Spring Training Quick Hits: March 16

In this edition of Quick Hits, Doug Deeds makes his first impression a good one, Matt Garza gets a start, and an old legend returned to the clubhouse.

Harmon Killebrew made his first appearance in Twins camp Wednesday, donning his famous No. 3 jersey for the first time in years to work as a special instructor.

Killebrew, a Hall of Famer with 573 career home runs, is scheduled to work with some of the young hitters for about a week.

"I don't want our young players to forget where this game's been," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "You should always know why you're here."

"It's pretty special, to tell you the truth, to have Harmon Killebrew down here. I know the fans come down from Minnesota to see their heroes, and I know they love that."

NOTES, QUOTES:

  • When Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew made his entrance into the clubhouse Wednesday morning in full uniform, he not only attracted the attention of awestruck younger players but also the attention of CF Torii Hunter, who knows him well. Hunter chided Killebrew for the throwback style of wearing his uniform pants, showing the colored stirrup socks. Hunter then reached down and pulled Killebrew's pant legs down to his shoe tops. "Now that looks good," Hunter said.

  • RHP Matt Garza, the Twins' top draft pick last June, continued to impress the Twins on Wednesday. Despite allowing three hits and two walks in two innings against Pittsburgh, he kept his poise well enough to get out of jams in both innings. Garza only got an invitation to camp after the Twins decided they needed more pitchers to compensate for veterans pitching in the World Baseball Classic. He has a 1.23 ERA in four appearances this spring (7 1/3 innings). "He was ready," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He stepped into a good situation. It was fun to see."

  • RHP Juan Rincon said the muscles around his surgically repaired pitching elbow felt fine Wednesday, the day after he mixed curveballs into a side throwing session. He's scheduled to throw more intensely Thursday in anticipation of a simulated game next week. Rincon has yet to pitch in a game this spring because of discomfort.

  • The Twins continue to look at pinch-hit specialist Ruben Sierra as a backup first baseman. He took grounders there again Wednesday. On Thursday, Sierra hit his first home run of the spring.

  • LF Shannon Stewart hit his first home run of the spring Wednesday and is hitting .312 for the spring.

  • DH Rondell White hit his second homer Wednesday in a 1-for-3 game and is hitting .385 in his first spring with the Twins.

  • Doug Deeds made his first at-bat in Big League camp a special one, as he hit a home run against the Red Sox on Thursday. Deeds is slated to begin the year in Rochester.
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