MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins held a team meeting on Friday and decided that they will wear their 1961 cream-colored jerseys for all home games this season as a tribute to Harmon Killebrew, who announced on Friday that he has entered hospice care, with his battle against esophageal cancer nearing an end.
"We figured it would be good tribute to pay to him for the rest of the season," said Michael Cuddyer, who is the longest-tenured Twins player. "I've asked everybody and think everybody has complied that we'll wear these uniforms all season when we're at home."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was also happy about the decision, feeling it was a fitting tribute to Killebrew, whom many view as the face of the Twins franchise.
"I've got no problem with it," Gardenhire said. "I had other guys talk about that even beforehand, that they liked these hats and jerseys. So I have no problems with it all. I think it's wonderful, to tell you the truth."
Injured Repko, Thome not far from return
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins gave their usual roundup of injury updates before Saturday's game against the Blue Jays at Target Field.
Outfielder Jason Repko, who is on the disabled list with a strained right quad, played in his first rehab game on Saturday in extended spring camp at Fort Myers, Fla., and is scheduled to play again on Monday due to the extended club's scheduled off-day on Sunday.
Designated hitter Jim Thome is getting closer to joining Repko in a rehab game, having called Twins manager Ron Gardenhire on Saturday morning and said that his strained left oblique is feeling much better. Thome could play in extended spring games early next week.
"He had a good day swinging on the field with BP," Gardenhire said. "There's a possibility of him playing Monday and Tuesday. But we're trying to decide with the Interleague thing coming up [next weekend] against Arizona what's right. But as I told him this morning, I'd still rather have Jim Thome off the bench pinch-hitting instead of one of our young kid options."
Second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka, out with a fractured left fibula suffered on April 7, also continued his workouts in Fort Myers and is getting closer to playing in rehab games. Gardenhire added that Nishioka will likely have to play in at least 10 games to get ready and will also see time with Triple-A Rochester to see better pitching.
Catcher Joe Mauer resumed his workouts at Target Field on Saturday, but due to rainy weather, he didn't take batting practice, as he did prior to Friday's game. There's still no timetable for Mauer's return or when he'll head to Florida.
Nathan will share Twins' eighth-inning role
MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Joe Nathan has progressed enough in his recovery from last year's Tommy John surgery that Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he's planning to use Nathan as a setup man along with left-hander Glen Perkins as a bridge to closer Matt Capps.
"They're going to both be the eighth-inning guys," Gardenhire said. "We'll try to get through with those two. But hopefully, we get to the eighth inning because getting through the seventh has been entertaining."
Nathan pitched one inning -- the ninth -- in Friday's 2-0 loss to the Blue Jays and allowed a solo home run to Jose Bautista but also struck out two.
"When he was first out there, we were worried with the weather and the whole package to get really good and loose," Gardenhire said. "But he got through it. It wasn't the prettiest of innings, though. But he's had some good innings lately."
Nathan has looked much better in recent outings, having allowed just that one run over his last four innings with five strikeouts and just one walk. Gardenhire was also pleased with Nathan's slider and curveball on Friday but said he's still not comfortable using Nathan on back-to-back days.
Gardy sees value in Revere off bench
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire explained his rationale for keeping Ben Revere on the 25-man roster over Rene Tosoni when Delmon Young was activated from the disabled list on Friday.
Gardenhire said that Tosoni, who hit .171/.237/.257 with one homer in 13 games with the Twins, still needs work at Triple-A Rochester, while Revere's short swing and basestealing ability make him more appealing as a bench player.
"I want to see Tosoni swinging, and Revere can handle this a bit better," Gardenhire said. "He's a little more suited with his speed off the bench, and you can move him around. Tosoni put a good swing out there, but he still has things to learn."
Revere entered Saturday's game against the Blue Jays hitting .176 with no extra-base hits or walks and one stolen base in six games.