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Minnesota Twins: Josh Willingham is left fielder, Ben Revere is fourth outfielder

This news story was published on March 25, 2012.
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John Shipley, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn. –

JUPITER, Fla. – One of the major questions of the Minnesota Twins’ spring was whether Josh Willingham would be comfortable in right field. That’s no longer an issue. Manager Ron Gardenhire said this morning, March 25, that Willingham is his starting left fielder.

“Let’s call Josh Willingham my left fielder,” Gardenhire said before Sunday afternoon’s game with the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

With Denard Span ensconced in center field, the only unsettled position is right field, where it appears to be a contest between Trevor Plouffe and Chris Parmelee. Ben Revere will be the fourth outfielder.

At TwinsFest at the end of January, Gardenhire made it clear Revere was his first choice at left; after four weeks in Florida, that changed, even though Revere entered Sunday’s game batting .324 in 14 games. But Revere has the weakest arm of the team’s outfielders, and as many times as he has looked brilliant in left, he has looked shaky. He has tracked down long flies with ease, and bobbled singles in front of him.

“You play people where you win,” Gardenhire said. “We’re just going to try to win. I thought Ben in left field sounded fine, but then you start seeing everything, and things start changing a little bit and I start moving them around. If he’s going to be a part-time starter, a part-time extra guy, you’ve got to be able to play them all.”

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