2/18/2014 3:47 P.M. ET
Healthy Diamond set to compete for rotation spot
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Unlike last season, when he came into camp rehabbing from elbow surgery, left-hander Scott Diamond is healthy heading into Spring Training and ready to compete for the final spot in the rotation.
Diamond, who started last season on the 15-day disabled list after undergoing offseason surgery to remove a bone chip from his left elbow, threw his first official bullpen session of the spring on Tuesday and was pleased with how it went.
"Everything went really well, actually," Diamond said. "The curveball was a lot farther along than I thought it would be and the changeup was good. So it was definitely big progress today."
But unlike last season, when he was guaranteed a spot in the rotation after a solid rookie season in 2011, Diamond is fighting for the last spot in the rotation along with Samuel Deduno, Vance Worley and Kyle Gibson.
Diamond, who like Deduno and Worley is out of Minor League options, said he's doing his best not to worry about the competition just yet. But he said he feels much more like the pitcher who posted a 3.54 ERA as a rookie than the one who had a 5.43 ERA last year.
"I came in prepared, or at least as prepared as the offseason allowed me," Diamond said. "I'm ready to pitch right out of the gate from Day One. It's going to be competitive and fun because of it. I have to take it one day at a time because the more I think about it, the more I get in my own head."
Florimon out of hospital after appendectomy
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Shortstop Pedro Florimon underwent successful laparoscopic surgery to remove his appendix on Monday afternoon, and was released from the hospital on Tuesday.
Florimon, who first started to feel pain in his right side on Sunday night, is expected to rest two weeks before getting back to baseball activities, and will take it slow upon his return.
"He's going to be pretty limited on activities for at least two weeks," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "And then it'll be a build up process. He'll need all of Spring Training to get ready."
The Twins remain hopeful that Florimon will be ready for Opening Day on March 31 against the White Sox, but Antony said it's too early to know for sure.
"I don't know about concerned," Antony said. "It's all going to depend on how he responds and feels once he gets going. He obviously has to get at-bats and everything else. So I guess time will tell. It's not a lock but we're certainly hoping he'll be ready for Opening Day."
Pinto says shoulder discomfort behind him
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Catcher Josmil Pinto, who dealt with shoulder weakness this offseason while playing winter Ball in his native Venezuela, said Tuesday that he's now throwing without any discomfort.
Pinto ended his stint in winter Ball early because of shoulder discomfort, but said he's now playing catch from 150 feet and throwing to all the bases without any issues.
"My shoulder is good now," Pinto said. "I'm almost at 100 percent. I don't feel any pain right now. I started throwing about two or three weeks [ago] and it's feeling really good now."
Pinto, 24, is regarded as the Twins' catcher of the future after putting up impressive numbers in the Minors and then hitting .342 with four homers and five doubles in 21 games as a September callup.
But he still needs work defensively, and so he knows this spring will be important for him to prove that he's ready to catch at the Major League level.
"It's very important, because this is the moment where I want to make the 25-man roster," Pinto said. "I have to work hard and then see what happens."
Veteran Kurt Suzuki is expected to be the club's regular catcher, but Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that he's fine with Pinto sharing time behind the plate with Suzuki. The Twins could also send Pinto to Triple-A Rochester to get him consistent playing time, but Gardenhire said he's fine with Pinto not being the everyday catcher in Minnesota this season.
"I don't have a problem with him splitting time with Suzuki," Gardenhire said. "That could be part of his development. Learning process, catch some on the side. Match him with certain pitchers that look good [when] they work together. No, I don't have a problem with that, he can develop that way, too. He doesn't have to be an everyday guy. I wouldn't put it like that."
• Left-hander Edgar Ibarra, who was diagnosed with Hepatitis B about a month ago, remains the lone pitcher not throwing bullpen sessions at this point in camp. But Ibarra is hoping to throw his first session on Friday, after throwing on flat ground on Wednesday.
• Several former Twins were on hand on Tuesday, as Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek and Eddie Guardado were all at camp. Guardado also helped out with drills with the pitchers, as he'll spend the week as a special instructor.
• Gardenhire said he hopes to schedule a few intrasquad games and a few "B" games this spring, before Grapefruit League play begins on Feb. 28. Gardenhire said it's important because they have so many starting pitchers in camp.