Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau has been dealing with some back stiffness over the past few days, which forced him to miss Thursday and Friday’s exhibition games. Considering Morneau is not expected to suit up for Saturday’s contest as well, is it possible that he will not be ready for Opening Day?
Morneau is officially listed as day-to-day with tightness in his back, but the Twins do not believe the injury is serious enough to keep him out of the lineup on April 1.
“His concussions and all that he had experienced is not an issue at all,” Twins general manager Terry Ryan told TwinCities.com. “He does have a little bit of a stiff back, but I suspect you’re going to see him in the Opening Day lineup.”
Even though the 31-year old missing three straight games would concern most people, it appears to be precautionary at this point to prevent him from injuring his back any further. The move clearly makes sense, as it is pointless to force Morneau into the lineup when the games have no ramifications on the regular season.
With that being said, Minnesota will need him when the team takes on the Detroit Tigers on Opening Day if they want any chance of defeating the defending American League champions.
The left-handed batter hit .267 with three home runs, 11 RBIs and three doubles in 45 at-bats during Spring Training. Morneau also participated in the World Baseball Classic this spring as a member of Team Canada. He went 7-for-11 with three RBIs and three doubles.