It has been close to seven whole months since Twins first baseman Justin Morneau took a knee to the head in Toronto and suffered a concussion that would put an end to his 2010 season.
He’s now working out regularly down at the Twins’ spring training facility in Fort Myers, Florida and is making good progress, but the big man is not completely past the head injury and the many aftereffects that go along with it.
Twins general manager Bill Smith spoke about the matter on Saturday with ESPN 1500 AM:
“It’s still a work in progress,” Smith said. “He is not 100%, but I’ve talked to his doctors, I’ve talked to him. He’s getting better all the time, he’s doing very good workouts. We only want to go through this process one time. We want him to get healed, get back on the field and resume his career without having that rollercoaster up and down.”
The hope is that Morneau will be fully recovered by the time spring training opens in late February. Of course, we probably won’t know for sure where he stands until live spring training games get underway.
The 29-year-old hit .345/.437/.618 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI in 81 games last season.
The entire Marlins roster will wear the number 16 on the backs of their uniforms in remembrance of pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident on Sunday morning. After that? “No one will wear No. 16 for the Marlins again,” team owner Jeffrey Loria said on Monday evening, as Tyler Kepner of the New York Times reports.
Though Fernandez only pitched parts of four seasons for the Marlins, he already ranks fifth in career WAR in club history, according to Baseball Reference. He also owns the best career winning percentage as well as the second-lowest single-season ERA (2.19 in 2013) and the second-lowest single-season WHIP (0.979 in 2013). Fernandez was already one of the best pitchers in Marlins history and was on his way to becoming a perennial All-Star, if not a Hall of Famer.
Then add to that his outstanding personality and what he meant both to the Marlins organization and to the city of Miami. Loria has gotten a lot of criticism over the years, but he nailed it with this decision.
As Craig mentioned earlier, the Marlins will all wear No. 16 jerseys to honor pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died in a boating accident on Sunday morning. It’s a fitting tribute as the Marlins return to the playing field after Sunday’s game was cancelled.
We don’t often hear about the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on during these special circumstances. As Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports, workers at the Majestic manufacturing facility in Easton, PA — about two hours north of Philadelphia — stayed up all night Sunday night into Monday morning in order to make those custom No. 16 jerseys for the Marlins. They were shipped via air so they would arrive in time for the game tonight.
FanGraphs writer Eric Longenhagen notes how hard those Majestic employees work — often for low pay :
Kudos to Majestic for making a concerted effort to help the Marlins out in their time of need.