Gardenhire plans to give Span more rest

Gardenhire plans to give Span more rest

Gardenhire plans to give Span more rest
BLAINE, Minn. -- One thing that Twins manager Ron Gardenhire would like to do this season is to give center fielder Denard Span more consistent breaks.

Last year, Span started in center for the club's first 62 games of the season. He did not get his first day off until June 13, when Michael Cuddyer made his only start in center field.

Gardenhire said this weekend that he would like to use backup outfielder Jason Repko to provide Span with more opportunities for a breather. It's something he tried to do after Repko arrived in the Majors in late June of last year.

"I can do a better job as a manager giving him breaks," Gardenhire said of Span. "I think he wore down at the end of the season. He had a lot of at-bats. He takes a lot of pitches, does a lot of things for his teammates and puts himself in a hole to make sure that they see pitches. He does his job. Now, it's my job to make sure I rest him a little bit more, and give him the breaks he needs to get the best out of him."

Span said that his approach to the season won't change, even if Gardenhire plans to give him a few more days off early in the year.

"I prepare myself mentally and physically during the offseason to play every day," Span said. "I think every player now and then wouldn't mind a breather. But I don't go into the season saying I want to play 150 games. I strive to play 162 games every year."