Morneau and the call-up of prospect Carson Fulmer could give the White Sox a boost in the second half of the season. The White Sox signed the 2006 AL MVP and 2014 NL Batting Champion last month. He completed his rehab at AAA Charlotte and AA Birmingham.
Morneau will be the designated hitter most of the time. He will relieve Jose Abreu at first base occasionally. He is likely to hit sixth between Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie. Against right-handed pitching that gives the White Sox alternating right/left throughout the lineup. The White Sox optioned Jason Coats with the corresponding move.
Morneau’s missed the first half of the season after surgery on the primary flexor in his right elbow. Morneau has also had a history of concussions throughout his career. At $1 million for one year, the risk is definitely worth the award of signing Morneau.
There has been a lot of questioning if Morneau can still play. His slash line over the last two seasons is .317/.363/,487/.850. When healthy Morneau can still hit. Before an injury-plagued 2015 season, Morneau averaged 140 games from 2012-14. He has hit at least 17 home runs in ten of the last 12 seasons.
Designated Hitter has been a disaster for the White Sox season this season. Only Catcher has worse batting metrics than DH. If he can stay healthy, Morneau will provide the stability they desperately need and give them a strong left-handed bat in the middle of the lineup. Morneau should provide the lineup with the same sp
Morneau should provide the lineup with the same spark that Tim Anderson did when he was recalled from Charlotte. Morneau’s leadership and veteran experience should also help in the clubhouse. The White Sox roster doesn’t have a lot of experience in pennant races.
Morneau has appeared in four postseasons with a .302 career batting average. The Twins had a winning record in seven of Morneau’s first eight seasons and he also played in the 2013 postseason with Pittsburgh.
The White Sox have a challenging schedule to start the second half. They begin the second half with 23 of the first 32 games on the road. They will also play 17 straight days to being the half. The likelihood is that Morneau sits out selective games against left-handed pitchers and day games after night games.
That criterion fits two of the three games in Anaheim. Former White Sox closer Hector Santiago will start the second half for Anaheim tonight. They will play another night game tomorrow night before a day game on Sunday.
Morneau should play tonight, there is a real possibility he sits out Sunday. The White Sox could decide to see how he reacts after the first two games.