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04/24/08 9:45 PM ET
Twins option outfielder Span to Triple-A
Move made in advance of activating Cuddyer from 15-day DL
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
OAKLAND -- Denard Span knew that his first Major League callup was going to be short one. He knew that once Michael Cuddyer's dislocated right index finger had healed, the Twins wouldn't need another outfielder on their roster and he would be headed back to Triple-A Rochester. That's exactly what happened on Thursday. The Twins announced after an 11-2 loss to the A's that they would activate Cuddyer from the 15-day disabled list in time for Friday night's game in Texas. And to make room for Cuddyer, the Twins optioned Span back to Rochester. But if Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has his way, Span's second stint in the Majors might not be far down the line. Span made quite an impression on the Twins skipper during the 11 games he played in since joining the team on April 5. He batted .233 with two RBIs and two stolen bases, but the biggest thing that he showed was an ability to put together quality at-bats. "I know he needs playing time, but I'd like to have him here and off my bench too," Gardenhire said. "Maybe that is something I can work out over the next couple weeks or so. I'd like to use him in the big leagues a bit more. I like having him here." Besides his offense, Span also showed some versatility in the outfield. Span played only one game in center with the majority of his starts coming in right field, a position he hadn't played since high school. For Span, his time with the club went about as well as he could have hoped. "I finally got an opportunity to come up here and to play at this level," Span said. "Now I know I can play up here. So I'm just going to go down there and continue with the same mentality I had when I got sent down out of Spring Training. Just go down there and prove to everybody why I should be here permanently." As for Cuddyer, he got in a few more at-bats on Thursday in a simulated game against some rehabbing Minor League pitchers in Fort Myers, Fla. Gardenhire said that the report on Cuddyer was fine, so the outfielder will be ready to play in Friday's game.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.