Notes: White set to return after break
Perkins eyes a comeback; Garza not likely to see 'pen action
NEW YORK -- There has been much interest to see if the Twins will add another bat to their lineup to help the team make a possible second-half run.The club might be getting a big midseason acquisition -- and that comes in the return of Rondell White. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said on Monday that he expects White to rejoin the club right after the All-Star break. White was scheduled to play nine innings in left field on Monday night in Fort Myers, Fla. So far, everything has gone according to plan in White's current Minor League rehab stint. The plan now is to have White play with the Miracle through next Monday. Fort Myers has a day off on Tuesday, July 10, during the All-Star break, and if everything goes according to plan, White would then arrive in Minnesota to rejoin the club right after that. "He's going to have plenty of at-bats down there, so we'll make a decision then if he's ready," Gardenhire said. "But if he's ready to go, we'll take him." The other player the team is keeping an eye on is left-hander Glen Perkins. The Twins skipper said Perkins has been progressing well and could also be a factor in the second half. The big question remains as to whether the Twins will relegate Perkins back to a starting role or bring him back up to pitch out of the 'pen. "Right around the All-Star break or so, we should be making the decision on which way we are going with him," Gardenhire said. "I like the idea of extending him out and getting innings, since we already went to most of our starters in the Minor Leagues. I like the idea of making more starters. But he needs to pitch. After an injury like that, he'll need to get plenty of innings in." Twins general manager Terry Ryan said Perkins is still a bit of time away from being sent on a rehab start. Gardenhire felt Perkins made significant strides during his time in the Twins 'pen by developing his pitches. Those strides were a first step, and now if Perkins gets the chance to become a starter once again, Gardenhire hopes they can take advantage of those changes in the future. "I thought he learned a lot up here about using his breaking ball and sinker and everything," Gardenhire said. "That was really a bonus for him. Now we'll see if he can go and put that to use and develop them all even more. That would establish him as a possible starter up here again." Just a start? The Twins had yet to use Matt Garza out of the bullpen since he joined the club this past Friday. That is, until Monday night. Garza made his first relief appearance for the Twins, besides backing up starter Francisco Liriano last season, pitching two scoreless innings and allowing just two hits while striking out one. It was the first time Garza had pitched in a game since starting for Triple-A Rochester on June 26. Before Monday's game, Gardenhire said he didn't feel it was necessary to give Garza work before his spot start on Friday in the doubleheader vs. Chicago.
"We've thrown him out in the bullpen and touched him up here and there, so it's not necessary," Gardenhire said. "And I'm not going to force it."But considering the situation of the game, Gardenhire appeared fine to put Garza in to finish a 5-1 game. Back at third: Jeff Cirillo was slotted at third base on Monday night, in large part due to his previous success against Yankees starter Rogers Clemens. Coming into Monday night's game, the Twins roster was a combined 22-for-113 (.204) off Clemens. That includes Torii Hunter, who has never tallied a hit off the tough right-hander, going 0-for-22. Cirillo is one of the few hitters to have had success against Clemens, going 8-for-26.
Gardenhire said that while the club loses some range with Cirillo at third instead of Nick Punto, the presence he provides is just as good."He's a good fielder," Gardenhire said. "He's got great hands, obviously. And he's fine to catch the ball." Asked whether the game would stop if Hunter finally got his first hit off the veteran starter, Gardenhire just chuckled and shook his head. The skipper certainly knows it's frustrated Hunter not to have a hit off Clemens, as Hunter even joked he would lie to his grandkids and say that he did indeed have one. "If Torii gets a hit, he might just stop the game," Gardenhire laughed. Twins tidbits: Jesse Crain was in the visiting clubhouse on Monday, visiting with his teammates. The right-hander was in town for the day for a check-up appointment with Dr. David Altcheck, who performed the surgery on his right shoulder to repair a torn rotator cuff and torn labrum. ... The Twins' shutout on Sunday was the sixth time the team has been held scoreless this season. In '06, the Twins tied a club record by getting shut out 14 times. Down on the farm: Jason Miller gave up two runs over five innings, but it was Bobby Korecky who suffered his third blown save of the season and took the loss as Triple-A Rochester was defeated by Buffalo, 8-7, in 10 innings on Sunday. ... Brock Peterson tallied six RBIs as part of a 3-for-5 day at the plate in Double-A New Britain's 10-9 victory at Reading. Peterson hit two doubles on the day and belted his 11th home run of the season. ... Jay Rainville gave up three runs over six innings as Class A Fort Myers lost to Lakeland, 3-2. ... Wilson Ramos' solo home run in the first inning was all the scoring Class A Beloit needed, as the club captured a 1-0 victory over Clinton. Coming up: The Twins and Yankees will meet for Game 2 of the four-game set on Tuesday night in a 6:05 p.m. CT start. Twins right-hander Carlos Silva (6-8, 4.15) will go for his 10th quality start of the season as he faces off against Yankees right-hander Chien-Ming Wang (7-4, 3.86).
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.