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Monday, January 23, 2012

The More you Neau

The Star Tribune recently published a video interview after beat writer Joe Christensen visited Justin Morneau during his off-season workouts in Arizona. Christensen spent a day both watching and questioning Morneau and after the understandably coy, ‘play our cards close to our chest’ fashion with which the Twins front office has talked of Morneau’s ‘progress,’ (as commented on recently by Nick Nelson), Christensen may be one of the best positioned to be an accurate barometer of Morneau’s status.

  • Morneau has allegedly reported no concussion symptoms since December. While that may not be comforting for many Twins faithful, they are based on normal responses from high tech post-concussion tests Morneau recently took part in.
  • Morneau is understandably unsure of how this progress will translate to the field in live play. He admits it will take time to regain confidence both in the batting box and fielding his position.
  • Morneau’s health struggles last season also resulted in 3 further surgeries, on his knee, wrist and to remove a bone spur from his foot, from which he has been slowly rehabbing from.
  • Morneau has taken his extended absence as an opportunity to alter other aspects of his lifestyle. After extensive allergy testing, Morneau found himself sensitive to dairy and cut it out of his diet altogether over the winter, shedding 20lbs.
  • Morneau admits that his biggest struggle throughout his post-concussion symptoms and his attempts to return have centered on maintaining the level of concentration required of an elite hitter but believes he has the mental toughness and determination to recapture his first half of 2010 form.
The Twins will be hoping Morneau can regain his confidence in the field and the batter's box after a year and a half on injury ridden uncertainty.
The full video can be seen here. It is certainly an interesting insight into a player whose health has been shrouded in mystery since the All-Star break of the 2010 season. Only time will tell how Morneau’s health will play out in 2012 but given Joe Mauer’s improving health and confidence, this insight gives Twins fans significant hope for the return to form of their onetime MVP.

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