Buried in this article on MLB.com about Jason Bartlett was a little blurb on Nick Punto.
As a reward for his inspired recent play, Nick Punto was back in the lineup Thursday at second base. Luis Rivas got a second consecutive day off.This is awesome. In the past, I have faulted Gardenhire for being too loyal to his players. Sticking with your guys through a slump is one thing, but when they are constantly underpreforming is another. I don't think Gardenhire is going to play Punto permanently. The club has too much interest in Rivas playing. They signed him to a $1.6 Million contract this offseason and they didn't give him that much to have him ride the pine. Punto is only making $325,000 this year.
"If a guy plays the way Nick has the last couple of days, I think he deserves to be back out there," Gardenhire said. "He has dropped down bunts, run the bases ... he's into the game out there and that's what we are looking for. I've said all along that Luis Rivas is my second baseman. I like Luis a lot. But right now, this guy (Punto) is playing better."
One of the great things about this is how Punto came to be a Twin. Punto was traded from the Phillies in the deal that sent Milton to Philadelphia for Carlos Silva. It was kind of the trade where Terry Ryan said "Hey, can we have that little guy over there, too?" and the Phillies were like "Punto? Yeah, sure, he's all yours." At least that's how the converstion went in my head. Milton has since moved on to Cincinnati, while Silva is now the Twins #3 guy and Punto is contributing regularly. Another great move by the organization.