FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Denard Span played a career-high 153 games in 2010 for the Minnesota Twins.
That was about nine too few for the centerfielder and probably 10 to 15 too many for Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.
Gardenhire says he thought Span wore down over the long season, but he just couldn’t afford to take his leadoff hitter out of the lineup. This year Jason Repko is in place from the start, and Gardenhire says he will spell Span more to keep him fresh down the stretch.
With Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Alexi Casilla this year, Gardenhire also thinks he has more options in the leadoff spot.
Span, of course, doesn’t think he needs any rest. He says he takes pride in being an everyday player. But his offensive production dipped across the board last year, including a batting average 47 points lower than in 2010.
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