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Updated: September 5th, 2010 12:59pm
Notebook: Revere 'never in a million years' thought he would be called up

Notebook: Revere 'never in a million years' thought he would be called up

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Outfielder Ben Revere, recalled from Class-AA New Britain, entered the Minnesota Twins clubhouse just after 11:00 a.m. on Sunday with a massive grin as he greeted his teammates.

The 5-9, 175-pound Revere, who walked in with former general manager Terry Ryan, carried a bag on his shoulder that may have been twice his size.

After making a speedy return from a potential season-ending fracture to his orbital bone, Revere all of the sudden finds himself in the middle of the American League pennant race.

"I thought I would just go back home, get ready for the fall league, and hopefully do something in spring training next year," Revere said. "But I never in a million years thought that this would be happening right now.

Revere was told about the good news just before New Britain's game on Saturday night.

"I started stretching, getting ready to play the Trenton Thunder, and I'm about to get my glove and go out to the field, and all of the sudden (a clubhouse worker) grabs my jersey and says, 'Come here, I've got to talk to you,'" Revere said.

"So I start signing a ball for one of the bat boys, and (the clubhouse worker) yells at me, saying, 'Ben, get in here!' I thought I was in trouble. So he takes me into the office and tells me, 'You're going to the big leagues tomorrow.' My heart just dropped down."

Revere was hit in the face by a 95-mph fastball on August 3, and he was originally expected to miss the rest of the season.

"After I got hit in the face, I thought it was over, there and done," Revere said. "I thought my season was done from there from the start. My mom always said I was a fast healer, so luckily I healed up.

"They said four to six weeks, and they said I was done. I was like, 'all right,' but I kept icing it like four times a day, and the swelling just went down so quickly. And they started making me throw, play catch, hit in the cages and stuff."

Revere wore a protective batting helmet upon his return on August 27, and he tallied 13 hits in 34 at bats (.382) over the past week. For the season, Revere hit .305/.371/.363 with 36 stolen bases, 32 walks and just 41 strikeouts in 406 plate appearances at Double-A.

He spent most of hit time playing centerfield this season, but also dabbled in left. The Twins will use him as a pinch runner, defensive replacement and sparkplug, and he will also see a few at bats here and there. Of course, if Revere shows promise early, his playing time may increase.

Along with the arrival of Revere, however, comes the departure of right-hander Matt Fox, who the Twins designated for assignment before Sunday's game to make room on the 40-man roster for their new outfielder.

Fox allowed two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings, pitching on three days rest against the Rangers on Friday night. His performance helped the Twins to a much-needed victory.

It took extenuating circumstances for Fox to make his major league debut. Had the Twins not been forced to burn three starting pitchers on Thursday night, Fox likely never would have sniffed the big leagues this season or next.

But that didn't make the decision to send him on his way any easier.

"Tough to send a guy down that comes up and does something like that, but we had to do it because of the roster," Gardenhire said. "That's just the way it is. Sad, but also a great story with Fox. He did fantastic and really picked us up, and a pretty neat thing.

"It was good, because he's so appreciative of getting an opportunity, which is unbelievable. I mean, out of the blue he gets an opportunity to come in and pitch in the big leagues. But he does well, and it's hard for me to say, 'Now I got to send you out, and take you back off the roster.'

Gardenhire added, "I don't like that stuff at all. I like it when we welcome (players) here."

Fox quietly went around the clubhouse upon being given the news and shook hands with all of his teammates.

His performance will not go unremembered.

NOTES

* Gardenhire said the Twins are likely to call up another pitcher after Sunday's game, and possibly a couple more on Monday or Tuesday. Likely candidates include Pat Neshek, Glen Perkins and Anthony Slama.

* Jason Kubel (wrist) was back in the lineup on Sunday.

* INF Nick Punto was eligible to come off the disabled list on Sunday, but he is likely a week or so away from contributing extensively. Per Gardenhire, it's possible the team could activate Punto this week regardless, just in case they need him in a pinch.

* Third baseman Danny Valencia missed his second consecutive game with a tight hamstring. Gardenhire said Valencia feels 'OK' and the rest is simply precautionary.

* Last weekend, Gardenhire brought left-hander Brian Fuentes in with two outs and a 1-0 lead in the ninth inning against Seattle to retire left-hander Russell Branyan for the game's final out. Gardenhire said it's possible we could see Fuentes and Capps as interchangeable parts in save situations, depending on match-ups.

"You always like to have a guy go out and start (the ninth) and make his own mess," Gardenhire said. "With closers, it's easier that way for them. They start the inning, if they're going to make a mess, then let them do it themselves, rather than somebody else start it for them and they finish it.

"But I'm not afraid to go the other way. If it is a big left-hander that's dangerous, I'm not afraid to start Fuentes and then go to Capps for the next one at all. If that's the way it works out, it works out. I'm not ever going to say that's what I'm going to do every time."

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
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