Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Span's first test: Ervin Santana

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage, Twins offense Updated: August 2, 2011 - 1:41 PM

ANAHEIM, CALIF. -- Denard Span made it clear how he felt about the recent trade rumors and about sticking in center field on Sunday night, as he prepared to come off the disabled list tonight against the Angels.

Now the question is, how productive will Span be after missing two months with a concussion? Span batted .205 (8-for-39) with no walks in 10 games with Class AAA Rochester. He went 1-for-5 Sunday and made a real nice play in center field.

He'll be thrown right into the fire, leading off against Angels righthander Ervin Santana, who tossed a no-hitter last Wednesday against Cleveland. For his career against Santana, Span is 4-for-13 with no walks.

"I’m very confident that once I get to that setting and atmosphere, once those lights come on, that I’m going to be there," Span said. "Defensively, I felt good the last three or four games, with my jumps and my reads.

"Offensively, I hit .200, but I had good at-bats. That was the main thing. My timing isn’t where it was before I got hurt. Before I got hurt, I felt like I was just starting to get into a groove. I think I’m not far away from where I need to be offensively."

The quicker Span regains his form the better the Twins will be. I'll check in later with the starting lineups from Angel Stadium.

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