Center fielders past and present get together

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 4, 2011 - 12:11 AM
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The Angels' Torii Hunter scored in the third inning Wednesday night, but the Twins got the last laugh in an 11-4 victory.

Photo: Chris Carlson, AP

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ANAHEIM, CALIF. - When Torii Hunter, Denard Span and Ben Revere met for breakfast on Wednesday, it was a gathering of three center fielders chosen as first-round draft picks by the Twins.

Hunter, now in his fourth year with the Angels, had some advice for both of them.

On Revere, Hunter said, "He seems like a good kid; very polite, always smiling. And he's put together, to be sure. He's going to be fine. He asks a lot of questions."

As for Span, who heard his name mentioned repeatedly before the recent trade deadline, Hunter said, "Hey, if somebody trades for you, they actually want you. The Nationals probably need a leadoff guy, and Denard Span fit the profile.

"I said, 'You're comfortable here; don't get upset. This is your home, Minnesota. And the grass ain't always greener on the other side.'

"It's sure greener over here, but everybody's not fortunate to get with an organization as great as the Angels."

Thome has sore neck

Gardenhire wanted to stack his lineup with lefthanded hitters against Angels righthander Joel Pineiro on Wednesday, but Jim Thome came to the clubhouse suffering from a stiff neck.

Thome, who batted .448 (13-for-29) over his previous eight games, was available to pinch hit, Gardenhire said.

Etc.

• Justin Morneau (neck surgery) went through a full workout at Target Field and could be ready to go on a rehab stint after working out with the team Friday.

• Class AAA Rochester righthander Anthony Slama is heading to Minnesota to have his right elbow examined. Slama, who has been on the disabled list and the elbow just isn't making progress, Rantz said.

• Rochester righthander Jeff Manship went back on the seven-day DL, this time because of a strained oblique muscle.

• Carlos Gutierrez, a first-round pick in 2008, returned from the DL, taking Gibson's roster spot for Rochester.

• Alex Wimmers, last year's first-round pick, could be starting to overcome his severe control problems. In five relief appearances for Class A Fort Myers, Wimmers has 17 strikeouts and seven walks in 13 innings pitched. Rantz said Wimmers might get another chance to start soon.

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