Justin Morneau finally cleared to resume workouts

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Twins first baseman Justin Morneau suffered a concussion on a slide into second base up in Toronto this past season and never returned to the playing field.

He could barely even work out because of headaches related to the concussion and wound up missing a total of 78 regular season games and then the ALCS.

Things have improved.

According to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Morneau began doing cardio exercises this week and should resume baseball-related activities soon.

“The road to recovery is going well,” Morneau wrote in an e-mail to the Star Tribune. “I started working out again this week, and I am feeling pretty good. It has been a long and frustrating road, but feels good to be able to function normally on a day-to-day basis.  The first couple of workouts have gone well, and I am sure I will be more than over-anxious to get spring training and the season started once February rolls around.”

Morneau hit .345/.437/.618 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI in 81 games this year before going down.

Angels hire Brad Ausmus as special assistant to the GM

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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have hired former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus as a special assistant to GM Billy Eppler.

Ausmus, 48, managed the Tigers for four seasons, accruing a 314-332 (.486) record. The Tigers fired him after the 2017 season and hired former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire in his place.

Ausmus will assist with scouting and evaluations of players in the Angels’ system, amateurs, and players in other organizations.