ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Steve Holm knows his role as a backup catcher better than most by now: Always be prepared for a callup, try not to get noticed when you get there.
That's the mantra the 31-year-old has lived by so far, and it has served him well. When starting catcher Joe Mauer was placed on the disabled list with a viral infection Thursday, retroactive to April 13, Holm was ready to hold things together behind the plate.
"We saw him in Spring Training, he handled our staff pretty well," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We worked really hard to tell him what he needs to do; he knows what he has to do out there. He actually swung the bat a lot better than we anticipated.
"He slapped the ball around, he has a pretty good plan at the plate, and has a little bit of strength, so we were excited to have him."
Holm joined the Twins from Triple-A Rochester on Friday, and entered as a defensive replacement in the top of the ninth inning. He was in the starting lineup on Saturday, and is expected to be used behind current catcher Drew Butera.
A 17th-round selection by the Giants in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft, Holm landed with Minnesota as a Minor League free agent in the 2010 offseason. He hit .400 this spring with the Twins (6-for-15), another reason Gardenhire and his staff took notice.
"He's got a little bit more offense than some of the other backups. He can swing it a little bit," Gardenhire said. "Not as powerful an arm as Drew, but he throws OK and he can receive the ball."
Having caught behind veteran Bengie Molina for a time with the Giants, Holm knows enough not to pressure himself to make up for Mauer's absence. What he's here to do, he said, is hold his own and keep things intact until Mauer's return.
"I think most people are realistic in knowing that no team has someone who's going to replace Joe Mauer," Holm said. "It's not like I'm trying to actually do that. ... You don't try to duplicate that.
"Like the old addage, you don't want to be noticed. You just want to do your job, and at the end of the day, don't do anything noticeable."