Twins first baseman Justin Morneau has been sidelined since the first week of July due to a concussion and post-concussion symptoms. And it’s not looking like he is close at all to returning to action.
Morneau told Phil Mackey of Minneapolis’ ESPN 1500 AM on Wednesday that he is having “more good days than bad days” at this point, but also that he still has headaches from time to time. Because of the knowledge the sports world has gained concerning head injuries and their long-term effects, the Twins aren’t going to activate him until he is fully symptom free.
The big first baseman was posting MVP-like numbers over the first half of the season and could provide a big boost to the playoff-bound Twins if he is able to make an early-October return.
Through 296 at-bats, Morneau had a .345/.437/.618 batting line, 18 home runs and 56 RBI.
Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday.
After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.
With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.