Twins first baseman Justin Morneau has finally resumed baseball activities. According to Twins GM Bill Smith, he's expected to report to Spring Training along with the other position players on February 22nd.
"He's doing well," Smith said Friday. "He has begun baseball activity — hitting, fielding, throwing — and continues to work out and make good progress, so we look forward to seeing him in Fort Myers."Morneau was putting together an MVP quality season when he took a knee to the head on July 7th. The ensuing concussion robbed him of the rest of the season. Since then, it's been a painstakingly slow process to get him back to the point to where he was able to resume physical activity without spiraling back into concussive symptoms.
Considering the multitude of setbacks he's had over the past several months, it's unknown if Morneau will be ready for Opening Day on April 1st. As a result, the Twins are taking a very conservative "day to day" approach with the ultimate goal of getting him back onto the field. Despite their approach, the Twins are moving forward with the expectation he's in the Opening Day starting lineup. Still, they're not expecting miracles.
If there are setbacks along the way, the Twins have some options for how they can handle the situation. In all likelihood, the Twins would use the defensive alignment they used in the second half of last season with Cuddyer moving from RF to 1B, Kubel moving from DH to RF, and Thome taking over regular DH duties. While this is by no means an ideal situation (especially defensively), it's still a better option than most teams would have under the same circumstances.