Gardenhire gets Santana in the mix at shortstop

Gardenhire gets Santana in the mix at shortstop

SAN DIEGO -- Shortstop Danny Santana remains one of the Twins' top prospects, so Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is trying to find him playing time despite the fact that starting shortstop Eduardo Escobar has been swinging a hot bat this month.

Santana, ranked as the club's No. 10 prospect by MLB.com, got the start against the Padres on Wednesday night. It was just the third start at shortstop for Santana dating back to May 11.

"He's fine," Gardenhire said. "When you have this many days off, you just want to try to mix people in and try to give them something. We don't want that kid up here on the bench sitting."

Santana hasn't been helped by the fact the Twins have had several off-days recently, including on Monday, and another one coming up Thursday. But Gardenhire said he's trying to make sure Santana is getting enough playing time so that it doesn't hinder the 23-year-old's development.

"I don't think we're too worried about that right now as long as he's still getting playing time," Gardenhire said. "If he was sitting on the bench for weeks not playing, that would be ridiculous. But he's getting playing time, and he's going to get playing time."

Gardenhire, though, said Escobar will remain his starting shortstop, as Escobar is hitting .337/.362/.506 with a homer and 12 doubles in 31 games this season.

"He's our starting shortstop," Gardenhire said. "We'll mix in the other guys. And I have no problem with that whatsoever."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @ This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.