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View Full Version : Mackey: Morneau finally healthy!



Seth Stohs
12-28-2012, 02:46 PM
Justin Morneau is 'miles ahead' of where he was last offseason - Minnesota Twins news | 1500 ESPN Twin Cities ? Minnesota Sports News & Opinion (Twins, Vikings, Wolves, Wild, Gophers) | Sportswire: Minnesota Twins (http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/Justin_Morneau_is_miles_ahead_of_where_he_was_last _offseason122712)

Phil Mackey interviewed Justin Morneau and it was vastly different from when Morneau spoke to the media early in spring training last year. For the first time in years, he has been able to enjoy a normal offseason. Good for him, and hopefully he can put up another monster season in 2013!

nicksaviking
12-28-2012, 02:59 PM
If Morneau somehow gets back to his pre-injury form, just think of all the fun screaming matches that will take place here come July about whether to trade him or extend him. Should be fun.

Boom Boom
12-28-2012, 03:03 PM
Hmm... I seem to remember hearing that part of the reason Morneau has tended to cool off late in the season (even when not injured) is that he has a tendency to work too hard in the offseason.

70charger
12-28-2012, 03:18 PM
Great to hear this. Let's not forget how good he was in the second half of last season.

twinsnorth49
12-28-2012, 03:36 PM
I'm a huge Mornie supporter, for obvious homer reasons he's been my favourite Twin since he came up with the big club. The last couple of years have been painful to watch him struggle the way he has, although last year provided at least some glimpses of hope that he was moving past his injuries.
Morneau is a crucial element for the Twins and a key piece to their future. Regardless of how much it would pain me, a productive, healthy Morneau would be an invaluable trade chip for this club to help it build for 2014 and beyond. A strong, injury free first half would draw considerable interest in my mind.

minn55441
12-28-2012, 04:26 PM
If Morneau somehow gets back to his pre-injury form, just think of all the fun screaming matches that will take place here come July about whether to trade him or extend him. Should be fun.

I agree. I think he will be much improved in 2013. He is still in his prime and is an MVP caliber player. I am expecting him to hit the All-star break with a .280 plus average and 15 plus dingers. How the team plays around him will really go a long way in shaping the argument for signing him or trading him.

I expect us to be out of contention again by the break (mainly due to our pitching and defense) and it will se sad to see him leave as I think he still has a number of good years left.

Didn't he really alter his diet last season and dropped a bunch of weight? I thought it was something to do with allergies or was that Span? Anyone know if he is till on the strict eating regimen?

Thrylos
12-28-2012, 05:54 PM
This is really good news. Hopefully he will have a monster season.
Unless the Twins are in contention, they should trade him at the deadline. It is all downhill from now and Sano will be ready for that 1B job sooner than any extension will expire.

luke829
12-28-2012, 05:55 PM
If Morneau somehow gets back to his pre-injury form, just think of all the fun screaming matches that will take place here come July about whether to trade him or extend him. Should be fun.

Statfreak would have been right in the thick of of it

beckmt
12-28-2012, 06:23 PM
What to do with Morneau would be a good problem to have if he has a good first half. This is more tied in with how Parmalee does the first half. If Parmalee looks competent then he should be traded, if not he needs to be extended.

Top Gun
12-28-2012, 06:54 PM
The Twins have reached out to free agent outfielder Ryan Sweeney, though they're just "kicking the tires" at this point.

The Twins outfield has been depleted this Winter after trading away Denard Span and Ben Revere. Sweeney hit .260/.303/.373 in 63 games with the Red Sox in 2012 before undergoing surgery to repair a broken pinkie finger. If interested, he could provide solid depth with his ability to handle all three outfield positions defensively.
Related: Twins (http://www.rotoworld.com/teams/clubhouse/mlb/min/twins)

Source: Darren Wolfson on Twitter (https://twitter.com/DarrenWolfson/status/284800894866960384)

peterb18
12-28-2012, 06:58 PM
This is really good news. Hopefully he will have a monster season.
Unless the Twins are in contention, they should trade him at the deadline. It is all downhill from now and Sano will be ready for that 1B job sooner than any extension will expire.

Just the opposite of the above. If he comes back to health and regains his old form then Parmalee should be traded. There is a big disparity in ability between the two if Morneau is healthy. And Morneau is still young enough to be a mainstay, along with the young players coming up such as Sano.

FrodaddyG
12-28-2012, 07:07 PM
Seriously. Top Gun has to be some kind of random posting bot, right?

Kwak
12-28-2012, 07:37 PM
Just the opposite of the above. If he comes back to health and regains his old form then Parmalee should be traded. There is a big disparity in ability between the two if Morneau is healthy. And Morneau is still young enough to be a mainstay, along with the young players coming up such as Sano.
Trade Parmalee? For What? If the Twins give up on Parmalee anybody in MLB who has any interest will simply wait for him to be DFA'd or become available in the Rule 5 Draft.

YourHouseIsMyHouse
12-28-2012, 07:58 PM
Chris Parmelee's future is very bright. I don't care what Justin Morneau does. He's gone.

Anorthagen
12-28-2012, 08:19 PM
If morneau can return to what he was back in '09, and mauer and willingham can do what they did last year. Along with hopefully the starting rotation surprisingly posting a average or above-average era. The twins could very easily win around 80 games this year. Even with the loss of span and revere.

johnnydakota
12-28-2012, 09:15 PM
[QUOTE=Anorthagen;73781]If morneau can return to what he was back in '09, and mauer and willingham can do what they did last year. Along with hopefully the starting rotation surprisingly posting a average or above-average era. The twins could very easily win around 80 games this year. Even with the loss of span and revere.[/QU

And if the Twins had signed M. Izturis, Hamilton ,and Sanchez? If we got breaks could we have won a 100 games?

TheLeviathan
12-28-2012, 10:14 PM
Seriously. Top Gun has to be some kind of random posting bot, right?

You should make a post about Glen Perkins. Then maybe we can get an update on the status of Rich Robertson or Otis Nixon.

Shane Wahl
12-28-2012, 11:09 PM
You should make a post about Glen Perkins. Then maybe we can get an update on the status of Rich Robertson or Otis Nixon.

Haha. No kidding.

Shane Wahl
12-28-2012, 11:17 PM
Morneau's health this year would be great. Given this, the Twins need to throw some money at Shaun Marcum. A 1-3 solid rotation is a remarkable improvement when put together with a healthy Morneau, a full season of Plouffe, and the improvement of Parmelee over the hodge-podge in RF for the first part of last year.

For anyone saying that Parmelee is the future, that is false. Parmelee is a future bench bat (which would be GREAT if the Twins were in that position down the road) given the existence of Miguel Sano. Or failing that Kennys Vargas . . . or Travis Harrison, etc. The return for Morneau in a deadline deal (if the Twins don't seek to contend by not adding Marcum) is much bigger than Parmelee, but all options should be explored (including trading both of them).

The point is that 2013 contention is not out of reach with a healthy Morneau and the acquisition of Marcum.

Rick Niedermann
12-29-2012, 12:41 AM
A healthy Morneau would sure make things easier for Willingham. Might get another 35 homer season out of his bat. As for Sweeney, he'd make a good platoon bat with Mastroianni to start the season. Give Benson, Arcia and Hicks some triple A time.

kab21
12-29-2012, 01:02 AM
I've thought for awhile that a big reason for his recent struggles was lack of strength and conditioning work in the offseason. This is one reason that you only trade Morneau now if you get something good for him. The money isn't important since the Twins won't spend it anyway.

YourHouseIsMyHouse
12-29-2012, 01:04 AM
For anyone saying that Parmelee is the future, that is false. Parmelee is a future bench bat (which would be GREAT if the Twins were in that position down the road) given the existence of Miguel Sano. Or failing that Kennys Vargas . . . or Travis Harrison, etc. The return for Morneau in a deadline deal (if the Twins don't seek to contend by not adding Marcum) is much bigger than Parmelee, but all options should be explored (including trading both of them).

And just how do you know this? Less than 300 PAs in the MLB and you're calling him a bench bat? You have no idea how he will turn out. His minor league record is clean (Much better recently) and he has first round talent. Parmelee has good power, patience, and can probably outdo Morneau with the glove at this point. I, for one, certainly can picture him being a solid regular first baseman. I would never go as far to say Harrison has a better chance than Parmelee at being a major contributor at first base. Harrison has done nothing exciting yet and Parmelee seems to have more power potential than he does. Vargas hasn't played enough to suggest he's even going to cut it higher up the totem pole. Sano is at 3rd base for the time being and, while 1st base is possible, no one has any idea if he's moving anywhere. There are more positions available than just first if the hot corner isn't a fit. You may end up being right, but you have no clear cut evidence or are in any position to make that claim.

minn55441
12-29-2012, 08:34 AM
I finally had some time on my hands and looked it up.

From a NY Times article last August "Morneau has switched to a gluten-free diet this year, eliminating pizza, among other foods. Once tempted by clubhouse candy, he now mixes pregame vegetable shakes. The idea was to feel better during the season and fight off minor injuries quicker. So far, it seems to be working."

I couldn't find anything on him since the season ended, but I would be interested to see if he is any where close to his off season routine pre-concussion in 2010. As was mentioned earlier, he has always worked hard in the off season to prepare himself physically. I think the past two off seasons he has spent a majority of his time just trying to move past his concussion symptoms. I still say he is poised for a nice comeback year. I'm not saying back to his 2006 level or even the half season he put together in 2010 before the slide in Toronto, but if he can do some work prior to reporting to camp, enter the season healthy, I'm confident he will put up some nice numbers. If we can come up with some good options in front of them. Our lineup will look pretty good with Mauer, Willingham and Morneau hitting in the middle.

Brock Beauchamp
12-29-2012, 09:46 AM
The guy posted an OPS+ of 113 last season and you could see he was still struggling, particularly early in the season. I'm not worried about Justin. If he stays healthy, I think we can expect at least an OPS+ of 120-ish for the guy (around an .800 OPS), with the ability to OPS at .850 if he rebounds.

Rosterman
12-29-2012, 10:55 AM
The Koskie factor. How valuable is he to the Twins and how badly does he want to be a Twin. Morneau can be a par of the long-term future, a 3-4 year extension. If they can agree on what the Twins want to play. He can factor in as a designated hitter for the future (the Twins do need that) who also has the ability to play first, provide veteran presence in the line-up, and remain a fan favorite. If this is a role he wants to play for the Twins, he can. He could continue as long as the length of the Joe Mauer contract if he desires. At some point, money doesn't always matter (i.e. Thome). Or, if there is the slightest inkling that he wants to be fulltime at first and wants bigger bucks...trade him. Now, immediately, get rid of him. The Twins NEED a designated hitter. At what cost ($7-8 million a year for a few seasons okay with everyone). If Morneau wants $10 or above, and if a team is willing to gamble and do that, then trade him. I would actively be throwing him there now..........and this recent quote by Morneau is somewhat of a p.r. move that will hopefully excite someone, if not the Twins, about his future potential.

diehardtwinsfan
12-30-2012, 08:28 AM
Morneau's health this year would be great. Given this, the Twins need to throw some money at Shaun Marcum. A 1-3 solid rotation is a remarkable improvement when put together with a healthy Morneau, a full season of Plouffe, and the improvement of Parmelee over the hodge-podge in RF for the first part of last year.

For anyone saying that Parmelee is the future, that is false. Parmelee is a future bench bat (which would be GREAT if the Twins were in that position down the road) given the existence of Miguel Sano. Or failing that Kennys Vargas . . . or Travis Harrison, etc. The return for Morneau in a deadline deal (if the Twins don't seek to contend by not adding Marcum) is much bigger than Parmelee, but all options should be explored (including trading both of them).

The point is that 2013 contention is not out of reach with a healthy Morneau and the acquisition of Marcum.

Yes, 23 year olds that OPS around 1.2 in AAA grow on trees and are future bench bats. I think the Twins (and rightfully so I might add) are high on him. They guy can flat out hit. Whether his defense is any good remains to be seen, but you typically don't put a blocked 1B prospect in the OF temporarily if you think he's a bench bat.

jmlease1
12-30-2012, 11:02 AM
I'm a little confused at the "if Morneau starts out hot we should trade him!" talk. I think people are vastly overrating the return we'd get on him, for one thing. Sure, if he's playing well a number of teams would be interested in him. But they're not going to give up much for a player who's a rental for the rest of the summer, and has his kind of injury history. I just don't know that the team is going to get much for him, and it would pretty clearly signal the Twins are giving up on the season, which will cause attendance to drop pretty sharply.

I'm also firmly of the opinion that baseball is different than other sports where tanking a season (basketball) is frequently a good idea, or a quick turnaround is relatively easy (football). Guys who can be this kind of middle of the order hitter aren't that easy to find. And if Morneau is healthy and playing well, I'd rather look at re-signing him for a few more years. If Parmelee hits well enough and plays well enough in the OF, it'd be nice to continue to have Morneau's bat helping power the offense. And I have to believe it'll be easier to sign him to a reasonable contract if the team doesn't dump him midway through the season...

FrodaddyG
12-30-2012, 11:19 AM
I'm a little confused at the "if Morneau starts out hot we should trade him!" talk. I think people are vastly overrating the return we'd get on him, for one thing. Sure, if he's playing well a number of teams would be interested in him. But they're not going to give up much for a player who's a rental for the rest of the summer, and has his kind of injury history. I just don't know that the team is going to get much for him, and it would pretty clearly signal the Twins are giving up on the season, which will cause attendance to drop pretty sharply.

I'm also firmly of the opinion that baseball is different than other sports where tanking a season (basketball) is frequently a good idea, or a quick turnaround is relatively easy (football). Guys who can be this kind of middle of the order hitter aren't that easy to find. And if Morneau is healthy and playing well, I'd rather look at re-signing him for a few more years. If Parmelee hits well enough and plays well enough in the OF, it'd be nice to continue to have Morneau's bat helping power the offense. And I have to believe it'll be easier to sign him to a reasonable contract if the team doesn't dump him midway through the season...
The reason everyone is speaking along those lines is, yes, competitive teams will give up assets for a productive rental player they think will help their playoff push. It happens virtually every year, but it usually isn't the Twins in possession of the wanted commodity. If a guy who is starting to enter the decline age range in his career can bring assets back, then see what you can turn him into.

And as for "giving up the season", the likelihood of the team being a known terrible commodity by the trade deadline is pretty high. The number of people outraged by trading a guy who could very well on his way out the door in a few months would be relatively small compared to the people already annoyed by a team that could be on its way to a third straight 90+ loss season. I doubt there's any notable group of people who would consider trading Morneau the "last straw" in deciding whether to go to a game or not.

mike wants wins
12-30-2012, 11:21 AM
I would love morneau to be here forever. He is a class act. But if they will not sign any pitchers this year, why would he re-sign here? I assume he also wants to win.

nicksaviking
01-08-2013, 01:14 PM
Adam LaRoche finally signed meaning there really aren't any appealing 1B free agents remaining. I would think if the Twins were planning on moving Morneau this off season, now would be the time. The hitch is that LaRoche re-upped with the Nationals meaning now they'll try to move Michael Morse who is cheaper, also on a rental contract and has positional flexibility. If you were to assume Morse is a more attractive player, to move Morneau the Twins may now actually need to eat salary AND take a lesser return, well a lesser return that what the Nationals are asking for Morse anyway.

I think with Morse looking like a better option for most clubs, this may indicate Morneau will be a Twin at least going into the season.

kab21
01-08-2013, 06:38 PM
Morneau never had much trade value despite the spin that several tried to do. Hopefully he starts out hot and the Twins can get a decent prospect at the deadline. And then he Aguilera's it and resigns with the Twins for a couple more years.

mike wants wins
01-08-2013, 08:24 PM
If you were going to trade him, why not eat all the salary? What harm does that do?

nicksaviking
01-16-2013, 06:50 PM
Morse went to the Mariners in a three team trade in exchange for the return of AJ Cole along with another"good" prospect and a PTBNL. Top prospect Cole alone is a pretty good return for a defensively challenged rental player. Morse likely is more valued, but perhaps some value does still lie in Morneau after all.

ThePuck
01-17-2013, 05:24 PM
Morse went to the Mariners in a three team trade in exchange for the return of AJ Cole along with another"good" prospect and a PTBNL. Top prospect Cole alone is a pretty good return for a defensively challenged rental player. Morse likely is more valued, but perhaps some value does still lie in Morneau after all.

I can't believe the As gave up Cole by himself to get Jaso. Getting Cole, another prospect and a PTBNL was big for the Nats

kab21
01-17-2013, 08:32 PM
This doesn't make the Gio trade look any better but Beane zags when others zigs.

johnnydakota
01-17-2013, 08:41 PM
Napoli signs a 1 year 5 million dollar contract , a big difference from 3/39

LaBombo
01-17-2013, 09:25 PM
Two different Justins last season: Against righties he was basically his old self, batting.290/.371/.531. Against lefties, he was a dreadful .232/.271/.298. That's not just a platoon split, that's two entirely different hitters.

Even though Doumit hits much better left-handed that right, the Twins might want him (or Mauer) to spell Morneau more often against lefties if he can't get it going against them after a couple of months.

Nick Nelson
01-18-2013, 12:35 AM
Two different Justins last season: Against righties he was basically his old self, batting.290/.371/.531. Against lefties, he was a dreadful .232/.271/.298. That's not just a platoon split, that's two entirely different hitters.

Even though Doumit hits much better left-handed that right, the Twins might want him (or Mauer) to spell Morneau more often against lefties if he can't get it going against them after a couple of months.

Morneau was hopeless against lefties early in the season, but he gradually got better against them, which leads me to believe it was a symptom of rust. Southpaws seem to really test the reactions of left-handed hitters, and Morneau's reactions were not very sharp those first few months. That just comes with reps. You've got to keep in mind that for much of the 2010/11 offseasons Morneau couldn't even work out vigorously without getting dizzy.

It takes a while to come back from that, and the wrist stuff hasn't helped, but I'm very encouraged by the fact that he seems to be back to his old routine this winter. Hard to overstate the impact that a 2009-caliber Morneau could have. That year, he had an .836 OPS against lefties, by the way.

ThePuck
01-18-2013, 07:51 AM
Morneau was hopeless against lefties early in the season, but he gradually got better against them, which leads me to believe it was a symptom of rust. Southpaws seem to really test the reactions of left-handed hitters, and Morneau's reactions were not very sharp those first few months. That just comes with reps. You've got to keep in mind that for much of the 2010/11 offseasons Morneau couldn't even work out vigorously without getting dizzy.

It takes a while to come back from that, and the wrist stuff hasn't helped, but I'm very encouraged by the fact that he seems to be back to his old routine this winter. Hard to overstate the impact that a 2009-caliber Morneau could have. That year, he had an .836 OPS against lefties, by the way.

And even into 2010. His OPS against LH starters was over 1.000, and his OPS against LH pitchers overall was .966

Brock Beauchamp
01-18-2013, 08:24 AM
Morneau was hopeless against lefties early in the season, but he gradually got better against them, which leads me to believe it was a symptom of rust. Southpaws seem to really test the reactions of left-handed hitters, and Morneau's reactions were not very sharp those first few months. That just comes with reps. You've got to keep in mind that for much of the 2010/11 offseasons Morneau couldn't even work out vigorously without getting dizzy.

It takes a while to come back from that, and the wrist stuff hasn't helped, but I'm very encouraged by the fact that he seems to be back to his old routine this winter. Hard to overstate the impact that a 2009-caliber Morneau could have. That year, he had an .836 OPS against lefties, by the way.

This. Morneau flailed away at lefties early in the season and gradually started returning to respectability as the season progressed. I don't worry much about his ability to hit lefties, only whether he can stay healthy and avoid wrist and concussion issues in 2013.

johnnydakota
01-18-2013, 08:37 AM
I can't believe the As gave up Cole by himself to get Jaso. Getting Cole, another prospect and a PTBNL was big for the Nats
Must be nice to have a general manager who makes good trades

snepp
01-18-2013, 08:43 AM
Didn't Morneau have some kind of utterly ridiculous .300 OPS against lefties through his first 80 or 90 plate appearances against them?

Brock Beauchamp
01-18-2013, 09:00 AM
Didn't Morneau have some kind of utterly ridiculous .300 OPS against lefties through his first 80 or 90 plate appearances against them?

Yes. It was lower than the OBP he had posted in previous years. I can't recall the exact number but it was comically low.