Justin Morneau, whose career has repeatedly been derailed by concussions, is off the disabled list and back in the Rockies’ lineup after being sidelined since mid-May by another brain injury.
Morneau is at the point now where any further concussion-related problems could force him into retirement, but the former MVP is batting fifth and starting at first base tonight against the Giants.
Morneau is a 34-year-old impending free agent and played just 27 games for the Rockies before being shut down in May, but he won the batting title last season by hitting .319 with 17 homers and an .860 OPS for his best season since 2010 with the Twins.
He’s absolutely someone to root for, but Morneau coming back from brain injuries gets scarier and scarier each time and in this case the symptoms lingered for months.
Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has launched what appears to be the beginning of an auspicious career, made all the more notable by the 50 home runs he’s produced for the Mets so far this season. The All-Star slugger pushed his home run streak to four straight games on Friday, collecting no. 50 on an eighth-inning fastball from the Reds’ Sal Romano.
It’s just the latest of a long line of accomplishments for the 24-year-old infielder. Entering Friday’s series opener against Cincinnati, the first-time All-Star carried a .266/.366/.590 batting line with a league-leading 49 homers, 113 RBI, a .956 OPS and 4.9 fWAR through 648 plate appearances. Among those who are still rounding out their rookie seasons in 2019, he ranks first in home runs and fWAR by a long shot: the White Sox’ Eloy Jiménez is second in home runs with 28 dingers, while the Astros’ Yordan Álvarez plays second fiddle in fWAR with 3.7 Wins Above Replacement.
Even more remarkable: Alonso is the second rookie in MLB history to deliver at least 50 home runs in a single season. The first? Aaron Judge, who clubbed a jaw-dropping 52 homers for the Yankees in 2017.