Ron Gardenhire on Justin Morneau returning this season: "I don't see how it can possibly happen"

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Justin Morneau hasn’t played since suffering a concussion from a knee to the helmet on July 7 and this afternoon manager Ron Gardenhire finally admitted that the Twins don’t expect him back in the lineup this season.
Appearing on 1500-ESPN with hosts Patrick Reusse and Phil Mackey, Gardenhire replied “I don’t see how it can possibly happen for him” when asked about Morneau returning for the end of the regular season or even the playoffs.
He also added “I hope I’m wrong” but given the lack of progress Morneau has made while sitting out the past three months his return has been viewed as a longshot for quite a while now.
Minnesota has thrived since Morneau went down, going 47-21 for the best record in the American League, which is amazing given that Morneau was hitting .345/.437/.618 and ranked second among AL hitters in OPS at the time of the concussion.
Adding his bat to a lineup that ranks fourth in the league in scoring would obviously be a huge boost and even having Morneau available as a bat off the bench would’ve been plenty useful in the playoffs, but unfortunately it sounds like that won’t happen. Morneau is another sad reminder of how unpredictable and scary concussions can be, and at this point there have to be serious questions about his status for 2011 and beyond.

Eric Thames hit two more homers

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And John Lackey is livid.

The Brewers’ first baseman homered in each of his first two plate appearances against Reds starter Amir Garrett on Monday evening, helping his team to a 6-1 lead after two frames. The first was a solo blast in the first inning, and the second was a two-run shot to the opposite field in the second inning.

According to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, Thames has tied the Brewers’ record for home runs in April with 10. Carlos Lee also hit 10 homers in April 2006.

Seven of Thames’ 10 home runs have come against the Reds. Including his first two at-bats on Monday night, Thames is hitting .379/.474/.924 with 17 RBI along with the 10 dingers. Not too shabby from a guy the Brewers signed to a three-year, $16 million contract during the offseason.

Lackey and Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio both recently implied Thames is using performance-enhancing drugs, but Thames was tested immediately after last Monday’s game against the Cubs.

Giants promote top prospect Christian Arroyo

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Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports that the Giants have promoted top infield prospect Christian Arroyo from Triple-A Sacramento. MLB Pipeline rated Arroyo as the Giants’ No. 2 prospect behind pitcher Tyler Beede and the team’s best position player prospect.

Arroyo, 21, was selected in the first round (25th overall) of the 2013 draft. He started the year at Triple-A for the first time and he hit an astounding .446/.478/.692 with three home runs and 12 RBI in 69 plate appearances to start the season.

The Giants, 6-13, are looking to regain their balance after unexpectedly losing ace Madison Bumgarner, who sustained injuries riding a dirt bike on an off-day. Arroyo will likely play third base regularly over Eduardo Nunez.