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.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Monday that the Angels have received inquiries from multiple teams concerning starter Hector Santiago. He adds that the club is willing to listen to offers. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network reports that the Marlins are among the teams that have inquired.
Santiago, 28, has pitched to a 4.32 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 47 walks in 110 1/3 innings. Sabermetric statistics such as FIP, xFIP, and SIERA think the lefty has pitched even worse than his ERA indicates however, pitting 2016 as his worst performance to date.
Santiago is earning $5 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility going into 2017.
We also learned earlier that, in an effort to bolster their starting rotation, the Marlins have also shown interest in Wade Miley of the Mariners and Jeremy Hellickson of the Phillies.
The Rangers placed DH Prince Fielder on the disabled list last week due to more neck discomfort. On Friday, Fielder met with Dr. Drew Dossett, who performed spinal fusion surgery on Fielder in 2014 for a herniated disk in his neck. Dossett has recommended another procedure, so Fielder will undergo season-ending surgery this week, Jeff Wilson of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram reports.
Fielder was having a rough season, batting .212/.292/.334 with eight home runs and 44 RBI in 370 plate appearances. He played in only 42 games in 2014, but returned in 2015 looking more like his old self. Unfortunately, neck and back issues are notoriously difficult to fix. Hopefully, this upcoming procedure does the trick for Fielder.
Fielder is owed $24 million per season through 2020, with the Tigers paying $6 million of it per season.