02/24/2013 5:30 PM ET
Trio of Twins pitchers enjoy successful outings
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Liam Hendriks, Glen Perkins and Kyle Gibson all came away satisfied with their results against the Rays on Sunday in the Hammond Stadium opener for the Twins.
Hendriks started the game and gave up a run on two hits and a walk over two innings. He threw 32 pitches -- 20 for strikes. He gave up the run on a RBI double on a changeup to Mike Fontenot with two outs in the second inning after walking Jason Bourgeois.
"Everything was good," Hendriks said. "I felt like the ball was coming out of my hand pretty good. But it was just that first time of sitting down and going back out there again so I felt a little tight. But it was coming out all right. Those two-out walks will kill you no matter what, and then I threw a changeup and slowed my arm action down, and they took advantage of it."
Perkins came on in relief of Hendriks and tossed a scoreless inning. He struck out the first two batters he faced -- Sam Fuld and Sean Rodriguez -- on six pitches before giving up back-to-back singles to Stephen Vogt and Shelly Duncan. But he was able to get out of the jam by getting Chris Gimenez to ground out.
Perkins, though, said he was a bit fatigued by the end of his outing, as he threw 19 pitches with 16 going for strikes. Perkins, who is set to leave the Twins on Sunday to join Team USA for the World Baseball Classic, is scheduled to throw again on Wednesday against the Phillies and Saturday against the Red Sox.
"In midseason I think I'll be able to maintain my stamina for a little more than any inning," Perkins said with a laugh. "I got a little tired with the heat and the first time out and all that. But I'll take it."
Gibson threw two scoreless innings in his first Grapefruit League action since undergoing Tommy John surgery in September 2011. The radar gun had his fastball at 96 mph but he wasn't sure if it was quite accurate. Gibson, though, was still pleased with the way he threw.
"I felt good," Gibson said. "Really felt loose and I'm pretty excited to be back out there. It's been a couple years since I was able to do that. It was a lot of fun."
Twins catcher Joe Mauer caught all three pitchers before coming out after the fifth inning. Mauer, who went 0-for-2 with a walk, liked what he saw from the pitchers.
"It was a good day," Mauer said. "Liam threw a good first inning. Gibson threw well. Perkins came in and threw hard. It was a good day."
Ryan says Plouffe good to go on Tuesday
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins general manager Terry Ryan gave updates on injured third baseman Trevor Plouffe and outfielder Oswaldo Arcia on Sunday.
Plouffe, who is dealing with a strained right calf, was tentatively scheduled to play in Minnesota's intrasquad game on Sunday, but was told by team doctors to give it a few extra days.
But Ryan said Plouffe didn't suffer a setback, as the Twins are just being cautious.
"He'll play on Tuesday," Ryan said. "We just wanted to make sure so don't be alarmed about that. We do that a lot. It's just the right thing to do to make sure."
Arcia, meanwhile, suffered a pulled intercostal muscle on Friday, but team doctors found Saturday that it was only a minor injury. So he's expected to return to action in early March.
"He's about a week away before he'll be able to do much," Ryan said.
Swarzak running, close to first throwing session
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Right-hander Anthony Swarzak said on Sunday that he's making good progress with his broken ribs, and could throw for the first time on Tuesday.
Swarzak, who cracked two ribs in a wrestling incident with teammates while in Minnesota for TwinsFest on Jan. 25, ran for the first time on Saturday.
"Everything feels good," Swarzak said. "I ran outside yesterday for the first time, which is progress. A lot of things could go wrong but I felt pretty good. So hopefully by Tuesday or Wednesday I'll be playing catch."
Swarzak admitted it's been tough to be on the sidelines early in Spring Training but has been encouraged by his recent progress that has put him ahead of schedule. He said he believes he'll be ready by Opening Day.
"It's rest -- it's all it is," Swarzak said. "There's nothing you can do to speed up the process. It just has to heal on its own. But I'm extremely happy. Honestly, I'm about a week and a half or a two weeks ahead of schedule."
Twins prospects get work in intrasquad contest
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins showcased three of their top pitching prospects in an intrasquad game on Sunday before their Hammond Stadium opener against the Rays.
Right-handers Alex Meyer, Trevor May and Jose Berrios, who are all ranked among the club's top 10 prospects according to MLB.com, each threw two innings. Meyer and May each threw two scoreless frames while Berrios, who is in camp to get ready for Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, gave up two unearned runs in his second inning after a throwing error from shortstop Daniel Santana.
"Those are the arms that some people are talking about," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "May was much more under control. Meyer obviously has the best arm of those three. Berrios is only 18 years old so he had some jitters but we have to get him ready for the WBC. He wouldn't even be in camp if it wasn't for that. So it was encouraging."
The game, which finished with a 4-3 score after six innings, also featured several position player prospects such as Eddie Rosario, Joe Benson and Santana as well as Twins regulars such as Darin Mastroianni, Drew Butera and Brian Dozier.
"We have all kinds of people here so that's why this game took place," Ryan said. "It wasn't just for the pitchers either. We have all kinds of extra guys who need at-bats."
The Twins will have another opportunity to play some of their prospects when they play Boston in a "B" game on Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Red Sox's complex in Fort Myers.