Gardenhire said the news was, of course, disappointing to Garza, but that the 23-year-old pitcher also agreed with some of the team's assessment."He understands what we're talking about, but he wants to be in the big leagues," Gardenhire said. "He said, 'It won't take me long. Just keep your eyes on me.' That type of thing, and that's what we plan on doing, believe me." The exact order of the rotation has yet to be set, but the signs appear to point at Silva being slotted in the fifth spot. Gardenhire has already let it be known the plan is to keep Santana on his normal five-day schedule at the start of the year. With two off-days during the first three weeks of the season, that would mean the team's fifth starter is expected to get just one start over the span. And that start would come April 11, meaning, Silva could have some time to work on the sinker he has been missing since his promising '05 season. The Twins selected to pick up Silva's $4.35 option this offseason with the feeling he could provide some of the veteran leadership in the rotation that was lacking. Hope remains he can do that, but it's clear Silva's rough performance this spring hasn't gone unnoticed. Now it comes down to what he will do once in the rotation, even if it's in a limited role. "Whether he does fantastic down here or he has a poor spring, it doesn't have any effect on what he's going to do in April," Ryan said of Silva. "I'm not making excuses and I'm not predicting anything other than the fact that things change when the bell rings [for the opening of the season]. So let's see how things play themselves out once we play the meaningful games in April." Exactly how much time the Twins will give Silva isn't exactly known, but it seems clear that they aren't going to rely on any pitcher that's struggling. And with the plan in place to stretch Garza out in the coming days in a starting role with Rochester, there is the feeling that his return could be sooner rather than later. "We're going to try to give Garza a little time here to get a better feel for it and get some innings built up," Gardenhire said. "Then we'll see where we're at here after a couple weeks; three weeks, whatever."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.