MINNEAPOLIS -- Outfield prospect Ben Revere thought that his season was over when a pitch hit near his right eye, fracturing an orbital bone, while he played for Double-A New Britain on Aug. 3. But just over a month later, Revere was standing inside the Twins clubhouse at Target Field on Sunday morning, sporting his infectious mile-wide smile and talking about how excited he is to be joining the club in the middle of a pennant race. After Revere was hit in the face by a 95-mph fastball, doctors told him that it would be four to six weeks before he would return to the field. But he made a faster-than-expected recovery, which allowed him to return to the field a little over three weeks later, on Aug. 27.
"My mom says I'm always a fast healer," Revere said with a laugh. "Luckily it healed up and I'm right here now. Hopefully I can help the team out, get a playoff spot and win a World Series." Revere wore a protective batting helmet upon his return, and he went 13-for-34 (.382) over the past week. For the season, he hit .305 with 36 stolen bases for the Rock Cats. Now the Twins' first-round pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft will give the big league club some depth in the outfield as well as some speed off the bench. Manager Ron Gardenhire had been lobbying for Revere based on the many tools they saw from the prospect during his first stint at big league camp this spring. "We know he can hit, run the ball down and run the bases," Gardenhire said. "He can help us. We need that extra outfielder right now. Again today I've got [Jason Kubel] as the designated hitter and all three outfielders out there. This gives me my extra outfielder in case I want to pinch-run for somebody or take someone out." Revere has primarily played center field this season, but Gardenhire said that they can move the 22-year-old around the outfield. Gardenhire mentioned that left field is the position where Revere seems most comfortable. In addition to the orbital fracture, Revere -- who will wear a helmet with a face guard -- has sustained a number of fluke injuries this year. He was hit in the knee by a pitch from teammate David Bromberg while standing in on a bullpen session, took a knee to the head while breaking up a double play and needed stitches after being spiked by a catcher while making a head-first slide into home plate. So he certainly is pleased to finish his season with a stint in Minnesota. "I thought I would just go back home, get ready for the fall league and hopefully do something in Spring Training next year," he said. "But I never in a million years thought that this would be happening right now."