Cirillo missed three weeks in April after surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. But the infielder was bothered by his right knee recently and received a cortisone shot in it a week ago to reduce the inflammation. Gardenhire has been cautious in his use of Cirillo due to the health issues. But with a healthy Cirillo, Gardenhire said he wouldn't hesitate to use him at third more often."Cirillo's an option, always," Gardenhire said. "If it looks like Nick is fighting it, sure, we can use [Cirillo]. He's an option. But he has to be healthy." Memories of Shea: The structure of the Mets' new ballpark is beginning to take form right next to Shea Stadium. And one person paying particular attention to the new structure was Gardenhire. Gardenhire played five seasons with the Mets in the early '80s and has fond memories of playing in this stadium. He admitted that it's not quite in the same form of his playing days, and the skipper even joked about how the location of the stadium, near LaGuardia Airport, may have affected his career. "I think the airplanes made me make mistakes," Gardenhire said with a laugh. "I blame it on the planes for the errors that I made. I'm finally letting it out." Man of many streaks: Luis Castillo recently saw his errorless streak at second base come to an end, but he entered Monday's game with another impressive streak on his resume. Castillo has a 32-game hitting streak at Shea Stadium, a span that dates back to Sept. 2, 2001. According to Elias Sports Bureau, this is the longest hitting streak by any player in the history of Shea Stadium. Twins tidbits: Torii Hunter arrived at the ballpark on Monday afternoon to take part in early batting practice. The plan was to test his bruised left hand and make sure he could go. Everything went well, and Hunter was back in center field for the game. ... Joe Mauer was behind the plate for Monday night's game, and he's expected to catch all three games of the series. But Gardenhire said he's taking it on a day-to-day basis. ... The news of the Orioles' dismissal of manager Sam Perlozzo brought a bit of sadness to Gardenhire's office. Gardenhire was roommates with Perlozzo in '81 with the Mets Triple-A affiliate, and Perlozzo was even his manager when Gardenhire was sent back down to Triple-A by the Mets in '86. Down on the farm; The Class A Beloit Snappers clinched the Midwest League Western Division first-half title with a 44-26 record. The Midwest League All-Star Game is June 19 at Kane County. Coming up: The Twins will take on the Mets in Game 2 of the series on Tuesday in a 6:10 p.m. CT start. Santana (6-6, 3.19 ERA) will try to get his record back above the .500 mark as he faces off against Mets right-hander Jorge Sosa (6-2, 3.42).
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.