Ramirez's hard work pays off with roster spot

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- General manager Terry Ryan was pleased when he looked at Friday's starting lineup and saw Wilkin Ramirez in center field.

"He may have to do that," Ryan predicted, although the Twins see Ramirez primarily as a corner outfielder.

Ramirez, a non-roster invitee who made the team as an extra outfielder and pinch-hitter by batting .415 with a team-high 10 doubles, five RBIs and nine runs scored in 18 games, has been one of the Twins' pleasant surprises this spring.

The Twins have until Sunday to make room on their 40-man roster for the 27-year-old outfielder, although the Blue Jays solved that problem Friday when they claimed right-hander Alex Burnett off waivers.

Ramirez, who made his professional debut in the Tigers' organization in 2003 at the age of 17, last appeared in a Major League game with the Braves on July 27, 2011.

Jim Hawkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.