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Updated: August 5th, 2011 6:28pm
Notebook: Span glued to internet before deadline; Casilla back soon?

Notebook: Span glued to internet before deadline; Casilla back soon?

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Twins outfielder Denard Span walked into the Target Field clubhouse Friday for the first time in three weeks -- a place he wasn't sure he'd visit again as he sweated trade speculation last week.

"I had mixed feelings," Span said about trade rumors that centered around the Twins sending the 27-year-old to the Washington Nationals for a package involving closer Drew Storen.

"I'd probably say within a week, one day I'd be like, 'Oh my god, I can't believe what's happening,' and the next day I'd be like, 'You know what, whatever's going to happen is going to happen.' Then the next day I'd be like, 'Maybe it is time for me to turn the page in my career, whatever. Maybe it might be a good thing.'

"I tried to think positive about it. The next day I'd be like, 'I don't want to leave Minnesota, because it's all I know.' ... It'd be like leaving home for the first time."

Span was wrapping up a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester last weekend as the trade deadline approached Sunday afternoon. He spent a considerable amount of time over the weekend interacting with fans via Twitter and following trade speculation on the internet.

"I think the actual day of the deadline was probably my best day," said Span, who was given a day off Friday after enduring a red-eye flight from Los Angeles.

"I was reading a lot of stuff on Twitter and online, but that's probably the least amount I actually went on the internet and social media stuff, as far as checking to see what was going on ... I'm a Christian, so I kind of just said, 'I'm going to put all this in god's hands, and whatever happens happens. He has a plan, and I believe I'm here for a reason.'"

But once the 4 p.m. eastern deadline hit, Span couldn't resist refreshing Twitter again.

"I was, I'm not going to lie," he said. "I was just trying to see what's going on. It got to be 4:02, and I text my agent, 'Is it officially over?" He was like, 'Yeah, but I've seen in the past a couple times where it was submitted at 4 and you don't find out until 5 or 5:30, like with Jason Bay.'"

In three games since returning, Span is 1-for-12 (.083) with a walk and four strikeouts.

Casilla back when eligible?

When infielder Alexi Casilla landed on the 15-day disabled list July 28 with a pulled hamstring, it was thought he might miss more than those two weeks.

But Casilla was spotted fielding grounders during batting practice Friday without much trouble, and it's possible he could be ready to return to action when eligible -- or shortly after -- on August 12.

"He feels really good," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Alexi says he feels not much in his leg. We'll just have to wait. If everything keeps going like it is, he should be available probably pretty close to his date, unless he has a setback."

Casilla was hitting .259/.322/.369 on the season before landing on the DL, but he's been one of the Twins' most consistent hitters since May 15, posting a .288/.352/.408 batting line with 12 stolen bases in 274 plate appearances.

In Casilla's place, the Twins have used Trevor Plouffe, Matt Tolbert and Michael Cuddyer, whose fielding gaffe in the second inning Thursday helped lead to the first two Angel runs.

Quick hits

• Regarding Span getting Friday night off, Gardenhire said "(We'll) try to do the right thing with him, make sure he's OK, go day-to-day and go from there." Span, who missed two months with a concussion, downplayed the off day, saying he hoped to be back in the lineup Saturday.

Joe Mauer played first base in Anaheim on Thursday, and he'll stay there Friday and Saturday as well. Gardenhire said Mauer is "a little beat up, a little sore," but is healthy enough to at least remain in the lineup.

• First baseman Justin Morneau was scheduled to play seven innings for Triple-A Rochester in his first rehab game Friday night, but could play all nine innings if he feels up to it.

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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