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Justin Morneau continues to deal with pain in his right wrist, which was surgically repaired at the end of last season, so the Minnesota Twins will place him on the DL on Monday. The move will be retroactive to May 1. The team will also recall prospect Brian Dozier before tonight's game versus the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the first of a three-game set.
Dozier to start
Despite a number of different types of treatments for his right wrist, the soreness that he began experiencing a week ago didn't subside at all. The focus became getting Morneau healthy so that he can contribute for the rest of the season instead of trying to find a way to push him through it. That has to be positive news for fantasy players, however little consolation it provides.
The game plan for a Morneau absence is likely to be pretty much the same as it was last week. Chris Parmelee and Ryan Doumit are probably ensured of lineup spots on most nights, although that doesn't change their short-term values as much as heating up would. Doumit, who has C eligibility, showed signs that he may be doing so with his two-bomb game on Sunday.
Ron Gardenhire told his listeners that Dozier is up to play, too. The 24-year-old - he'll be 25 in a week - was pulling a .276/.339/.371 slash line at Triple-A Rochester in his first exposure to the level. His glove will probably be an asset right away.
The polished college player has a sound approach and a .305/.379/.416 lifetime slash line in the minors, and his ability to drive the ball for extra bases really kicked in last season. In a full season, he could approach double digits in homers and steal 20 to 25 bases, at least.
Dozier is a must-add in AL leagues, naturally, because of the sheer prospect of his playing time and modest upside. Considering that the club's postseason hopes already look dim, it might be a little rash for the Twinkies to call on one of their best prospects and install him permanently. There's definitely some risk in a FAAB commitment to him.
Dozier isn't an elite hitter and wasn't exactly tearing up the International League, and his experience against upper-level farm competition is very limited. Minnesota may be looking for a spark or just an opportunity to give him that first taste, so if the right-handed batter plays well during Morneau's absence, he'd probably stick. If it's clear that The Show is too much for him, though, he'll be on his way back to the Red Wings.
The immediate losers are Danny Valencia and, perhaps to a lesser extent, Alexi Casilla. Jamey Carroll's stock could also take a hit, but Gardenhire has voiced his appreciation for Carroll's presence and ability to play all over. Carroll will probably get a short break and then play at Valencia's, Casilla's or Dozier's spot on most days.
There's a rumor that Minnesota wants to move Valencia, which would clarify things for the sake of roto players. Until it picks up steam or happens, each of these players probably can't afford to let his performance suffer for long if he wants to stay in the lineup.
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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