Morneau says he's close to getting timing back

Morneau says he's close to getting timing back

Morneau says he's close to getting timing back
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins first baseman Justin Morneau went 0-for-2 with a walk against the Red Sox on Monday, seeing his batting average fall to .100 this spring. But Morneau feels like he's getting closer to getting his timing back.

Serving as designated hitter, Morneau walked in his first plate appearance, grounded out to first in the third inning and struck out in the fifth. He is 3-for-30 this spring -- all singles -- while playing in 10 games.

"It's gotten better," Morneau said of his timing. "It's not where I want it to be yet. The swing's getting better. The swing feels a lot better than it did when I first got down here. It's a process, it's moving along. I just have to keep telling myself that it's slow, and just because it's not here now doesn't mean it's not going to be here a week from now."

Morneau, 30, played in just 69 games last year after battling concussion symptoms and undergoing surgeries on his neck, left wrist, left knee and right foot.

So far, only the wrist has bothered him this spring, as he said he can still feel it when he swings. But he was told by doctors that he can't cause any further damage to his wrist by swinging, and that swinging only causes it to get sore.

"I'm trying to do the right amount of swinging," said Morneau, who had his wrist wrapped up and iced after the game. "I have to swing to build the strength, but if I swing too much, it gets a little irritated, so it's kind of hard. I'm trying to work on my swing, and get the feel back to where I need to be, and if I swing too much, it gets irritated, so it's kind of a fine line."

Morneau has historically struggled in spring, as he's a career .244 hitter in Grapefruit League play. He also hit just .160 during Spring Training in 2010 before hitting .345 with 18 homers in 81 games before suffering a season-ending concussion early that July.

"We've still got two weeks left," Morneau said. "So there's still a lot of time for at-bats, and still a lot of time if I want to go over to the Minor League side [and] get seven or eight at-bats in a game, I can do that. So, yeah, I'm trying to get my timing back and my strength back, and the only way to do it is to face live pitching."