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Continued: Twins notes: Players express interest in Japan tour

One way it would be easier to pull Santana out of center field would be if Aaron Hicks was back with the team.

Hicks was batting .375 through eight games at Class AAA Rochester since being promoted from Class AA New Britain, and it seems as if it’s a matter of time before the Twins give him another look to see if he can handle major league pitching.

“He’s playing very well,” Gardenhire said of Hicks. “He’s hitting well in Triple-A. He hit well in Double-A. He’s doing exactly what he’s supposed to be doing. He was sent down there to find himself and find his swing and get some confidence. And he’s doing everything you can ask. That will be an organization decision if he comes back up here.”

Swarzak fine

There was some concern that reliever Anthony Swarzak would land on the disabled list because of a left ankle sprain after he twisted it just after throwing the final pitch of Tuesday’s game against Houston.

But Swarzak took a fitness test on Friday, including running off the mound to cover first base, and was cleared to play.

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