Twins Wednesday: Fuld to begin rehab assignment soon
JUN 04, 2014 8:46p ET
Fuld hasn't played since May 7 when he suffered a concussion after slamming into the center-field wall at Target Field. He's since been slowly working his way back to participating in baseball activities. Fuld was on the field early Wednesday afternoon, doing a light workout with one of the team's trainers.
If all goes well, he could be heading out of town by Friday. Assistant general manager Rob Antony said Wednesday that Fuld will likely rehab with Double-A New Britain and could play in a game by Saturday.
"The last week or so, I haven't had any issues at all," Fuld said. "I started pushing myself more physically and as a result I actually feel better. I feel really good. I've been symptom-free for over a week. . . . I think the rough plan is to leave here Friday if everything continues to go well."
The Twins acquired Fuld off waivers from Oakland in mid-April, and he played just 13 games before his concussion sidelined him. In those 13 games, Fuld batted .250 with three RBI and six doubles. More importantly, he provided a backup option in center field with Aaron Hicks struggling offensively.
In Fuld's absence -- and as Hicks has continued to struggle -- Minnesota has had to figure out alternatives in center field. Recently, that's included putting infielder Danny Santana in center. While Santana played that position a bit in the low minor leagues, it's been a learning process for the 23-year-old rookie.
During the Twins' two-game series in Milwaukee, Santana had several throws from center field that missed the cutoff man by quite a bit. While Santana can make up for some things with his above-average speed, there are nuances to the new position that he's still picking up each time he's out there -- and he's starting in center field again Wednesday versus the Brewers.
"I'm not worried about him like I was earlier," manager Ron Gardenhire said of Santana. "There's still things that he's got to learn and still things that he's got to probably have a tough time with, balls straight over his head and stuff like that. But he's an athlete."
Wednesday is Santana's eighth start of the year in center field, and his third start there in as many days. By comparison, he's made just six starts at shortstop. Santana did play center field in 23 games in the minors, but not since playing just two games there in 2012 with High-A Fort Myers.
There will likely be more growing pains as Santana continues to learn on the job. But Gardenhire and the Twins have few other options right now than to give Santana the chance in center.
"He's a good athlete who's trying to learn a new positions, so he makes some mistakes, and he also makes some decent plays," Antony said. "Gardy really likes what he can bring to the table offensively and add a little spark to the lineup, a guy who can run. It's a work in progress."
Pelfrey to see Dr. Andrews: Twins right-hander Mike Pelfrey, currently on the 15-day disabled list, will see noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews on Monday in Pensacola, Fla., to get another opinion on his troublesome right elbow.
Pelfrey originally landed on the disabled list with a groin injury but has since had issues with his elbow. The 30-year-old Pelfrey has already had Tommy John surgery on that same elbow, but only recently expressed discomfort in the elbow again. He had an MRI on the elbow on Monday and saw Dr. Thomas Varecka on Tuesday.
"We're trying to figure out exactly what the situation is and what we need to do to fix it," Antony said. "I think it's something that he's felt and he's dealt with since spring training. He didn't say anything about it. He didn't think it was a big deal because when he said he had some tingling in his fingers, he said he had that before he had Tommy John, and he had it a lot. So he didn't think it was that big of a deal."
In his five starts before going on the disabled list, Pelfrey was 0-3 with a 7.99 ERA. Last season he went 5-13 with a 5.19 ERA in 29 starts with the Twins, his first season in Minnesota. The Twins signed him to a two-year, $11 million contract this past offseason.
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