COMMENTARY | The month of April was not kind to Justin Morneau. The Twins' first baseman looked lost during the first month of the season as he stumbled out of the gate with a .253 average, two home runs, and 11 runs batted in.
With Morneau struggling at the plate, I said that the Twins should try and get anything they can for him as his days in their uniform were numbered.
Shortly after the ink dried, the Canadian Crusher heated up. Entering the May 30 game with the Milwaukee Brewers, Morneau has hit .327 in the past month with a team-leading 23 RBI.
Morneau has also had success in clutch situations. For the season, he's hitting .321 with runners in scoring position and six-for-eight with the bases loaded. That's huge with Josh Willingham and the rest of the team struggling to drive in runners.
Taking a deeper look at his stats, there's still work to be done before it can be declared that he's on his way back to Most Valuable Player candidate form.
The one thing missing is Morneau's majestic power that was displayed on a regular basis before injuries took their toll.
During the month of May, Morneau has eight extra-base hits, but none of them have left the ballpark. To put it in contrast, rookies Oswaldo Arcia (.475) and Aaron Hicks (.483) have higher slugging percentages this month than Morneau (.404).
It's not a problem now while Morneau is driving in runs, but when you look long-term, the Twins may need to look at their options.
For any major league team, the first baseman needs to provide power in the middle of the lineup.
The Twins opponent for the past week has shown that. The Brewers have been forced to use Yuniesky Betancourt and Alex Gonzalez at first base as Corey Hart recovers from offseason surgery. It's a situation that has lead Milwaukee to the bottom of the National League Central standings.
Morneau has also been a monster when it comes to balls put in play. In the past month, he has registered a .382 average, but it's asinine to expect him to continue that trend through the rest of the season.
If Morneau can't drive balls, he is of no use to a team that's will begin to turn to younger (and more affordable) players later this summer.
While nobody wants to see Chris Parmelee become the everyday first baseman at the moment, perhaps the Twins will turn to Chris Colabello who is raking at Triple-A Rochester. Of course, that's if the Twins can get something for a light-hitting first baseman making $13 million at the July trade deadline.
If the Twins want something out of Morneau on their roster or via a deadline trade, he'll need to start hitting for power. The month of June will prove to be important as to how things out and it may decide whether the beginning of the end has come for the former American League MVP.
Chris Schad is a lifelong Twins follower that has spent a majority of his life cheering the Twins on through the dark '90s and success of five American League Central championships in the 2000s. His work has also been published on Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @crishad.
- Sports & Recreation
- Justin Morneau