Prospect Gibson to have elbow examined
Twins worry '09 first-rounder needs Tommy John surgery
ANAHEIM -- Right-handed prospect Kyle Gibson was placed on the Minor League disabled list with soreness in the flexor muscle area near his elbow and underwent an MRI on Wednesday.
He's expected to receive the results on Monday, but the Twins are worried the 23-year-old could need Tommy John surgery.
Gibson, who is expected to fly to Minneapolis on Sunday, will have the results of his MRI examined by team physicians John Steubs and Daniel Buss on Thursday.
Gibson, a 6-foot-6 right-hander who was the club's first-round Draft pick in 2009, had his start with Triple-A Rochester skipped on July 27 after experiencing soreness near his elbow. He is 3-8 with a 4.81 ERA in 18 starts this season, with 91 strikeouts and 27 walks over 95 1/3 innings.
"You're always concerned it might be the ulnar nerve," Twins Minor League director Jim Rantz said. "I think we've got to wait until we get a reading from our doctors. But there's enough concern that we're bringing him to Minnesota."
Gibson has been struggling recently, as he went 0-5 with a 6.47 ERA in eight starts over June and July. It came after he entered June with a 3.60 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 55 innings.
Fellow Rochester right-hander Anthony Slama, who was placed on the Minor League disabled list on July 6, is also scheduled to head to Minneapolis for tests on his elbow.
"He's been out a while and doesn't seem to be getting any better," Rantz said.
Span, Revere soak up lessons from Torii
ANAHEIM -- Former Twins center fielder Torii Hunter went to breakfast with Twins outfielders Denard Span and Ben Revere before Wednesday's game at Angel Stadium.
"We hung out, ate breakfast this morning, talked trash, talked about life -- not too much about baseball," said Hunter, who played parts of 11 seasons in Minnesota. "I was just trying to get to know Ben a little and catch up with Denard; I hadn't talked to him in a while."
Hunter talked about how he tried to help groom Span for his role in center field, which he learned from Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett, and that Span is now doing the same for Revere, who is in his rookie season.
"That's one thing I always told Denard, 'Make sure you share it, whatever it may be. Help the next guy,'" Hunter said. "When I was talking to Ben, he said, 'Denard has already told me that.' So it's like a domino effect."
Span also made sure to tell Revere that he was proud of the way he handled center field in his absence, as Span missed nearly two months with a concussion suffered June 3 before returning to action Tuesday.
"I just wanted to clear the air with him just in case, because there's a lot of stuff that's been written about me and him, me vs. him, and it ain't that," Span said. "If anybody is happy for him, it's me, and I told him that."
Twins try Revere in second spot for first time
ANAHEIM -- With Denard Span back as the club's regular center fielder and leadoff hitter, Ben Revere batted in the two-hole for the first time in his career on Wednesday and started in left field.
Revere, who hit .245 with 15 stolen bases in 48 games as the club's leadoff leader in Span's absence, gives the club another speedy player near the top of the order.
"We have more speed at the top to get on for the big guys," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That's what we tried to do."
Revere was able to get into the lineup because designated hitter Jim Thome was held out for precautionary reasons due to neck stiffness. Delmon Young started at designated hitter in his place.
"Thome had a little bit of a stiff neck when he got here today, so he thought as the day went along he'd be able to get in there and take some," Gardenhire said. "But I think I'm not going to press my luck with anything like that."
Morneau takes problem-free batting practice
ANAHEIM -- Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, who underwent surgery to remove a herniated disk fragment in his neck on June 29, took batting practice at Target Field on Wednesday and reported no problems.
"He had a really good day on the field with BP and ground balls and the whole package," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Everything went good."
Morneau is expected to do the same on Thursday, before taking early batting practice with his teammates upon their return to Minneapolis on Friday for their game against the White Sox.
Gardenhire said Morneau will then be re-evaluated over the weekend to see if he'll head to Fort Myers, Fla., for simulated games or to Triple-A Rochester.
"We have to get home first," Gardenhire said. "I don't think he's going to take off before we get home. We'll get home Friday and see where he's at. ... I definitely want to talk to him before we decide what we're going to do here."
Gardenhire added that second baseman Alexi Casilla, out with a strained right hamstring suffered on July 27 in Texas, has been making progress with his workouts back in Minneapolis.
"He's doing really good," Gardenhire said. "He's moving around good. But he's going to be on there for however many more days, so it's still going to be a few days here."