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Notes: Gardenhire has All-Star plans

Notes: Gardenhire has All-Star plans

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland made Ron Gardenhire an offer he couldn't refuse.

"He asked me to go the All-Star Game," Gardenhire said of Leyland. "What do you say, 'No?' It's the All-Star Game."

The offer to serve as one of Leyland's assistant coaches came a couple of weeks ago, and Gardenhire said it wasn't an offer that he'd been necessarily expecting.

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"He called me up, and that was neat," Gardenhire said.

A year ago, he spent the All-Star break relaxing and fishing with a few of his friends, and he'd been planning to do the same thing this summer. Leyland's offer, however, has altered those plans.

Gardenhire said his friends will have to get along with him.

"I like my days off -- believe me," he said. "But it's an honor."

Ailing infielder: Gardenhire said Alejandro Machado, whom the Twins had penciled in as their backup shortstop, will seek a second opinion after he was diagnosed with a "slight tear" in his labrum. An initial MRI didn't uncover the problem, but further medical tests disclosed the tear.

Machado's tear will require surgery or extended rest. Neither is a choice is particularly appealing to the Twins at this point.

"But it's gotta be fixed -- some way or the other," Gardenhire said of Machado's injury.

Plan B: With Machado out of the shortstop mix, Gardenhire said he's not planning to look at options outside the players already in Twins camp.

During the season, Jason Bartlett, of course, will get nearly all the work at shortstop this season, but Gardenhire said he has to find a capable replacement for the role that Machado would have played.

"I'm gonna start moving some people out at shortstop," Gardenhire said. "We're gonna move 'em around and see what we have and what we like. We have no plans, right now, to go out and get somebody.

"If it looks like something we'll have to do here in the next 10 days, we'll do it."

In the coming days, he said he'll use Jeff Cirillo and Luis Rodriguez at shortstop. Both have been taking ground balls at short. Gardenhire said he'll eventually tell Nick Punto to field some balls at short as well.

And the question is ... Every Twins fan knows that Johan Santana was the franchise's last pitcher to win the Cy Young Award, but who was the first Twins pitcher to win the award? [See answer below]

Did you know: What kind of hitter was Rod Carew? Check out what his bio says on the official Hall of Fame site: "Rod Carew lined, chopped and bunted his way to 3,053 career hits. His seven batting titles are surpassed only by Ty Cobb, Tony Gwynn and Honus Wagner, and equaled only by Rogers Hornsby and Stan Musial." As a side note, Carew was named to the All-Star team 18 times.

Twins tidbits: Infielder Nick Punto tweaked a groin in Tuesday's game against the Red Sox, and he's listed as day-to-day. The Twins have 42 players in camp, a total that includes nine non-roster players. ... In their nine games at home, the Twins have drawn 74,597 fans. ... The Twins have six consecutive seasons in which they have finished the Grapefruit League season with a .500-or-better record. ... Santana, Ramon Ortiz and Boof Bonser rank third, fourth and fifth in ERA among pitchers in the Grapefruit League.

Minor outing: Ortiz threw earlier Tuesday in a Minor League game, and Gardenhire said the outing went fine.

"He got his work in," Gardenhire said of Ortiz. "He got all of his pitches in four innings, and I don't know how many pitches, probably close to 50 or 60."

The answer is ... In 1970, right-hander Jim Perry, then 34, posted a 24-12 record en route to winning the Cy Young. His brother, Gaylord, won Cy Young awards in 1972 and 1978 during his Hall-of-Fame career.

Quotable: "We've seen some great teams that are just totally offensive bombs, but for the most part, I think if you don't catch the ball, it eventually gets you in the end. I think that probably says the most: If you don't catch the ball, it'll eventually get you in the end. That's why we keep preaching that." -- Gardenhire, on the importance of defense

Up next: Right-hander Sidney Ponson will start Wednesday for the Twins, who take on the visiting Reds at Hammond Stadium at 12:05 p.m. CT in Fort Myers, Fla. Ponson faces Reds left-hander Eric Milton, a former Twins pitcher.

Justice B. Hill is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"content":["spring_training" ] }
{"content":["spring_training" ] }