Twins’ middle infield likely to be manned from within

Published 10:21 am Thursday, December 6, 2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Minnesota Twins’ middle infield is unsettled for next season, but general manager Terry Ryan said he plans to staff the shortstop and second-base positions with a host of internal candidates competing for jobs.
Jamey Carroll returns in the last year of his contract, and Brian Dozier could get another look at either second base or shortstop.

— the Twins hope his struggles in his rookie season will make Dozier better in 2013. Eduardo Escobar and Pedro Florimon also could compete for time.

“We’re open (to add a middle infielder), but I’m not going to tell you that’s our main priority,” Ryan said. “We’re looking for pitching. The dollars we set aside for free agents is for pitching.”

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Manager Ron Gardenhire said he hopes the Twins add a player to give their current middle infielders more competition; he would prefer to use Carroll in a utility role rather than making him an everyday starter.

“I think a better situation with him would be spot-playing here and there and not beat him up,” Gardenhire said. “But he’s also a gamer; he likes to be out there.”