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07/01/08 9:41 PM ET
Facing lefties, Punto, not Harris, at third
Young righty could platoon at hot corner later in the season
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins have struggled against left-handed pitching all season, hitting just .251 as a club. And manager Ron Gardenhire has been seeking solutions to fix the problem. So with both of his primary third-base options being left-handed hitters -- Brian Buscher and Mike Lamb -- Gardenhire hinted recently that he might use Brendan Harris to get a right-handed bat at the position when the team faced lefties. The skipper said he would then put Nick Punto at shortstop. But on Tuesday when the club was facing Tigers southpaw Nate Robertson, it was Punto getting the start at third and Harris remaining at shortstop. "Nicky can play third," Gardenhire said. "I'm not sure how comfortable Harris would be out there right now." Gardenhire hasn't eliminated the possibility of testing Harris at third base. But with the success Harris is having at shortstop, there doesn't seem to be a need to change anything right now. "We're going to keep putting him out there and see how it goes," Gardenhire said. "Until I let him get work out there [at third], it's not fair to stick him out there right away."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.