Former Quad City River Bandits 1B Justin Morneau slugged a pair of home runs today, which fans hope will jumpstart the Minnesota Twins star’s stagnant spring training in time for him to be ready for the regular season.
He started the day 4-for-37 (.108) with only two RBI this spring. He is attempting to come back strong from a 2011 season marred by concussion problems and other injuries. To that end, the Twins likely will use him primarily as a designated hitter.
Morneau played 64 games with the River Bandits in 2001, the year that significant flooding from the Mississippi River forced the team to play much of its “home” schedule on the road. He hit .356 with 12 HR and 53 RBI.
One Twins player who will help fill the void at first base this year is Joe Mauer, who also played for the River Bandits. He hit .302 with 4 HR and 62 RBI in 110 games with the team in 2002.
A fun fact about Mauer’s tenure with the River Bandits: His older brother, Jake, also played for the team that year, hitting .226 in 84 games. Jake Mauer didn’t make it past Class AA, but has been a minor-league manager in the Twins organization since 2008. He currently manages the Class A+ Fort Myers Miracle.