"He made a great play to start off with," Gardenhire said. "As we see, he's got a cannon, can throw the baseball, but we've known those things. Santana's a nice-looking young player."
• With Mauer out of the lineup this week, Gardenhire has turned to Sam Fuld to hit out of the two-hole.
Fuld's results have been somewhat mixed, but he had two hits and a stolen base in Monday's win.
"I don't think he's the prototype, but he's fast," Gardenhire said. "He can hook a ball. If [leadoff man Brian] Dozier gets on, with a man on on first, he can hook a ball through a hole. We've seen him do that.
Were it not Fuld, Gardenhire said he'd have moved Kurt Suzuki out of the heart of the order, something he hopes to avoid.
"Right now, I see Suzuki down there coming up in a lot of good spots to hit and drive in runs, so why mess with that," Gardenhire said. "He'd be my next option."
• Mike Pelfrey, who missed his start Tuesday after suffering a strained groin, will throw another bullpen session Thursday, and he continues to show progress.
• Aaron Hicks, who can return from the seven-day concussion disabled list Friday, swung at live pitching Wednesday and had a good lower-body workout.
• Josh Willingham, on the disabled list with an injured left wrist, felt good Wednesday after taking 20 swings and doing 20 flip drills.
Stephen Ellsesser is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.