Morneau Suffers Bruised Lung

by Ryan Dodson on June 23, 2007 @ 16:00:00 PDT


Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau (lung) will miss at least a few games after being taken from Dolphin Stadium to a hospital due to a bruised lung. The reigning American League Most Valuable Player was in a collision at home plate with Florida Marlins catcher Miguel Olivo in the eighth inning of their game Friday, June 22.

Morneau rounded third base, rammed into Olivo and fell to the ground before tagging home plate safely. He was on one knee momentarily before walking off under his own power. However, he was coughing up blood afterwards and was taken to the hospital on a stretcher. X-rays were negative, and a CT scan was normal. He is expected to miss a few games due to a bruised lung.

Utilityman Jeff Cirillo could take over at first base in Morneau's absence. Outfielder Michael Cuddyer, who has experience at all of the infield positions except shortstop, could move to first base, too. The club could then use designated hitter Jason Kubel or another player in the outfield. Another possibility is playing backup catcher Mike Redmond, who played admirably in starting catcher Joe Mauer's absence, at first base. However, Redmond has only played three games at first base in his career and hasn't fielded the position since 2003.

For fantasy owners in need of replacing Morneau, take a strong look at Houston Astros corner infielder Mike Lamb. He's eligible at first base and third base in a lot of leagues, and he has been ablaze since June 14. He has hit .563 with three homers and 13 RBI during this stretch. Lamb is at the hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark in Arlington this weekend. He's available in roughly 91 percent of fantasy leagues polled.

Another option is Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Nomar Garciaparra, who has recently heated up to the tune of a .389 average and four RBI in the last week. He's available in about 60 percent of leagues polled.

There's a slight possibility the team could be extremely cautious and place Morneau on the disabled list. They could even keep him out through the All-Star break, which ends July 11. Plan accordingly just in case this happens.

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About Ryan Dodson

Dodson is a KFFL Contributor and has been with KFFL since 2002.

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