MINNEAPOLIS — With outfielder Josh Willingham set to go on paternity leave Wednesday as he and his wife, Ginger, prepare to have their third child, the Minnesota Twins will call up outfielder Ben Revere to temporarily take Willingham’s place.
Revere was on the Twins’ Opening Day roster but was optioned to Triple-A Rochester on April 14. In six games with the Red Wings since being sent down, Revere is batting .222 (6-for-27) with an RBI.
“He’s been playing pretty decent down there. I’ve been watching. He’s a sparkplug type of guy,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Tuesday. “I’ll probably bring him up here and just stick him out there and let him go, see what he does. We know what Ben can do.”
Willingham, who has been one of the Twins’ hottest hitters to start the season, can be gone on paternity leave for up to three days. The Twins have an off-day Thursday before hosting the Kansas City Royals this weekend. It remains to be seen when Willingham will return, but he will for sure miss Wednesday’s game.
Gardenhire said Monday that there’s a chance Willingham could be back in time for Friday’s game.
While he was on the major league roster this season, Revere didn’t see much playing time. He had just 11 at-bats in four games, picking up two hits. The demotion to Rochester has let him play on a more consistent basis.
“We’ve always said, when you go down you can either sulk and whine and complain about it, or you can go down and do your work. Ben went down and did his work, which I thought he would,” Gardenhire said. “As he told me, he’s going to make the best of it. It’s an opportunity to get at-bats and get some swings and get on the field every day. He was tired of sitting up here, anyway. That’s the attitude you need to be successful.”