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Florimon determined to win starting job

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has endorsed Pedro Florimon as the favorite at shortstop this spring, but Florimon said Thursday he isn't taking anything for granted.

Florimon, 26, finished last season as the club's starting shortstop and hit .219/.272/.307 with a homer, five doubles and two triples in 43 games.

"Nobody told me anything, so I'm just coming here and playing for the job," Florimon said. "There's a lot of competition here. I don't even know if I'm going to start. I have to work hard because I want the position."

Florimon also played in 38 games for Leones de Escogido in his native Dominican Republic this offseason, hitting .260 with four doubles. Gardenhire said he likes Florimon's defense at short but wants to see more offense from him this year.

"We talked about that at the end of last year, about things he can do to help this baseball team," Gardenhire said. "He's also gotten stronger. He's lifted weights and his upper body is stronger and he's just bigger. So who knows? Maybe he'll drive the ball. We'll see how he does in games but obviously he's going to have to be able to swing the bat and hit and run and bunt and all those things plus catch the ball."

Read More: Minnesota Twins, Pedro Florimon