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Updated: November 9th, 2011 1:46pm
Notebook: 'No question' Span ready by April; Cuddyer visits Phillies

Notebook: 'No question' Span ready by April; Cuddyer visits Phillies

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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Audio Clip
11/8/2011
Span says he doesn't want Cuddyer and Kubel to leave Twins
Tom Pelissero gets player reaction to the Minnesota Twins naming Terry Ryan as their interim general manager from Twins outfielder Denard Span.
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The Minnesota Twins have almost no chance to return to relevance in 2012 if key pieces don't stay healthy.

One of those key pieces is outfielder Denard Span missed a total of 84 games last season with concussion- and whiplash-related symptoms -- symptoms that triggered issues similar to those that hindered him in 2009.

Span suffered a concussion in Kansas City in early June and missed two months before returning in early August, but was shut down for the season in mid-August due to continued fuzziness and spaciness, as he has described it.

Span spent the rest of the season just trying to string together a stretch of positive days with symptom-free workouts.

In an interview on 1500 ESPN's Tom Pelissero Show Tuesday, Span confirmed that he began offseason workouts last week -- a regimen that includes yoga, swinging off a tee and other activities.

"I feel good," Span said. "I'm just trying to prepare myself for spring training so that when I show up all that stuff is behind me so I can look forward and don't look back."

When asked if he expects to be in the lineup when the season begins in April, Span said, "No question about that. No question about that at all."

Span added that he currently has no appointments scheduled with head specialists or any other doctors.

"I've already been set up," he said. "I'm just doing certain exercises to help with that. Right now we're on the right track. So unless something else happens during my training to where I start to feel a certain way, everything else is fine."

After emerging as one of the league's best leadoff hitters in 2008 and 2009 with a .305/.390/.422 batting line in 1,087 plate appearances, Span has hit just .264/.330/.352 in 1,016 plate appearances over the last two years.

The Twins are hopeful a return to health will improve Span's production.

Cuddyer visits Philadelphia

Michael Cuddyer's flirtation with the Philadelphia Phillies has intensified.

According to multiple reports, the free-agent outfielder traveled to Philadelphia on Tuesday to visit with Phillies brass. CSNPhilly.com reports Cuddyer dined with Phillies front office members and toured Citizens Bank Park.

The Twins do have interest in retaining their clubhouse leader, but Cuddyer -- according to sources -- has every intention of exploring every opportunity.

Based on possible payroll limitations, the chances of the Twins re-signing Cuddyer are not great. But the door is still open.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Michael Cuddyer, Denard Span
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