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.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.