Whichever way the Twins choose to go with that spot, it's pretty clear that Gardenhire is looking for a player who can be versatile. So it's understandable that Buscher has taken every little opportunity to add to his skills that the Twins will give him."The more positions you can learn, the more value you have as a player," Buscher said. "So I think it can only help me." Adding defensive positions seems like a far cry from the situation Buscher found himself in when he was called up to the Twins last season. By hitting .244 over 33 games with the Twins last season after being called up in late July, Buscher intrigued the club. But his defense left a little to be desired. "When he came up, we thought he was a little flat-footed, he was a little nervous and the whole package," Gardenhire said. "We did a lot of work with him." The Twins' coaching staff spent hours with Buscher during every series -- home or away -- trying to help him shore up his defense. It was an effort to see if he could carry it over into this spring. And when Buscher arrived this spring, the Twins were more than impressed by what they saw. Not only was Buscher in even better shape than he had been in last season, he arrived having drastically improved his defense through some extra work this offseason. The Twins' coaching staff noticed another big difference in Buscher. They say he seems more relaxed and comfortable at this level. He's also been one of the first players to arrive in the clubhouse every morning. He and Justin Morneau have been among the first players in the cages and in the weight room. That work ethic, along with his production on the field, have turned Buscher into a force to be reckoned with this spring. And according to Buscher, it's all a result of having experienced a small taste of the big leagues last season and not wanting to give up the opportunity to return. "The alarm goes off now every morning, and it's not, 'Oh, I have to go back to the field again,'" Buscher said. "It's a feeling now of, 'I've got to go win a position.'"
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.