A Morneau-mental Return

Justin Morneau’s first at bat since July 7th, 2010 resulted in a fielder’s choice.  His second plate appearance?  A bases clearing double down the left field line that knocked in three runs.

Yes, it’s only Spring Training, and a B Game against the Pirates at that, but this is the first visible sign that the Minnesota Twins first baseman’s recovery from a concussion could result in the former MVP being ready for Opening Day.

Aaron Gleeman points out that in addition to not rushing Morneau back as he suffered through post concussion symptoms for the last eight months, the Minnesota Twins have also sheltered him from the media in recent weeks.

Normally a former MVP seeing game action for the first time since last July would have been big news, but the Twins have cut way back on their Morneau updates recently and gave zero warning to the media members in attendance.

Things didn’t sound nearly this hopeful only a week ago when Morneau admitted that he still felt the effects of hitting his head against John McDonald’s knee last summer.

If I feel like things are getting through every day symptom-free without any headaches, without any fogginess, without anything, when we have that more than one or two days in a row or whatever it is, we’ll go and hopefully get cleared. When that is, I can’t tell you. I don’t know. I have no idea.

Morneau was well on his way to his best season in Major League Baseball in 2010 when he suffered his concussion.  The Canadian slugger accumulated a remarkable 5.3 WAR in only 81 games.  His .447 wOBA would’ve tied Josh Hamilton’s for the league lead if he had the qualifying amount of plate appearances.  Morneau’s contribution to the Twins offense can hardly be overstated.

Wishes for no post concussion nausea to MLB.com’s Kelly Sisler for the picture of his first at bat.