Gardenhire still fighting for Thome

  • Updated: March 4, 2013 - 12:14 AM

Asked Sunday if he had given up on adding Thome to his bench, Gardenhire said, "Not yet. Still fighting that one."

PORT CHARLOTTE, FLA. - Ron Gardenhire understands the limitations that a 42-year-old Jim Thome would bring, having slowed from molasses-like to glacial. "Most of the time he hits, it's probably going to go out of the ballpark, or he's done," the Twins manager said. "You've got every player on the [right] side, so a ground ball's going to get him out, even to the outfield."

But that "out of the ballpark" part still has Gardenhire intrigued.

Asked Sunday if he had given up on adding Thome to his bench, Gardenhire said, "Not yet. Still fighting that one."

That probably means persuading both Thome to accept a contract without a guaranteed spot on the 40-man roster, and his own front office to give the future Hall of Famer a shot.

With four weeks to go before Opening Day, something still could happen, the manager said. "We'll see how it all breaks down," Gardenhire said. "We're going to see where we're at and what we think of the guys we have first. And then, you know what, as we get along here in spring training, he'll get antsy. So we'll see what happens."

Thome's role likely would be limited to pinch-hitting duties on most days, since switch-hitter Ryan Doumit is the incumbent designated hitter. That sort of irregular work hasn't led to the best results for Thome lately. He is a .217 career hitter with five home runs in 163 pinch-hit appearances, went 2-for-18 last year, and is 5-for-31 with one homer and 21 strikeouts in the role over the past two years.

Italy can wait

Chris Colabello is batting .333 this spring with two doubles, and is making a good impression as he tries out for a backup role at first base. So while he is thrilled to play for Team Italy, his father's homeland and a country where he spent much of his childhood, he wanted to squeeze in a couple of more at-bats before he leaves for 10 days.

"I booked the latest flight I could, so I could try to play" in Sunday's game against Tampa Bay, Colabello said of his travel plans to Arizona, where the Italian team -- which also features Twins catcher Drew Butera and former Twins infielder Nick Punto -- will hold its first workout Monday. "But the latest I could get was 7 p.m."

Since the Twins played in Charlotte Sports Park, about a 45-minute drive away, Colabello eventually decided that extra innings, postgame traffic or a slow bus ride was too big a risk. He stayed in camp, passing up a chance for three more at-bats in front of Gardenhire.

Gardenhire was skeptical of Colabello's story, however, noting that the Twins were scheduled to face Cy Young Award winner David Price.

On deck

Cole De Vries, who won five games last year and has pitched two scoreless innings this spring, gets his first start of camp as the Twins face the St. Louis Cardinals in Jupiter, Fla.


  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


New England 14 3rd Qtr
Seattle 14
Miami 83 FINAL
Boston 75
LA Lakers 80 FINAL
New York 92
Arizona 3 FINAL
Montreal 2
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Nashville 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Miami-Florida 54 FINAL
Florida State 55
Oakland 96 FINAL
Youngstown St 80
Cincinnati 46 FINAL
East Carolina 50
Michigan 66 FINAL
Michigan State 76
Marist 75 FINAL
Canisius 67
Fordham 77 FINAL
Dayton 101
Manhattan 87 FINAL
Monmouth 76
Quinnipiac 100 FINAL
Niagara 105
Utah 67 FINAL
USC 39
Connecticut 68 FINAL
Houston 70
California 90 FINAL
Washington 88
North Dakota St 64 FINAL
Western Ill 62
Penn State 65 FINAL
(22) Rutgers 76
(14) Texas 59 FINAL
TCU 64
Coll of Charleston 49 FINAL
Towson 71
Cornell 53 FINAL
Yale 60
Xavier 68 FINAL
Providence 57
Drexel 61 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 44
Stony Brook 60 FINAL
New Hampshire 52
Maine 52 FINAL
Albany 44
Miami-Florida 66 FINAL
Pittsburgh 81
(21) Georgia 72 FINAL
(10) Kentucky 80
Arizona 69 FINAL
Colorado 81
Wake Forest 63 FINAL
(4) Notre Dame 92
Loyola-Chicago 56 FINAL
Illinois State 72
(24) Oklahoma 69 FINAL
West Virginia 78
St Johns 73 FINAL
Seton Hall 78
Delaware 73 FINAL
Hofstra 62
Binghamton 49 FINAL
UMass Lowell 66
Vermont 49 FINAL
Hartford 60
William & Mary 72 FINAL
Northeastern 66
Boston College 60 FINAL
(16) North Carolina 72
Virginia 77 FINAL
Clemson 72
(2) Connecticut 83 FINAL
Temple 49
Arkansas 53 FINAL
Alabama 42
Virginia Tech 71 FINAL
Georgia Tech 79
Kansas 58 FINAL
(3) Baylor 66
Canisius 51 FINAL
Rider 52
Monmouth 52 FINAL
Fairfield 54
Quinnipiac 81 FINAL
Saint Peters 50
Butler 55 FINAL
Creighton 62
Wichita State 61 FINAL
Drake 64
Evansville 52 FINAL
Indiana State 67
(18) Miss State 67 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
Villanova 47 FINAL
DePaul 49
Georgetown 73 FINAL
Marquette 80
North Texas 55 FINAL
Rice 58
Auburn 45 FINAL
(12) Texas A&M 78
(11) Arizona State 58 FINAL
Utah 48
Missouri State 56 FINAL
Northern Iowa 64
Michigan 60 FINAL
(15) Nebraska 75
Minnesota 49 FINAL
Northwestern 70
Wisconsin 73 FINAL
Illinois 62
Bradley 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 76
Florida 67 FINAL
Vanderbilt 58
(20) Iowa 88 FINAL
(5) Maryland 93
(1) South Carolina 77 FINAL
Ole Miss 59
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question