Minnesota Twins: Can Justin Morneau Hit 25 Bombs in 2012?

Chris SchadContributor IIIMay 17, 2012

DETROIT, MI - MAY 17: Justin Morneau #33 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates a two run home run with teammates Josh Willingham #16 in the third inning during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on May 17, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. The Twins defeated the Tigers 4-3. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

The Minnesota Twins can look at the return of Justin Morneau in two ways. The optimist Twins fan views his return as a jolt to an offense that desperately needs it. The pessimist looks at Morneau's return and thinks that it will be short-lived because of his recent injury history.

No matter how you view Justin Morneau, there is no debating that he is one of the biggest question marks for the Twins.

While Morneau's comeback is only two games old, he showed plenty of promise in a 2-for-4 performance (with a home run and three RBI) against the Detroit Tigers Thursday afternoon.

Morneau's production in 2012 has been on and off, but so far it looks promising that he can return to being a power threat and hit 25 home runs by the end of the 2012 season.

There are several reasons for this, mainly that Morneau is healthier than he's been in the past couple seasons. It doesn't seem that way because he just came off the disabled list, but a look at his season stats would indicate otherwise.

Entering the series against the Tampa Bay Rays beginning on April 20, Morneau was hitting .267 with four home runs and six RBI with a .931 OPS. At that point, Morneau experienced soreness in his wrist, and his stats suffered a steep decline (.172/0/3/.526 in seven games).

Morneau's recent performance against the Tigers (3-for-9 with a home run, three RBI and a double) could indicate that he is about to begin a hot streak that could remind fans of the old Justin Morneau.

If Morneau can avoid spending any more time on the disabled list and his "healthy" numbers are more of a trend than a mirage, there is no reason that Morneau can't make a run at 25 (or even 30) home runs. If that happens, Twins fans could find a bright spot in an otherwise miserable season.