Thursday, November 25, 2010

Morneau's Road to Recovery

Justin Morneau was putting together an MVP quality season when a concussion, on July 7th, unexpectedly derailed his season.   Despite multiple attempts to comeback last season, Morneau suffered through intense headaches and dizziness.  Finally, it appears that Morneau is on the road to recovery.  Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that Morneau has resumed his cardio workouts, and should be able to return to baseball related action in the near future.
"The road to recovery is going well," Morneau wrote in an e-mail to the Star Tribune. "I started working out again this week, and I am feeling pretty good. It has been a long and frustrating road, but feels good to be able to function normally on a day-to-day basis.
The first couple of workouts have gone well, and I am sure I will be more than over-anxious to get spring training and the season started once February rolls around."
This is great news.  Morneau is an incredibly talented player, and it'd be a shame to see his career derailed by a freak injury.  At the time of his injury, he was putting up career highs in batting average, OBP, and SLG; a .447 wOBA (+35.1 wRAA); +9.8 UZR (+9 DRS); and 5.3 WAR.  While the Twins played very well in his absence, it's entirely possible the Twins would've fared better in the playoffs had he been in the everyday lineup. 

Last season was shaping up to be a career year with Morneau putting up numbers far above his career norms.  I expect him to regress back to his mean baseline performance, so expecting a reprise of 2010 in 2011 should not be expected.  Going into his age-30 season, I expect him to return to the 3.5 to 4.0 WAR player he was prior to next season.  Either way, it'll be great to have him back.  He's a solid player that makes one of the best teams in the American League even better.

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