Justin Morneau gets neck surgery, out another six weeks


From Phil Mackey of ESPN 1500 AM comes word that Minnesota first baseman Justin Morneau underwent surgery Wednesday to remove a fragment of a herniated disk from his neck.

Morneau had been bothered by the bone fragment for most of the regular season and decided to get it taken care of this week while he continues his recovery from a left wrist injury. The neck procedure is expected to sideline him for at least another six weeks, and perhaps the rest of the year.

Morneau, 30, has batted just .225/.281/.338 this season with four home runs and 22 RBI in 51 games. The native of Canada hasn’t been the same since suffering a concussion just before the 2010 All-Star break.

Jason Vargas fractured his non-pitching hand

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Mets left-hander Jason Vargas has a non-displaced fracture of the hamate bone in his right hand, the team announced Sunday. Vargas sustained the injury after taking a comebacker off of his hand on Friday and is expected to consult with a hand specialist later today as the team settles on a course of action. Comments from GM Sandy Alderson indicate that surgery is a possibility, though the left-hander may also pitch through it for the time being.

Vargas, 35, signed a two-year, $16 million pact with the team last month. He completed a four-year run with the Royals in 2017, earning his first career All-Star nomination with an 18-11 record in 32 starts and producing a 4.16 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 6.7 SO/9 over 179 2/3 innings. Prior to the incident, the southpaw was expected to help fill out the back end of the Mets’ Opening Day rotation.

Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News estimates that Vargas will likely miss the start of the season as he faces a two- to six-week recovery period. It’s a disappointing turn of events for a pitching staff that has been absolutely ravaged by injuries over the last couple of years.