UPDATE: Joe Christensen confirms that Justin Morneau will miss the All-Star Game. He was recommended to rest after meeting with head and concussion specialist Dr. Kenneth Podell on Saturday. Morneau will be re-evaluated in Minnesota during the break.
3:05 PM: Justin Morneau is out of the starting lineup for a third straight day Saturday due to a concussion, according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Christensen just tweeted that Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said it is “unlikely” that Morneau will play at all this weekend. In turn, Morneau said that if he can’t play this weekend, he won’t participate in the All-Star Game. Pretty easy to read the tea leaves there.
It’s not like the National League gains some sort of advantage if Morneau is unable to play. They’ll just have to face Miguel Cabrera, instead. Some drop-off.
As Aaron mentioned on Friday, “Final Vote” runner-up Kevin Youkilis would make the most sense to replace Morneau on the AL roster. Yankees manager Joe Girardi will ultimately make that call, if it comes to it, according to Kelly Thesier of MLB.com.
While newly-acquired talent Danny Espinosa was off collecting hits for the Blue Jays against the Orioles, Marcus Stroman led a youth-filled roster against the Canadian Junior National Team in a split-squad game on Saturday. In the eighth inning, 17-year-old Canadian pitcher Braden Halladay took the mound to honor his late father’s memory against his former team.
Halladay accomplished just that, wielding a fastball that topped out in the low-80s and setting down a perfect 1-2-3 inning against the top of the lineup. No one batter saw more than a single pitch from the right-hander: Mc Gregory Contreras and Mattingly Romanin flew out to the outfield corners and Bo Bichette laid down a ground ball for an easy third out.
MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm has a fantastic profile of the high school junior, including his approach to the game and his attempt to do Roy Halladay proud while carving out his own path to the majors. “From a pitching standpoint, it was everything I could have asked for and more,” Halladay told reporters. “Especially now, every time I make mistakes, I still hear him drilling me about them in my head, just because he’s done it so many times before. From a mind-set standpoint, I don’t think with any bias that I could have had a better teacher.”