KANSAS CITY, Mo.-- Justin Morneau, who has been out since July 7 because of a concussion, will work out with the Minnesota Twins on Thursday at Target Field, leading to optimism he 'might' be available sometime in the team's planned playoff run.
Manager Ron Gardenhire called it 'absolutely' the most encouraging news the Twins have received on Morneau in weeks. He didn't give any indication of the first baseman's status for the postseason, asking everyone to wait and see how the workout goes.
"He had a really good day again today," Gardenhire said Wednesday before a game against the Kansas City Royals. "That's four days in a row. He'll be on the field working out with us tomorrow, a full workout, taking ground balls and BP (batting practice).
"We'll have to see how that goes. We'll have to see what the doctors report. He's going to work out with us tomorrow. Let's see what happens. No expectations."
Morneau was injured when he was accidentally kneed in the head by Toronto Blue Jays infielder John McDonald while sliding into second base to break up a double play. Morneau walked off the field without assistance, but did not return to first base in the bottom of the inning.
"This is probably as good as we've heard," Gardenhire said. "It's really, really positive stuff. Get him healthy. That's all we are asking for."
Gardenhire hedged on questions of whether Morneau would be available to play Tuesday, when the playoffs begin. He did not seem optimistic.
"Does it make a difference if he's here with us?" Gardenhire asked. "It's obvious, goodness gracious. If you had Justin Morneau in your lineup it would be wonderful. He hasn't played in two-and-a-half months and all of a sudden in five days here he's news?
"I just want to see him take ground balls and hit. That's all we're talking about here. He hasn't been on the baseball field for two months and we've got four days left in the baseball season. Just let him go out on the baseball field. It's a positive. He's feeling good."
Morneau, the 2006 AL MVP, is hitting .345 with 18 home runs, 25 doubles and 56 RBIs in 81 games. -----------------------------------------------------------
THIS is some very encouraging news! They talked about it for a bit during last night's Twins game. Cuddeyer has been great at first and Kubel has been pretty good taking Cuddy's spot in right, but who wouldn't want Justin's bat behind the plate again?
Hell, if nothing else, hopefully, he doesn't have any long term repercussions from that hit in the head. Ironic that our final four games are against Toronto. Liner to McDonald's cup? ;-)
Oh, don't get wrong. He's not so good right now. He focuses too much on Ks and tries to get everyone out - usually taking 5-7 pitches per AB - and he has a lot of walks. Still, he's young, left-handed, and has some wicked pitches.