Justin Morneau spoke with the media this morning down in Fort Myers and he does not sound like a man who is totally healthy and ready to proceed with his career.
Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune reported that “he looks skinny” and “sounds worried.” Morneau said that he had not had concussion symptoms since January. But just last month there were reports that he hadn’t had them since December, which suggests his issues still aren’t going away.
Indeed, Morneau sounds practically fatalistic about his career:
“I don’t think there will be a career if it’s something I’m dealing with..I’m obviously not going to continue to mess around with this if it continues to be a problem. There comes a point where you can only torture yourself for so long … I continue to look for something positive, and look how far I’ve come in the last week or in the last month and just hope it continues to go well.”
If it’s torture to try to come back, one can only assume that he’s not willing to put up with much more of it.
This is not a good morning for Twins fans. Or anyone else who is concerned about Justin Morneau’s health and career.
Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:
CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos
SP Yovani Gallardo
With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.
LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar
SP David Price
After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.
Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.
Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.
Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.