TORONTO -- He wouldn't give it away with his body language, but Twins manager Ron Gardenhire had all the reason in the world to smile prior to Monday's contest against the Blue Jays. He was one step closer to coaching his son, Toby.
Toby, who was drafted by the Twins in the 41st round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, was promoted to Triple-A Rochester on Sunday.
"I'm happy for him, excited for him, pumped -- that's a huge step," Gardenhire said. "He works very hard and he's a good kid. He can do a lot of things on a baseball field."
Gardenhire heard about his son's promotion not from the organization, but rather from his wife, Carol.
"Kind of out of the blue," he said jokingly of the unexpected notification. "I didn't know anything about it and still haven't received any calls from anybody in the organization other than my wife."
Despite being the son of a Major Leage manager, Gardenhire said Toby is "just like every other player."
"You have to be in the right place at the right time and you have to be doing well," Gardenhire said about making it to the show. "Somebody has to say this kid deserves to go to the big leagues. It can't be me. I'm up here and they're the ones down there. I don't control any of that."
Over three seasons with Double-A New Britain, Toby hit a collective .257 with 43 RBIs. He will round out a trio of catchers at Rochester, including Jose Morales and Wilson Ramos.
What else did Gardenhire have to say about his son's promotion?
"It makes me think he may have got a raise going to Triple-A, so he can pay me back money."
Twins take pride building from within
TORONTO -- The Twins may never be able to match the spending of the Yankees or Red Sox, but that certainly doesn't mean they won't be competing with them come September.
For manager Ron Gardenhire, the Twins are building a competitor the best way they can -- from within.
"It's not like we really went out and blasted the free-agent market," Gardenhire said. "I think we'll always be one of those clubs that watch what we do and don't get too crazy. I don't think that's ever going to change."
Gardenhire insisted that the key for the Twins has always lied in the recruitment and development of young talent.
"We're still a huge developing team," he said. "There has been a number of times we could have traded all our top prospects to get people, and we just don't.
"Our strength is our system -- drafting players and developing them with a good Minor League system, and then using those players to help you in the big leagues."
What separates the Twins from other small-market teams who have adopted this "ground up" philosophy is their willingness re-sign talent and maintain clubhouse continuity. Gardenhire stressed how important it is for players to evolve as a group.
"Keeping the guys that we have, that's very important," Gardenhire said. "You get better and stronger as you go along -- when you're able to keep your people, and they can play more and more years together.
"Rather than the Torii Hunters and the [Johan] Santanas that left because we couldn't afford the contracts, we've actually been able to keep our people that we've built here: the [Joe] Mauers, the [Justin] Morneaus, the [Michael] Cuddyers and the [Denard] Spans.
Over the offseason, the Twins made headlines by signing All-Star catcher Mauer to an eight-year, $184 million contract extension, an uncharacteristic move from a club that one reporter dubbed as "the plucky little Twins."
"Plucky little Twins?" Gardenhire retorted. "We're piranhas."
Thome limited to pinch-hitting duties
TORONTO -- Twins slugger Jim Thome has been in the big leagues a while -- 19 seasons to be exact.
With that kind of mileage on his body, it's not surprising that the 39-year-old veteran has missed a few games this season with various aches and pains.
Thome, who is currently nursing a sore right ankle while battling the same back problems that have plagued him for years, was relegated to pinch-hitting duties in Monday's contest against the Blue Jays.
"Sore," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said about Thome's ankle, "but better than it was yesterday, so he's available to pinch-hit."
Despite not receiving everyday at-bats this season, the slugger still has five home runs and 16 RBIs. Gardenhire emphasized the importance of keeping Thome's bat game-ready.
"You have to give him plenty of at-bats," Gardenhire said. "That's why guys are successful pinch-hitting, because they get at-bats during the season. I'm just trying to keep him in there. It's fun watching him go up to the plate.
"[I always ask him], 'How are we doing today? You want to swing something?'"
Gardenhire also said that the turf in Toronto is a concern, as it is particularly hard on players' backs and feet. This may not only affect Thome's potential playing time, but that of All-Star catcher Joe Mauer, who has been battling a sore left heel since April 30. Gardenhire was mulling over the idea of Mauer serving as the designated hitter in Tuesday's game against the Blue Jays.
"We're glad to be away from turf," said Gardenhire on the Twins' move from the Metrodome to Target Field this season. "I don't think Mauer would be playing nearly as much if we were on turf, especially with his heel thing.
"We'll have to see how Mauer gets through today. Come in and ask him how he's doing and see how the turf affects him. See how he comes in tomorrow."
Shortstop J.J. Hardy, who has been on the 15-day disabled list with a left wrist contusion since May 5, will not join the club when it travels to Boston on Wednesday. He is expected to be activated sometime during the Twins' next homestand, which begins Friday when the Brewers come to Target Field. ... The Twins have issued a Major League-low 89 walks entering Monday's contest in Toronto. "We like our rotation," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "These guys all throw the ball over the plate and seem to get you deep into games. That's what most of them do -- throw it over and keep you in the game."... Since 2006, the Twins have struggled at Rogers Centre in Toronto, showcasing a 3-11 record against the Jays. ... Sunday marked the Twins' seventh comeback win of 2010, and it was their first win this season when trailing after seven innings. ... Second baseman Orlando Hudson played his first game in Toronto since he was traded to the D-backs in '05.
James Hall is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.