FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Francisco Liriano was pleased after his 35-pitch session in live batting practice on Sunday.
"I'm trying not to overthrow, but I'm also beginning to pick it up a little bit," Liriano said. "I need to get focused more on the batters, so it was good. I'm trying not to make the perfect pitch. Just throw it and not push it."
Liriano, who threw to catcher J.R. Towles, faced Joe Mauer, Brian Dinkelman, Aaron Bates and Sean Burroughs on the main field at Hammond Stadium. During the session, Liriano gave the Twins coaches in attendance a scare when he tried to field a come-back grounder from Dinkelman with his bare left hand.
"I didn't want to field it, but it just happened," said Liriano, who was not hurt on the play.
Jared Burton, Nick Blackburn and Kyle Waldrop also threw live batting practice on the main field with Blackburn teamed up with Towles and Burton and Waldrop teamed up with Mauer as catcher.
Blackburn tossed 46 pitches during his session.
Mauer, who had earlier taken grounders at first base, continued a full day by catching for Burton and Waldrop. Burton, who tossed 31 pitches, faced Ryan Doumit, Denard Span and Ben Revere.
Waldrop, who threw 33 pitches, pitched to Span and Revere.
Doumit preparing for expanded outfield role
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- When Ryan Doumit was signed to a one-year, $3 million deal last fall, he knew his transition from the Pirates would mean less time behind the plate. So, the seven-year veteran did what any Major League player would do -- he took up racquetball.
"I'm not much for jumping on a treadmill and going at it, so as long as I was able to get my cardio there and a little bit of competition, it got me ready," Doumit said in a half-joking manner Sunday. "I took three weeks off after the season and then I started my weight-lifting program. You can't get outside much (in his hometown of Moses Lake, Wash.), so I decided to start using the racquetball courts they have at the club."
All kidding aside, Doumit, 30, will have to increase his workload in the outfield after playing 337 games at catcher over the past four seasons with the Pirates.
"The great thing about him is I finally have a guy who is multi-positioned, who also catches," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Gardenhire anticipates using Doumit as a catcher, an outfielder and a designated hitter.
"He's definitely a catcher," Gardenhire said when asked if he would describe Doumit as a super-utility player. "He's definitely going to be that. I don't know if it's called a backup. He's one of our catchers. He's going to be one of our catchers. He's also going to be a DH and he's also going to play some outfield.
"The bottom line is I want his bat in the lineup. We're going to use his bat, for sure, and he's going to give Joe Mauer the breaks we need. We can keep his bat in the lineup that way and he's also going to play a little outfield, too, and we need that. So I plan on him being an everyday player some way or another."
Doumit has played just 19 games in right field over the past four years, including 18 in 2010 and once in 2009. He saw action at first base in three games over the 2010 campaign and one in the 2008 season. He had one appearance as a designated hitter in 2008 and 2010.
Doumit hopes his time around Mauer will help him adjust and succeed while playing multiple spots.
"The closer I can get to him, the more I can watch him. That's only going to make me better," said Doumit, who registered a career-high 34 doubles, 15 home runs and 69 RBIs in 2008. "He's the type of player who makes everyone around him better. So far, I like to see how he goes about with his preparations, of how he handles himself and he's a great guy to bounce ideas off of because he'll tell me his insight and perspective. So, it's a great thing for me."
Doumit, who practiced mostly in the outfield during fielding practice on Sunday, joked that he hoped to find other players in the clubhouse whom he could challenge on the racquetball court.
"I was the court champ up there (in Moses Lake) for a little bit," Doumit said. "I need to start asking around to see if anyone plays in here because I'm a court champion, so anyone who's up for a challenge, I'm ready."
Chris Girandola is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.