02/15/2013 2:15 PM ET
Recovered Hendriks hopes to reclaim starting job
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Right-hander Liam Hendriks is fully recovered from having a bone chip removed from his right elbow in November, and said he's been throwing with no issues since Christmas Eve.
Hendriks, who had the operation done by team physician Dr. John Steubs, is on the same throwing program as the rest of Twins pitchers in camp. He's set to throw his second official bullpen on Saturday and is working on fixing the alignment in his delivery.
"I'm feeling good. I'm feeling strong," Hendriks said. "I feel a little more break to my offspeed stuff, which is nice."
Hendriks is in the mix for the fifth spot in the rotation behind Scott Diamond, Vance Worley, Mike Pelfrey and Kevin Correia. He's going up against other starters, including top prospect Kyle Gibson and non-roster invitee Rich Harden, as well as starters from last season such as Samuel Deduno, P.J. Walters and Cole De Vries.
Hendriks won a spot in the rotation last spring only to miss his first start due to a bout with food poisoning. So Hendriks said his goal this spring is to again make the rotation and this time stay in the big leagues, as he bounced back and forth between the Majors and Triple-A Rochester last year due to his inconsistency and 5.59 ERA in 16 starts with Minnesota.
"I'm kind of approaching it the same way as last year," Hendriks said. "This year, I'm going in there and trying to do what I did last spring and do well. I want to put my stamp on it and try to win that fifth spot."
Position players trickle in on eve of full-squad work
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins position players officially reported to the Lee County Sports Complex on Friday with only Minor League third baseman Deibinson Romero not in attendance due to a visa problem in his native Dominican Republic.
Several Twins players made their first appearance at camp, including first baseman Justin Morneau, left fielder Josh Willingham, shortstop Pedro Florimon and infielder Eduardo Escobar. Position players such as Chris Parmelee, Brian Dozier, Trevor Plouffe, Jamey Carroll, Darin Mastroianni, Aaron Hicks and Joe Benson were already at camp and working out this week.
"It's good to be here and see everybody and see what everybody's been up to this offseason," Willingham said. "It's good to get back to the team atmosphere and start back up."
The first full-squad workouts are set for Saturday morning after the first official team meeting with manager Ron Gardenhire at 9 a.m. ET. Live batting practice featuring Twins pitchers and hitters is set to start on Monday.
Herrmann looks to break camp as third catcher
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Catcher Chris Herrmann got his first taste of the big leagues as a September callup last season and said Friday his goal is to break to camp as the club's third catcher behind Joe Mauer and Ryan Doumit.
Herrmann, who went 1-for-18 in seven games last year, will be competing for that role along with Drew Butera, who has spent most of the last three seasons on Minnesota's roster.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire hasn't announced if he'll carry three catchers yet, but he did most of all last season due to the versatility of Mauer and Doumit and because he likes the ability to use one of those two as a designated hitter.
Herrmann, a converted outfielder, is also known for his offense, as he's a career .264/.357/.382 hitter in the Minors and hit .276 with 10 homers and 61 RBIs in 127 games with Double-A New Britain last year.
"There's always a chance, but it's not going to be handed to me," Herrmann said of making the team. "Just because I was up there last year doesn't mean I'll be up there this year. So I'm trying to find a way to work my back up there again and hopefully stay up there."
Herrmann also maintained that he's fully healthy after leaving the Arizona Fall League with a minor injury to his left shoulder.
"I tweaked my left shoulder a little bit just from swinging, so I just needed a break," Herrmann said. "I played a lot of baseball last year. So it was overuse I guess. But everything is fine now. It's at 100 percent."