Span activated from disabled list
Outfielder hit by pitch in rehab game but feels healthy
MILWAUKEE -- Denard Span hadn't forgotten what happened to Michael Cuddyer last season when the outfielder broke his foot during his final rehab game with Triple-A Rochester.
So when Span was hit by a pitch on Tuesday night in his second -- and final -- rehab game with Rochester, his mind couldn't help but think of how Cuddyer's comeback was halted."You've got to be kidding me," Span thought when he got hit. Fortunately for Span, his injury wasn't nearly as bad as Cuddyer's. Span suffered a bruised left palm after being hit by the pitch, but he took his base and even stole second during the inning. Span's hand stiffened up after he played defense in the top of the sixth inning of the contest and, following a talk with Rochester trainer Tony Leo, Span decided that it was best to call it a night. "I think I proved what I need to prove going to Rochester," Span said. "That was enough. It was like, get me out of here alive and on that plane. I was able to survive Rochester. Cuddy didn't make it out, but I made it out alive this year. ... I don't know what it is about Rochester. I'm just happy to be here today." Span arrived in Milwaukee on Wednesday morning to rejoin the Twins. His palm and left thumb were still a little swollen and sore the day after getting hit. The outfielder took some swings off a tee and took batting practice to make sure he would be ready to be activated on Thursday. Everything seemed to go all right as, after Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Brewers, the Twins activated Span from the disabled list and outrighted outfielder Jason Pridie to Rochester to make room for Span on the roster. The good news for Span over the game and a half that he played with Rochester was that he had no recurrences of the dizzy spells that have plagued him on and off for the past month. Span, who was diagnosed with vestibular neuritis, is done taking the medication to treat the inner ear infection that was causing his dizziness. Now, Span said, he feels ready to get back on the field again. "I'm just hoping this is behind me and I can finish the season off as myself with no more dizziness and nothing like that," Span said. "I just want to move forward. Hopefully I don't have to come out of any more games for this reason." While they get Span back, the Twins will be short one player on Thursday as Nick Punto is headed back to Minnesota to get a precautionary MRI on his rib cage. Punto has been battling soreness in his ribs since diving headfirst into first base in Saturday night's contest against the Astros. He started Tuesday's game at Milwaukee but left in the seventh inning due to what trainers called cramping in his rib cage and was unavailable for Wednesday night's contest due to his sore ribs. "We'll get an MRI and whatever else they have to do to see what's wrong," Gardenhire said. "He's definitely hurting, and we'll have to see what they say."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.