Throughout his eight-month recovery from a concussion Justin Morneau often felt good enough to workout on a particular day, only to have his symptoms return the next morning and sidetrack his progress.
That was the fear after Morneau played in a game yesterday for the first time since July 7 and the former MVP admitted to Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com that he “was obviously sitting around all night waiting for something” to reoccur, but instead he “woke up today feeling pretty good.”
Morneau, who went 1-for-2 with a bases-clearing double in a “B” game appearance, said he “took a little nap, had some dinner, watched a movie, and went to bed.” And when he woke up “everything was positive.”
Barring a setback Morneau indicated that he hopes to play every other day for the next week or so, at which point the Twins should have a much better idea about his readiness for Opening Day.
The Reds have sent second baseman Scooter Gennett in for an MRI exam after he was forced to make an early departure from Friday’s 6-4 loss to the Brewers. The exact nature of the injury has yet to be reported, but starting pitcher Robert Stephenson said Gennett may have hurt himself after he “rolled weird” while trying to rein in a ground ball. He appeared to be grabbing at his right thigh/groin area immediately afterward and was helped off the field.
Following the incident, the 28-year-old was swiftly replaced by veteran infielder Carlos Rivero, who went hitless as he finished out the game. Though Gennett went 0-for-1 in his lone at-bat on Friday, he’s been tearing through the Cactus League competition this spring with a .351/.405/.486 batting line in 42 plate appearances so far.
The extent of Gennett’s injuries have not been disclosed — and may still be unknown to the team as well — but any significant setback would undoubtedly throw a wrench in the Reds’ plans this season, as he was the presumed starter at the keystone after turning in his first All-Star worthy performance in 2018. Although they have a promising alternative in top infield/outfield prospect Nick Senzel, the 23-year-old has not seen any time at second base this year and was recently reassigned to Triple-A Louisville to start the 2019 season.
Update, 3/23: Gennett has been diagnosed with a right groin strain and will miss 8-12 weeks in recovery, the Reds said Saturday. Per The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans, José Peraza and José Iglesias will cover second base and shortstop, respectively, with Kyle Farmer staying on as a backup option. Senzel will remain in Triple-A and continue his development as a center fielder.