Twins send OF Joe Benson to minors


The competition to win the starting center field job for the Minnesota Twins is thinning out.

The Twins sent Joe Benson to Triple-A Rochester, according to's Rhett Bollinger:

That leaves Aaron Hicks and Darin Mastroianni as the remaining likely candidates to start Opening Day, April 1, in center field.

Hicks is seen as the front-runner, according to the Pioneer Press, as he's had a good spring, hitting .302 in 52 at bats, with four home runs and 14 RBI.

The speedy Mastroianni is hitting .429 in 28 at bats, with seven stolen bases.

Benson, who is recovering from knee surgery, has struggled so far -- hitting just .151 in 18 games in Fort Myers.

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