Updates from Tuesday, July 29
Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post has good news on Morneau's recovery from his neck injury:
Updates from Sunday, July 27
Colorado Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau will be headed to the disabled list with a strained neck.
Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post reported the news of Morneau's injury on Monday, and the Rockies' official communications department made it official:
#Rockies Morneau going on DL with neck strain.— Patrick Saunders (@psaundersdp) July 21, 2014
#Rockies place INF Justin Morneau on the 15-day DL (neck strain; retro to 7/14). Select contract of INF Ben Paulsen & Jair Jurrjens DFA'd.— Rockies PR (@RockiesPR) July 21, 2014
Morneau has enjoyed a return to form in his first year with the Rockies, benefiting in part from a more hitter-friendly park in Coors Field. The 33-year-old former American League MVP is batting .312 after three consecutive subpar seasons at the dish.
The All-Star break gave Morneau the chance to return to Minnesota, where he started his career, to participate in the Home Run Derby.
"I left the door open, and with the support I got in Colorado and Minnesota, I felt it was right for me to accept the [Home Run Derby] invitation," said Morneau, per MLB.com's Tracy Ringolsby. "It's the first chance I had to go back and acknowledge the fans."
Entering Monday's contest against the Washington Nationals, though, Colorado is facing considerable adversity, per MLB Network correspondent Dan Kolko:
Troy Tulowitzki's quad issue will keep him out of the Rockies' lineup tonight. Can't imagine Doug Fister is too upset about that.— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) July 21, 2014
Justin Morneau also going on the DL for the Rockies. They're last in the NL in runs per game this month. Now without two of their top guys.— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) July 21, 2014
Morneau's reunion with Twins fans in Minneapolis was a nice diversion in what has otherwise been an underwhelming Rockies season. Colorado currently sits in last place in the National League and has the second-worst winning percentage in all of baseball. Carrying on without Morneau for an extended period of time is bound to make matters worse.
With the NL East-leading Nationals coming to town for a three-game stand, Rockies manager Walt Weiss has to be hoping that at least Troy Tulowitzki can play the latter two contests.
This season is not salvageable for Colorado, so regardless of when Morneau returns, it's hard to imagine his impact will make much of a difference either way.