Twins slugger Justin Morneau said Monday he will begin the season as the designated hitter to reduce any chance of a recurrence of concussion symptoms that have plagued him since July 2010.

Morneau revealed about a week ago that, according to his doctors, the chances of a recurrence of concussion symptoms increase when someone is fatigued. Not having to play in the field reduces that risk.

"This is something since last year that was thought about for sure," he said Monday. "I came into spring preparing to play first and tried to be ready to do that. I didn't come in with any goal other than playing first and being able to do that and help us win ballgames. But it didn't work out that way for right now. It's something that didn't come easy and didn't come without a lot of thought.

"I've been hurt a lot the last couple years, and it's been frustrating for me and the fans and my teammates. So I think to help us win ballgames, I have to be on the field, and if this is the way to do it, that's what we'll do for now and see what happens later."