September 14, 2005
Liriano Goes Today
All of which brings me to Justin Morneau. Seriously. Tuesday's Minneapolis Star Tribune had the following note about Morneau from the Official Twins Beat Writer of AG.com, LaVelle E. Neal:
First baseman Justin Morneau, who has played with a bone chip in his left elbow for much of the season, will have an MRI exam Thursday to check the extent of the injury.
Morneau might need offseason surgery to remove the chip. There is some concern that the chip is affecting a nerve in his arm.
Ask anyone whether they'd rather their elbow contained a painful bone chip affecting a nerve in their arm or not and they'll probably tell you "not." However, considering Morneau's struggles at the plate this season, wouldn't it make you a little more optimistic about his long-term potential if we learned that a bone spur had been hurting him for most of the year?
In other words, if the bone spur has been a major problem it might explain the fact that Morneau is hitting .240/.307/.433 on the year and just .219/.299/.404 since the end of April. But if the bone spur hasn't been a major problem, he's just been really bad for five months.
AVG OBP SLG
Justin Morneau .240 .307 .433
Doug Mientkiewicz .240 .323 .412
If you'd have told me before the season that Doug Mientkiewicz would be neck and neck in OPS with Morneau, I'd have thought Mientkiewicz was about to hit around .320 while having a great season for the Mets. Turns out, not so much.
IP ERA SO BB H
74.1 2.78 96 40 51
Yeah, I know, like the Twins need more pitching. Still, he looks like another power arm out of the bullpen, and Grant Balfour may also be back next season. Plus, can you imagine how good Bowyer can be if a little of Carlos Silva's and Brad Radke's control wears off on him?
I already have dreams of this pitching staff in my head for 2006:
SP Johan Santana
SP Brad Radke
SP Carlos Silva
SP Scott Baker
SP Francisco Liriano
CL Joe Nathan
RP Juan Rincon
RP Jesse Crain
RP Travis Bowyer
RP Grant Balfour
Give me that group to begin next season and I don't care whether the 11th guy is J.C. Romero, Terry Mulholland or Jesse Orosco.
Plus, in Santana's place this afternoon Francisco Liriano makes his first big-league start. It's like if Jessica Alba called you at the last minute to cancel your date with her, but sent along Elisha Cuthbert in her place. Or not, whatever.