Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: Hartman: Ryan says Morneau is making progress

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: January 13, 2012 - 6:54 AM

An interview recently posted on Major League Baseball's official website with Justin Morneau was, at best, pessimistic about how the Twins first baseman was recovering from his concussion and wrist problems.

Twins General Manager Terry Ryan saw the interview and said that "it didn't surprise me, the facts that came out."

However, Ryan is optimistic Morneau will be healthy and ready to go in spring training.

"He's doing OK in my book," Ryan said. "He's been in the ballpark here this past week every morning, and he's working hard. He's on about the right schedule. He'll start to swing a bat here in probably another 10 days to two weeks. I wouldn't get too concerned about exactly what came out of that article. I think he just stated what exactly is going on and the history of it, and he's trying to move forward.

"He's departed for Phoenix but this past week, he was in the ballpark every morning. I've been around him quite a bit [during the workouts]. He's working hard, I've been impressed. He's been in there for about four or five hours a day."

Ryan is convinced Morneau is making progress.

"I'm not saying he's OK. I don't think anybody will be able to make that statement until we get to Fort Myers and put him through the repetitions and the heat and the bus trips and so forth that are going to be an everyday occurrence for him and every player."

And what about the health of star catcher Joe Mauer?

"He's fine," Ryan said. "I don't have any concerns about Mauer. From everybody that I've talked to, he's 100 percent and ready to go."

The Twins lost Joe Nathan, Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel and except for former Oakland outfielder Josh Willingham, they didn't spend any big money on free agents. There has been criticism from fans and the media about the Twins' questionable offseason moves.

"We very rarely get rave reviews in the winter," Ryan said. "The guys that we sign may not make headlines but more often than not, they're people that fit our system. A lot of times we're looking for a guy that's got some versatility, a lot of times we're looking character, a lot of times we're looking to fill holes.

"I've never talked too much about how things look on paper, you have to go out and play the games. More often than not, we've done a pretty decent job here of putting together a decent roster that can compete."

Ryan considers the Willingham contract a big one.

"We gave Willingham a pretty good, sizeable contract here," Ryan said. "I'm not going to say it's $100 million, but it's not too long ago that we gave Morneau a big contract and we gave Mauer a big contract and we just paid Willingham $21 million for three years. I would say that's a sizeable investment.

"We needed to get that power righthanded bat and he fit the mold. Depending on what the situation is, you go out and you get the people that you think are right. You don't necessarily have to make a big splash to put a good team together."

Coaching moves

Jim Hueber, who has been a coach with the Gophers, Badgers and Vikings, has been named tight ends coach at the University of Pittsburgh. Hueber and Pat Morris were the Vikings' offensive line coaches under Brad Childress.

When Leslie Frazier became head coach, he replaced Hueber and Morris. Hueber was unemployed last year while Morris was offensive line coach for the Bucs. Now Morris is out of a job after the Bucs staff was fired, and Hueber is employed.

Three key Wisconsin coaches also have joined former Badgers offensive coordinator Paul Chryst, the new coach at Pitt.

They are Bob Bostad, who developed the great Wisconsin offensive lines and served under former Gophers coach Jim Wacker as a graduate assistant from 1992-1994; Joe Rudolph, who coached the Badgers' tight ends but will be Chryst's quarterbacks and assistant head coach; and linebackers coach Dave Huxtable, who will be the new Pitt defensive coordinator.

Ted Roof -- who was Gophers defensive coordinator in 2008 under Tim Brewster and then spent three seasons with Auburn, including their 2011 national championship year -- left the Tigers last month to become defensive coordinator under George O'Leary at Central Florida. Then, after a month on that job, he accepted the same job at Penn State. Roof and new Nittany Lions coach Bill O'Brien spent time together coaching at Georgia Tech, and O'Brien was Roof's offensive coordinator when Roof was head coach at Duke from 2003-07.

Everett Withers, another former Gophers coach who was defensive coordinator for Brewster in 2007, has been named co-defensive coordinator and assistant head coach on Urban Meyer's new staff at Ohio State.

Jottings

• There had been rumblings that the Chicago Cubs were working on a deal that would have sent former Twins pitcher Matt Garza to Detroit, but new president of baseball operations Theo Epstein denied that rumor. "I think very highly of Matt Garza," Epstein said. "I think he's a top-of-the-rotation guy, and I'm looking forward to him being on the mound for us this season."

• Jon Leuer has been playing significant minutes for the Bucks so far this season and is averaging 6.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. The former Orono and Wisconsin star got his first pro start against Detroit on Thursday and played a season-high 32 minutes, collecting 15 points, six rebounds, five assists and two blocks in a 102-93 victory.

• Former Gophers defenseman Cade Fairchild has been recalled by the St. Louis Blues after posting 17 points and an AHL-leading plus-21 for Peoria. ... Former Gopher David Fischer is fifth among ECHL defensemen in scoring with four goals and 20 assists in 31 games for Florida. ... In the AHL, former Gophers defenseman Aaron Ness has two goals and 12 assists in 37 games for Bridgeport.

• Former Gophers defensive backs coach and Vikings draft pick Kerry Cooks has been named co-defensive coordinator at Notre Dame.

• Paul Carter is playing for the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League and averaging 9.2 points and 5.0 rebounds through six games. The former Gopher finished up his collegiate career with Illinois-Chicago last year. ... Also in the D-League is former Gopher Lawrence Westbrook, who is playing for the Texas Legends and averaging 6.7 points and 14.4 minutes per game over seven games.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Justin Morneau

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 99 FINAL
Utah 90
Denver 98 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
TX A&M-CC 70 FINAL
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alabama State 63
Prairie View 68 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 105
Texas 86 FINAL
Iowa State 89
Texas Southern 85 FINAL
Miss Valley St 84
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 FINAL
Auburn 48
(15) Nebraska 72 FINAL
(20) Iowa 78
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close