Morneau: Being DH is protection from concussion symptoms

The slugger said he is at risk when he wears down, and it appears not playing in the field reduces that risk.

hide

Justin Morneau

Photo: Charles Krupa, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

FORT MYERS, FLA. - Twins slugger Justin Morneau said he might be used more at designated hitter and less at first base to decrease the chance of a re-occurrence of the concussion problems that premarturely ended his past two seasons.

"Not to get into the medical stuff too much, but [the doctors] said before that if my body gets worn down too much, I'm more vulnerable to having the symptoms reoccur," Morneau said Monday, after he hit a double off the center field wall in a 10-4 spring training loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. "The chance of going backwards is when I get worn down. I can have the fogginess and the headaches, and all that stuff can return, if my system gets too worn down. Then I'm in a vulnerable position."

The Twins have triggered a plan to give offseason acquisition Ryan Doumit more time at first base and left open the possibility of rookie Chris Parmelee breaking camp with the team. First base would remain an option to Joe Mauer on days he is not catching. Doumit was scheduled to be the primary DH when camp opened.

Morneau's past eight starts in Grapefruit League games have all been as a designated hitter. The 2006 American League MVP has heated up at the plate recently, going 4-for-9 over his past three games with two doubles, two homers and five RBI. Prior to that, he was hitting .091 (3-for-33) with no extra-base hits this spring.

Morneau says he feels good, but he wants to do all he can to reduce the possibility of having any sort of setback.

General Manager Terry Ryan said Morneau could decide that he feels well enough to be a full-time first baseman, or he could decide that the safe move might be to take defense out of the equation.

"I don't want you to go black and white here," Ryan said. "If he's ready to play first base, we will do it. That may happen or may not happen. May not happen sooner than later. May not happen at all, if he's not feeling right. [We] don't want to force the issue right now. He's doing pretty good right now.

"I think you guys know, he's got a little hop to his step right now, has a smile on his face. I think he feels a big part of this ballclub right now. If we can keep him active I think he's going to feel enthused about being a part of this thing. He hasn't had any setbacks per se."

Morneau has been one of the Twins' biggest story lines this spring as he battles to overcome his concussion symptoms from the past two seasons, as well as surgeries on his neck, wrist, knee and foot from late last season and during the offseason. When he reported to camp in February, he said he had symptoms as recently as January and, through diet and exercise, had lost 11 pounds.

He appears happy with the results lately as the regular DH, a move that has allowed him to get more at-bats and find a groove at the plate.

"People will say, 'Well, you're playing the what-if game,' " Morneau said. "Well, I'd rather be healthy than sit there and question everything I'm doing.

"It's one of those things where am I in the clear? Yes; but is there still a possibility in the end that things could go backwards? A very, very small possibility. So I think that's kind of where the DH thing is based."

  • related content

  • Baker hit hard in return to mound

    Tuesday March 27, 2012

    FORT MYERS, FLA. - Scott Baker made his first appearance in a spring training game since March 7, going 22/3 innings Monday against the Tampa Bay Rays at Hammond Stadium.

  • TWINS SPRING TRAINING

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final123456789RHE
Minnesota000000000040
Detroit «00100002X340
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:D.Price(15-12) L:K.Gibson(13-12) S:J.Nathan (35)
HR: MIN- None DET- I.Kinsler (17)

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 23 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 98 FINAL
Cleveland 107
New Orleans 88 FINAL
Washington 84
Milwaukee 120 FINAL
New York 107
Philadelphia 88 FINAL
Brooklyn 99
Charlotte 114 FINAL
Atlanta 117
Sacramento 99 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Memphis 103 FINAL
Dallas 108
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Arkansas State 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
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 confident are you the Twins will improve in 2015?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close