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Twins star to have neck surgery

MILWAUKEE — Twins 1B Justin Morneau will have surgery Wednesday for a herniated disc fragment and miss another six weeks, the team said.

Morneau, the 2006 MVP and four-time All-Star out since June 9 with a strained left wrist, has felt numbness in his left hand since late in spring training.

"Even though the risk is small, there still is a risk that if he continued to play through this and not get it fixed that his full strength would not come back," trainer Rick McWane said.

Morneau said surgery on any part of his spine is serious, but it was the best option.

"I think the thing that kind of made the decision was hearing that it could be permanent, the weakness in the arm and numbness in the fingers," Morneau said.

Morneau is hitting .225 with four homers and 20 RBIs in 55 games a year after missing the final 78 games of the season with a concussion. McWane said the concussion and neck problems are not related.

MVP hopes contacts alleviate day struggles

ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas OF Josh Hamilton will try contact lenses to help him see the ball better during day games.

Entering Friday, the 2010 MVP was hitting .122 (6-for-49) with no homers and 17 strikeouts in 14 day games compared with .374 (41-for-109) with six homers and 14 strikeouts in 25 night games. Hamilton said he believes his blue eyes make it harder to see the ball during day games. And a specialist agreed.

"Because of the lack of pigment in lighter color eyes — like blue or green eyes as opposed to brown — you get a lot more unwanted light," said Richard Ison, a Dallas optometrist. "And that can create glare problems."

Hamilton wore tinted lenses that make his eyes look red during batting practice and outfield drills.

"I could tell a difference," he said. "It just takes the brightness off everything."

McLaren promoted, for now: John McLaren moved from bench coach to interim manager for the Nationals a day after Jim Riggleman resigned. McLaren is a former bench coach for the Rays who went 68-88 over parts of two seasons as Mariners manager. GM Mike Rizzo said McLaren will be in charge for only a few days and he has talked to several candidates to finish this season. One is Davey Johnson, who has managed the Mets (winning the 1986 World Series), Reds, Orioles and Dodgers. He's currently an adviser to Rizzo.

Oswalt to DL: Phillies RHP Roy Oswalt went on the DL with lower-back inflammation. Oswalt, who missed three weeks earlier this year with the same injury, is 1-5 with a 4.06 ERA over his past eight starts. RHP Kyle Kendrick will take his place in the rotation. Also, C Brian Schneider, out since May 12 with a strained hamstring, was activated.

Jeter waits: Yankees SS Derek Jeter said he doesn't know when he will return from a strained right calf. Jeter, out since June 14, still awaits clearance from doctors to run, hit and field grounders.

Indians: RF Shin-Soo Choo left in the fourth after being hit in the right wrist by a pitch. His status is unknown.

Orioles: Willie Randolph and John Russell switched jobs, Randolph becoming third-base coach and Russell bench coach. Last week, RHP Chris Jakubau­skas, running from first, was thrown out at home on a double with no outs. But manager Buck Showalter said Russell, an ex-catcher, has a sore knee and can help Matt Wieters and Craig Tatum between innings.

Rangers: SS Elvis Andrus left in the fifth after spraining his left wrist on a headfirst slide while stealing a base. His status hasn't been determined.

Reds: LH reliever Aroldis Chapman, out since May 16 with shoulder inflammation, was activated.

Red Sox: RHP Josh Beckett's next start was pushed back to help him recover from an illness that left him bedridden earlier this week. RHP Tim Wakefield will start today. Beckett, whose 1.86 ERA leads the AL, has been pushed back to Tuesday.

Twins star to have neck surgery 06/25/11 [Last modified: Saturday, June 25, 2011 1:27am]

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