Justin Morneau will be cleared to throw in a week

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The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Justin Morneau would be cleared for baseball activities like throwing, hitting, spitting and thinking about hunting in the offseason, in about a week. From there it’s to a rehab assignment, though it would be optimistic to see him back playing before mid-August. Still, after the last year or two, anything other than “Morneau was killed in a combine accident” would have to qualify as positive news.

Still, given the less-than-spectacular nature of everyone in the AL Central, that may not be too late to make a difference for the Twins this season.  I’m still bearish on their chances, but not everyone is. The return of Morneau would be pretty key for them.

Angels acquire Odrisamer Despaigne from Marlins

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The Angels announced on Tuesday night that the club acquired pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne from the Marlins for cash considerations. Pitcher Dayan Diaz was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Despaigne.

Despaigne, 31, posted a lackluster 5.31 ERA with 18 strikeouts and eight walks in 20 1/3 innings for the Marlins before being optioned to Triple-A New Orleans in early June. Despaigne has even struggled at Triple-A compiling a 4.47 ERA with a 41/13 K/BB ratio in 44 1/3 innings.

Despaigne has spent about equal time starting and relieving in his major league career, so he could operate as a swingman for the Angels. Otherwise, he’ll serve as pitching depth.