Notes: Sierra expects to contribute

Notes: Sierra expects to contribute

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Talk to Ruben Sierra for a few minutes and you get the idea this 40-year-old outfielder has been sipping from the Fountain of Youth.

With more than 16 years of service time on his Major League resume, Sierra reported to Twins camp on Friday and expressed the enthusiasm of a rookie.

"I can still hit, I can still do it," Sierra said. "I don't feel my age."

The Twins, searching for the proper blend of youth and experience, feel Sierra can aid the club both on the field and in the clubhouse.

"A presence like his can only help," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's a pretty classy man. We've always watched him and enjoyed the way he has played the game. We would expect him to come over and get some hits off the bench for us and do some spot playing."

If the young hitters need some advice from a veteran player, Sierra has expressed that he's willing to help in a mentor role as well.

"He told me he's willing to do whatever it takes to help us win," Gardenhire said.

Sierra said he's still open to the possibility of playing for Puerto Rico in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, but prefers to stay in Twins camp if he's not going to get regular work in the Classic.

Speed to burn: If non-roster invite Andres Torres performs as well for the Twins in Spring Training as he performed in the Rangers' camp last year, Minnesota officials will be in for a treat.

A diminutive center fielder with dazzling speed, Torres came close to making the Texas 25-man roster out of Spring Training. He hit .314 in 51 at-bats with five triples, 18 runs scored, 10 stolen bases and a couple of spectacular defensive plays.

The Rangers wound up sending Torres to Triple-A Oklahoma and shoulder and groin injuries ruined his season. But now Torres is healthy again and ready to make an impression.

"I want to have another strong spring and then carry it on through the season," Torres said. "When you get hurt, there's nothing you can do. But I'm 100 percent now and I think my speed is an element the Twins will really like. I'm also driving the ball a lot better than I did earlier in my career."

Two to go: With Sierra and Tony Batista reporting on Friday, the Twins need only Luis Castillo and Shannon Stewart to have a full house.

"Those two guys, I'm not really worried about," Gardenhire said. "They're pretty professional about what they do."

Around the horn: Because of the World Baseball Classic trickle-down effect, the Twins are bringing another pitcher to Major League camp. Left-hander Jason Miller, who played in the Eastern League All-Star Game last year, is the latest Minor Leaguer to get a reinforcement call. He went 2-0 with a 3.81 ERA for Rochester in 2005. Miller, a fourth-round draft pick in 2000, resides in nearby Sarasota ... The Twins will hold their first full-squad workout on Saturday. Forecasts call for the chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday, but Gardenhire said his club will simply work around the elements. "We'll have a little 'pump-'em-up' meeting and then go play baseball," Gardenhire said. "We'll be putting in the whole defensive package. That's where it's fun for me."

Robert Falkoff is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.