Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Morneau's return offers a glimmer of hope

The Twins are in the midst of a tough stretch of baseball to watch for fans and the organization. The team continues to find ways to lose games and the home-stand that ended last night was tough to stomach (even with a win against Boston). Not that long ago it looked as if the Twins might be able to fight their way back in a very weak division. Now many of those hopes have been dashed and most fans have started to look toward the future.

The Twins announced on Wednesday that first baseman Justin Morneau will return on Friday when the team heads to Cleveland for a three game series. This is earlier than was originally thought for Morneau after overcoming a wrist injury and surgery on his neck. He has been hitting the ball very well for AAA Rochester and this could be a good sign for Twins fans.

Morneau has not finished a season off of the disabled list since 2008. He is due to make $14 million in each of the next two seasons and that means the Twins want to get everything they can out of Morneau in those years. These next few weeks could be huge for lifting the confidence of Morneau as he enters an offseason with no lingering injuries.

During his time on rehab assignment, reports have said that Morneau has been chomping at the bit to get back with the club as soon as possible. Morneau has a chip on his shoulder and he is ready to show the team he can return to his MVP form of previous seasons. Facing off against the revamped Morneau could be a daunting task for any opponent.

The Twins still have the opportunity to play spoiler in the race for the AL Central crown. The Tigers, Indians, and White Sox will be battling for the title and the Twins can upset some of those dreams. Morneau has put up good numbers against all three of those squads in his career and he could help to lead the upset effort.

Morneau can offer a glimmer of hope for the rest of the 2011 and hopefully that glimmer will carry over into 2012.

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