Results tagged ‘ Justin Morneau ’

Game 36: Morneau appears ready to be activated

MINNEAPOLIS — Twins designated hitter Justin Morneau took live batting practice on the field for a second straight day, and told team trainers he’d like to be activated in time for tomorrow’s game against the Tigers in Detroit.

Morneau, who is on the disabled list retroactive to March 1 with a sore left wrist, is eligible to return tomorrow.

The Twins have yet to make an official decision but Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that’s the plan unless he suffers an unforeseen setback.

“He looked really good,” Gardenhire said. “He talked to the trainers and said he’d like to be activated. So I’ll have to talk to him. That’s the plan unless something changes drastically.”

Gardenhire said the club will stick with 13 pitchers when Morneau is activated, which means first baseman Chris Parmelee is a likely candidate to be optioned to Triple-A Rochester to make room for Morneau.

Indians (19-16)
1. Shin Soo-Choo, RF
2. Jason Kipnis, 2B
3. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
4. Carlos Santana, DH
5. Michael Brantley, CF
6. Jose Lopez, 3B
7. Johnny Damon, LF
8. Casey Kotchman, 1B
9. Lou Marson, C

RHP Derek Lowe (5-1, 2.47 ERA, 3.93 FIP, 43 2/3 IP, 13 K, 13 BB, 2 HR)

Twins (10-25)
1. Darin Mastroianni, CF
2. Joe Mauer, C
3. Josh Willingham, LF
4. Ryan Doumit, DH
5. Brian Dozier, SS
6. Chris Parmelee, 1B
7. Eric Komatsu, RF
8. Alexi Casilla, 2B
9. Jamey Carroll, 3B

RHP Jason Marquis (2-2, 6.26 ERA, 5.56 FIP, 27 1/3 IP, 10 K, 11 BB, 4 HR)

Game 33: Morneau takes swings without any issues

MINNEAPOLIS — Twins designated hitter Justin Morneau reported no problems after taking 25-30 swings off a tee before tonight’s game against the Blue Jays.

Morneau, who is on the disabled list retroactive to May 1 with a sore left wrist, said he still doesn’t have an exact timetable for his return but is hopeful he’ll be activated once he’s eligible on Wednesday in Detroit.

“I’m pleased with the way it went and we’ll continue along with the process and hopefully be ready,” Morneau said. “I can’t give a date, but I’m hopeful when I’m eligible to come off Wednesday I can play, but we’ll see once I start swinging more but I’m happy so far.”

Morneau said he expects to ramp up to about 45 swings on Sunday before possibly seeing live batting practice on Monday. He added the cortisone shot in his wrist on Tuesday has helped, and that the key is making sure the discomfort doesn’t flare up while swinging.

“The pain level doesn’t matter, but if it’s affecting my swing then that’s what we’re trying to take care of,” Morneau said. “If I can’t swing the way I need to swing then I’m not as effective as I need to be. I need to be able to do that. I felt like I was able to do that swinging today, so hopefully it’ll feel better tomorrow and we’ll keep moving forward.”

“I’d say [Bautista] has hit everywhere. Encarnacion, we’ve watched him play over the years, and he’s had those where you don’t really know if he’s going to do exactly what they expected. But he’s gotten better every year we’ve seen him. He really gets the bat head on the ball more and more. Last year, we thought, wow, he’s really figured it out and this year it looks like he’s really confident at the plate. That’s two really good hitters you’re talking about. They’re strong and know how to hit the ball in the seats. They make it happen. We try different things on them so we hope to keep it in the ballpark.”

Blue Jays (18-15)
1. Kelly Johnson, 2B
2. Yunel Escobar, SS
3. Jose Bautista, RF
4. Edwin Encarnacion, DH
5. Eric Thames, LF
6. Brett Lawrie, 3B
7. Colby Rasmus, CF
8. Adam Lind, 1B
9. Jeff Mathis, C

RHP Drew Hutchinson (1-1, 6.65 ERA, 4.15 FIP, 21 2/3 IP, 17 K, 6 BB, 3 HR)

Twins (9-23)
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Brian Dozier, SS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Ryan Doumit, DH
6. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
7. Chris Parmelee, 1B
8. Darin Mastroianni, RF
9. Jamey Carroll, 2B

RHP P.J. Walters (season debut)

Game 32: Morneau to start swinging bat this weekend

MINNEAPOLIS — Twins designated hitter Justin Morneau is expected to start swinging the bat sometime this weekend, according to Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.

Morneau, who is on the disabled list retroactive to May 1 with a sore left wrist, had a cortisone shot in his wrist earlier this week. Dr. Thomas Graham, an orthopedist with the Cleveland Clinic, gave him the shot on Tuesday.

“He’s supposed to be [swinging] tomorrow or if he’s not feeling OK we could back it up a day,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “The pace, I don’t know if we have a formula here. We’re going to let him tell us when he’ll be ready. He’s going to grab a bat in his hand and once he feels good enough, he’ll start taking some swings. And when that happens, I’ll tell you.”

There’s still no official timetable for his return but he could make his return during the club’s eight-game roadtrip that starts Wednesday in Detroit.

“I don’t think he’s been out long enough to say he’ll need a rehab assignment,” Gardenhire said. “If he starts swinging and he feels good, I’d rather him start up here than somewhere else.”

Blue Jays (18-14)
1. Kelly Johnson, 2B
2. Yunel Escobar, SS
3. Jose Bautista, RF
4. Edwin Encarnacion, DH
5. Eric Thames, LF
6. Brett Lawrie, 3B
7. Colby Rasmus, CF
8. Adam Lind, 1B
9. J.P. Arencibia, C

RHP Kyle Drabek (2-3, 3.34 ERA, 5.29 FIP, 35 IP, 28 K, 20 BB, 6 HR)

Twins (8-23)
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Brian Dozier, SS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Ryan Doumit, DH
6. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
7. Chris Parmelee, 1B
8. Darin Mastroianni, RF
9. Jamey Carroll, 2B

RHP Nick Blackburn (0-4, 6.84 ERA, 4.77 FIP, 26 1/3 IP, 14 K, 8 BB, 4 HR)

Morneau to get wrist checked out in Minnesota

ANAHEIM — Twins designated hitter Justin Morneau left tonight’s game against the Angels in the sixth inning with a sore left wrist, and is scheduled to fly back to Minnesota to see hand specialist Dr. Thomas Varecka tomorrow.

Morneau had surgery on that wrist last September to stabilize a tendon and was in a cast for six weeks during the offseason.

He said it started bothering him again during the club’s three-game series in Tampa from April 20-22, and that he began to feel more discomfort as the week went on. He said it was particularly painful in his second at-bat against Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson, when he struck out swinging.

“It was one of those things I was able to deal with but then it kinda got worse over the weekend,” Morneau said. “I don’t know. There’s not much I can do. Hopefully it’s just scar tissue breaking up.”

Morneau said he’s not sure if he’ll have an MRI exam taken on his left wrist during his meeting with Dr. Varecka. He added the ligament doesn’t feel loose, but that his wrist feels more sore than anything.

“I’m not going to play worst-case scenario yet,” Morneau said. “I’m going to try to stay positive and hopefully it’s just a normal part of the process and will just be a couple days and maybe needs a cortisone shot or maybe some rest. Hopefully it’s just scar tissue breaking up. So I’ll stay optimistic now until I hear different.”

Morneau grounded out to first base and struck out in his two at-bats against C.J. Wilson. Burroughs went 0-for-2 as his replacement, as he also grounded out with two runners on and one out in the eighth against reliever LaTroy Hawkins.

Morneau, 30, played in just 69 games last season after battling concussion symptoms and undergoing surgeries on his neck, left wrist, left knee and right foot.

He’s batting .230 with a .313 on-base percentage and .459 slugging percentage in 20 games this season. He also has four homers, five doubles and nine RBIs while seeing action in 16 games as designated hitter and four games at first base.

Game 17: Liriano to skip his next start

MINNEAPOLIS — In an effort to help him clear his head after struggling in four outings so far this season, the Twins will skip left-hander Francisco Liriano’s turn in the rotation this week.

Minnesota has an off-day on Thursday, which allows the Twins to go with a four-man rotation before Liriano makes his next start on Tuesday in Anaheim. Liriano allowed five runs in five innings yesterday against the Rays, and has an 11.02 ERA with 12 strikeouts and 13 walks in 16 1/3 innings.

Gardenhire told Liriano of the club’s decision during a meeting today that also included pitching coach Rick Anderson. Anderson is set to watch Liriano throw bullpen sessions on Thursday and Saturday.

“It’s about being able to relax on the mound and he knows that,” Gardenhire said. “He actually says he has confidence. But he’ll tell you straight out that when he gets men out there he starts spinning ‘em. So he’s got to be able to control that. It’s a work in progress. We’re letting him take a step back and relax a little bit.”

In other news, second baseman Alexi Casilla was a late scratch with flu-like symptoms. Trevor Plouffe moves from left field to second base to take his place in the lineup, while Chris Parmelee makes his first career start in left field.

Left fielder Josh Willingham will also be placed on paternity leave on Wednesday to attend the birth of his third son with his wife Ginger. The Twins will call somebody up to replace him, even though he could return as early as Friday. My best guess is that Revere gets the call, but we’ll see.

Justin Morneau also makes his second start of the season at first base tonight.

Red Sox (4-10)

1. Mike Aviles, SS
2. Ryan Sweeney, RF
3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
4. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
5. David Ortiz, DH
6. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
8. Cody Ross, RF
9. Marlon Byrd, CF

LHP Jon Lester (0-2, 5.82. 3.88 FIP, 17 IP, 12 K, 9 BB)

Twins (5-11)
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, SS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Josh Willingham, DH
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Ryan Doumit, RF
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Chris Parmelee, LF
9. Trevor Plouffe, 2B

RHP Jason Marquis (1-0, 7.20, 6.14 FIP, 5 IP, 3 K, 2 BB)

Game 11: Morneau feels fine after playing first base

NEW YORK — A day after playing first base for the first time this season, Justin Morneau said he felt just fine today.

Morneau, though, was held out of the lineup against the Yankees because of his struggles against CC Sabathia, as he’s a career .140 hitter (6-for-40) against the left-hander. Luke Hughes is making his first start of the season at first base in his place.

But Morneau said he plans on gradually playing more first base as the season goes along to eventually be back to being the club’s regular first baseman.

“I don’t know what the schedule is,” Morneau said. “It’s not going to be here on out the rest of the way. Hopefully this is the first step to being back out there every day or almost every day. The ultimate goal is always to be healthy enough to play every day. However many days over there, I’m not sure, but hopefully it’s more over there than DHing.”

In other news, left-hander Glen Perkins, who has inflammation in his left forearm, is set to meet with team physician Dr. Dan Buss early tomorrow, and if all goes well he could fly to New York to join the team in time for tomorrow’s game.

Right-hander Nick Blackburn (shoulder stiffness) is also making progress, and is on track to play catch tomorrow and throw a bullpen on Wednesday.

Right-hander Scott Baker also underwent elbow surgery at 2 p.m. in New York today. I’ll have more after the game.

Twins (3-7)
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, SS
3. Joe Mauer, DH
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Ryan Doumit, C
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Trevor Plouffe, RF
8. Luke Hughes, 1B
9. Alexi Casilla, 2B

LHP Francisco Liriano (0-1, 10.00 ERA, 6.11 FIP, 10 IP, 6 K, 5 BB)

Yankees (5-5)
1. Derek Jeter, DH
2. Nick Swisher, 1B
3. Robinson Cano, 2B
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Andruw Jones, RF
6. Curtis Granderson, CF
7. Eduardo Nunez, SS
8. Brett Gardner, LF
9. Chris Stewart, C

LHP CC Sabathia (0-0, 6.75 ERA, 3.80 FIP, 12 IP, 15 K, 5 BB)

Game 10: Morneau at first base, batting fifth

NEW YORK — Justin Morneau is making his first start of the season at first base tonight against the Yankees, and is also batting fifth for just the second time since 2007.

Twins manager Ron Garenhire approached Morneau before the game about batting fifth with Josh Willingham batting cleanup, and Morneau told him he was also ready to play first. So Gardenhire decided it was a good time to get Morneau at first, although they haven’t plotted when he’ll play first again.

“We’re just going to go day by day with it,” Gardenhire said. “It’s not going to be starting every day right now, do it and let him go back to DH. What I do like about it it gives me options to give Joe Mauer a day to DH and nothing in the field. Right now, he just goes and plays first base but it is still nine innings on defense the whole package.”

There was also plenty of other news today, including the fact that left-hander Glen Perkins stayed back in Minnesota with what general manager Terry Ryan called inflammation in his left forearm. Perkins is still day to day, and there remains a chance he’ll avoid the disabled list.

Right-hander Nick Blackburn will also miss his next start, as right-hander Anthony Swarzak will pitch in his place Thursday in New York. But Blackburn will throw bullpens on Friday and Sunday with the hope of returning on Tuesday.

Jason Marquis also threw a bullpen and said he’s ready to make his start on Wednesday against the Yankees. It’ll mark the first-ever start at Yankee Stadium for the veteran right-hander.

Twins (2-7)
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, SS
3. Joe Mauer, DH
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Ryan Doumit, C
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Clete Thomas, RF
9. Alexi Casilla, 2B

RHP Carl Pavano (1-0, 5.93 ERA, 4.66 FIP, 13 2/3 IP, 4 K, 2 BB)

Yankees (5-4)
1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Curtis Granderson, CF
3. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
4. Robinson Cano, 2B
5. Mark Teixeira, 1B
6. Nick Swisher, RF
7. Raul Ibanez, DH
8. Russell Martin, C
9. Brett Gardner, LF

RHP Freddy Garcia (0-0, 5.79 ERA, 6.98 FIP, 4 2/3 IP, 3 K, 3 BB)

Twins announce Opening Day lineup

BALTIMORE — Twins manager Ron Gardenhire announced his lineup for Opening Day against the Orioles tomorrow at Camden Yards.

There were no surprises, but Ryan Doumit will be starting in right field over Trevor Plouffe, as Plouffe is starting the year in a super utility role.

And Justin Morneau will start the year as designated hitter with rookie Chris Parmelee getting his first Opening Day start at first base.

Gardenhire also said his two main setup relievers will be left-hander Glen Perkins and right-hander Jared Burton. He also mentioned left-handers Brian Duensing and Matt Maloney as the two guys he’d look to first if he needs a reliever in the middle innings.

More to come in today’s notebook. But here’s the lineup:

Twins:
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, SS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, DH
5. Josh Willingham, LF
6. Ryan Doumit, RF
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Chris Parmelee, 1B
9. Alexi Casilla, 2B

RHP Carl Pavano

Morneau to open season at DH

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Justin Morneau has yet to sit down with Twins manager Ron Gardenhire to talk about his role this season, but he confirmed this morning that he plans on starting the year as designated hitter.

Morneau, who hasn’t played first base since March 13, said he’s preparing to open the season at DH with Chris Parmelee starting at first base.

“The way it’s looking, with Parmelee making the team as a first baseman, I think it’s looking more toward DH than first base,” Morneau said. “It isn’t necessarily something that I want to do but it’s better in the long run in terms of being healthy and available to play every day. That’s the biggest thing right now. We’ll revisit it later in the season and see how everything has recovered, with all the various things I’ve been through.”

Morneau, though, said he doesn’t wanted to be locked into DH duties, as he hopes it’s only a temporary solution until he’s ready to play first base again.

“I feel relatively young in this game so I don’t plan on DHing for the rest of my career,” Morneau said. “I want to get back to playing first. Hopefully this is just the first step in that process.”

Morneau, 30, played in just 69 games last year after battling concussion symptoms and undergoing surgeries on his neck, left wrist, left knee and right foot. But he’s been healthy this spring, hitting .246 with three homers and four doubles in 18 games. He’s also batting .590 over his last seven games.

Game 31: Butera, optioned, Twins lineup vs. Pirates

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins made another round of roster moves this morning, optioning catcher Drew Butera to Triple-A Rochester, sending right-hander Kyle Waldrop to the 15-day disabled list and reassigning Michael Hollimon to Minor League camp.

The big news is the decision to send Butera to Triple-A, which means the Twins will keep two catchers on their roster — Joe Mauer and Ryan Doumit. Butera saw plenty of action with the Twins over the last two seasons as a backup catcher, but struggled to hit big league pitching, hitting just .178 with 21 extra-base hits in 376 at-bats.

It also bodes well for Chris Parmelee because the move also means that Justin Morneau is almost a lock to start the season as designated hitter. Because if the Twins wanted to make Doumit their primary DH, they would need to carry a third catcher.

Waldrop, meanwhile, was placed on the DL retroactive to March 26 with a right elbow strain. He’ll be eligible to come off the DL on April 12.

Hollimon had himself a nice spring at the plate, hitting .360, but also made some mistakes in the field. But he’ll add depth to Triple-A Rochester, and could be their starting third baseman.

The Twins now have 31 active players in camp: 15 pitchers (two non-roster), three catchers (one non-roster), eight infielders (two non-roster), and five outfielders (one non-roster).

Twins (17-13)
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Trevor Plouffe, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, DH
5. Josh Willingham, LF
6. Ryan Doumit, RF
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Chris Parmelee, 1B
9. Brian Dozier, SS

RHP Anthony Swarzak

Twins reserves: Brian Dinkelman, Ben Revere, J.R. Towles, Sean Burroughs, Jamey Carroll, Luke Hughes, Alexi Casilla

Twins pitchers: Matt Capps, Glen Perkins, Esmerling Vasquez, Caleb Thielbar, Bruce Bugh, Luis Perdomo

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