April 22, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau (33) at bat in the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Minnesota Twins Justin Morneau on DL, Brian Dozier called up

The Minnesota Twins have placed first baseman Justin Morneau on the disabled list due to a sore left wrist. The 15-day DL trip is retroactive to the first day of May, so expect Morneau to be back in the middle of the month. His left wrist was surgically repaired in October, and he is experiencing pain in his wrist despite there being no structural damage.

In 83 plate appearances this year, Morneau has already hit four home runs to match last year’s total. He’s on pace for a 2 WAR year (ZiPS), which is a considerable bounce back season after an injury-plagued 2011 season that caused many to think that the RBI-monger was done.

A league-average year is a far cry from the gaudy numbers that Justin Morneau used to post, as he was worth 5 WAR just two seasons ago. He has a 111 wRC+ so far this season and plays good defense, and ZiPS projects four more home runs than they did before the season. Morneau can easily beat those numbers when healthy, but there is the chance that his wrist bothers him throughout the year and hinders his production.

Morneau was in the batting cages yesterday to see how his wrist felt, but no improvements were made, and he will hit the DL on Monday.

“It wasn’t good,” Morneau told the Pioneer Press. “It felt the same way it did the other day. A little more time and hopefully that will calm down and get to where I can swing normally and be productive – not just be out there swinging, but swinging to make a difference in the game.”

In other news, Minnesota Twins 2011 minor league MVP Brian Dozier will be called up, and the 24-year-old shortstop will make his debut in the team’s series against the Los Angeles Angels. He had a 143 wRC+ in 351 plate appearances in AA. According to the Minor League Equivalency calculator (using his AA numbers), Dozier will have a .256/.307/.384 if given 320 at-bats. Which means that the talented prospect is a 1.5 WAR player in the MLB based on those stats (Simple WAR Calculator).

Seedlings to Stars ranked Dozier as the 77th best prospect in baseball. Calling up Dozier was the right move for the present and future, and he will be the new starting shortstop for the Twins.

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Tags: Brian Dozier Justin Morneau Minnesota Twins Minors New Britain AA Pioneer Press Seedlings To Stars

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