Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Denard Span Set To Begin Rehab Assignment

Despite missing the past month and a half with a concussion Denard Span has still been the Twins team leader in WAR. The fact that he was able to accumulate 2.7 WAR in just over two months of play was remarkable and meant that when he went down, the Twins were left with a massive void in center field to try and fill.

Thankfully for the Twins rookie Ben Revere stepped up and capably filled his shoes, posting a .275 batting average (empty though it may have been) while playing electrifying defense in center field, and causing havoc on the bases - showing why he's been such a highly regarded prospect for so long now.

Now Span is ready to begin a rehab assignment, and given that he's missed so much time it's likely the stint will be somewhat lengthy. Twins fans could expect him to play at least a week of games before actually returning to the team. Even then it's likely that he'll have some rust to shake off.

Regardless, getting a player of Span's caliber back at the top of the lineup where his .750 OPS and .361 OBP can help load the bases for Joe Mauer and Co..

What'll be interesting to see is precisely how Manager Ron Gardenhire decides to go about balancing both his bevy of outfielders, as well as his lineups. For now it would seem that the plan would be for Delmon Young, who is set to return tomorrow, to stay in left, Revere to remain in center, and for Span to slide over to right while Michael Cuddyer mans first base.

Who will bat second is still up in the air however. Alexi Casilla has a slightly better OBP than Revere, but Gardy seems to really like Revere's presence at the top of the order, and his elite contact skills would fit Gardy's small-ball style perfectly.

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