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After eight months on the sidelines Justin Morneau is playing in a “B” game today

Mar 8, 2011, 10:43 AM EDT

morneau b squad

Justin Morneau is starting at first base and batting cleanup in this morning’s “B” game between the Twins and Pirates, marking the first time he’s been in any lineup since suffering a concussion more than eight months ago.

Normally a former MVP seeing game action for the first time since last July would have been big news, but the Twins have cut way back on their Morneau updates recently and gave zero warning to the media members in attendance.

Reporters on site first got the idea that he might be playing when Morneau participated in pre-game warmups and didn’t find out for sure that he was actually in the lineup until the Twins took the field for a game not broadcast on television or radio (although Kelly Thesier of MLB.com did snap that photo of his first at-bat).

Whatever the case, this qualifies as excellent news for the Twins and Morneau, who’s repeatedly stressed the positive progress he’s made recently in recovering from the concussion. He’s reportedly still not fully clear of post-concussion symptoms and the day after big workouts have given him the most trouble in the past, but given how patient the Twins have been throughout his recovery the fact that a doctor cleared him to return dramatically shifts his chances of being in the Opening Day lineup after that possibility seemed somewhat unlikely as recently as a few days ago.

UPDATE: Morneau grounded out to second base in his first at-bat. In his second at-bat he came to the plate with the bases loaded and delivered a three-run double.

  1. Davidw7 - Mar 8, 2011 at 10:58 AM

    It sounds like it was an interesting 2 bagger he hit.

    JoeChristensen says:
    “Morneau clears bases with double down the line. A rocket line-drive. Crowd loves it”

    Kelly Thesier says:
    “Morneau with bases clearing double down left field line”

    LaVelle E. Neal III says:
    “Morneau clears the bases with a double down the right field line”

    That ball must have REALLY jumped of his bat to go down both lines.

    Great to have #33 back though.

    • ThatGuy - Mar 8, 2011 at 11:12 AM

      I wonder what Al Neuman had to say about this…

    • Davidw7 - Mar 8, 2011 at 11:32 AM

      I wonder if Kelly Thesier reads HBT because she just corrected herself

      “Correction to my earlier tweet. Morneau’s double was down right field line. Sun must have gotten me”

  2. BC - Mar 8, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    Now THIS is good news. Hopefully he has the concussion symptoms behind him for good.

  3. cur68 - Mar 8, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    All right! My fellow beaver-loving Canadian is back! And he hit a DOUBLE! A bases clearing double, ha, ha! I am positively beside myself over this piece of news. If he can focus well enough to hit like that, with any luck his PCS is nearly completely gone, and the rest of the world will be able to bask in the magnificence all year long. C’est bon!

  4. uyf1950 - Mar 8, 2011 at 11:42 AM

    Hopefully all goes well and he doesn’t suffer any setbacks or side effects. I wish him luck.

  5. e5again - Mar 8, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    Is he wearing a helmet in the field?

  6. Cran Boy - Mar 8, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    Please, let the image of Corey Koskie now fade from my mind…

  7. vikesfansteve - Mar 8, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    Twins are obviously having candy cane wishes of the former MVP back to form. Hope he rebounds like he did after getting beaned in the head against Seattle.

  8. cleonslamminsalmon - Mar 9, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    If Justin Morneau were more like Aaron Rodgers, he would’ve hit that double in the middle of July last season…

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