll open the season on the DL. [New York Daily News]
- Right-hander Dustin McGowan of the Blue Jays will miss at least the entire month of April because of plantar fascitiis in his right foot. [MLB.com]
- Tigers right-hander Doug Fister (finger) returned to the mound on Monday and give up one run in six innings against the Astros.
- Nats outfielder Rick Ankiel (leg) will open the season on the DL, but he might be able to return in time for the team's first home series. He'll join teammates Michael Morse, Drew Storen and Chien-Ming Wang on the DL to start 2012. [Adam Kilgore via Twitter]
- Indians right-hander Jeanmar Gomez (hip), who was recently named the team's fifth starter, should throw from a mound this week and make his season debut on April 11 as scheduled. [MLB.com]
- A's reliever Joey Devine (elbow) has been shut down for the time being. [Susan Slusser via Twitter]
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