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Minnesota Twins release Cedar Rapids' Ryan Sweeney

Ryan Sweeney poses for a portrait before the Linn-Mar vs Xavier varsity basketball game at Xavier on February 1, 2013. Sweeney was inducted into the Hall of Fame this evening. (Kaitlyn Bernauer/The Gazette)
Ryan Sweeney poses for a portrait before the Linn-Mar vs Xavier varsity basketball game at Xavier on February 1, 2013. Sweeney was inducted into the Hall of Fame this evening. (Kaitlyn Bernauer/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Former Cedar Rapids Xavier prep Ryan Sweeney was released Friday by the Minnesota Twins.

The 31-year-old outfielder was attempting to make a return to the major leagues after taking all of last season off. He has played parts of nine big-league seasons, compiling a .276 career batting average in 2,118 at-bats and 682 games.

Sweeney hit .270 in 16 spring training games for the Twins, with four doubles and four RBIs in 37 at-bats. He walked more times (six) than he struck out (five).

By releasing him now, the Twins are giving Sweeney an opportunity to potentially hook up with another club before the season starts.

“They did it 10 days before camp is over, so that’s nice of them to do it,” Sweeney told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “They said, ‘We didn’t think it would be fair to you to send you to Triple-A and not be able to play every day, because we’ve got a lot of guys. I understood. They gave me a good shot — I got 40 at-bats, that’s a good opportunity.

“Teams need outfielders, so we’ll see. I know I can still play.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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