NEW YORK -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire held Danny Santana out of the lineup for precautionary reasons on Sunday, two days after he suffered a laceration above his left eye that required seven stitches.
Santana sustained the cut while sliding headfirst into third, as his own helmet came off while sliding and caused the cut. Santana was fitted for a new helmet on Saturday, and the swelling around his eye went down on Sunday.
But he still has the stitches above his eye, so Gardenhire opted to start Aaron Hicks in center field over Santana for the second straight day. Gardenhire said Santana could be ready to return on Monday, when the Twins head to Milwaukee to play the Brewers.
"He's available off the bench so to speak, but he still has stitches in his eye," Gardenhire said. "So if we run him out there and it opens back up, we could lose him for another day. So I'd rather give him another day and see what we got once we get to Milwaukee. Let it heal a little bit, because it's in a dangerous place in his eye."
Santana, though, said he did feel much better on Sunday, and said he'd be ready to play, if needed. He took batting practice before the game without any issues and said he has no vision problems.
"I can see OK," Santana said. "I can play. If Gardy needs me, I can hit."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.