He was held back a few days last week after suffering a setback in his comeback from offseason elbow surgery. But he didn't hold anything back Monday during his session. He's had some discomfort while throwing his changeup, a pitch on which he really has to extend while throwing. But he even threw a few changeups Monday and appeared to make progess.
Baker poked fun at himself during his bullpen session after throwing a bad slider. "That's the best sinker I've thrown all day,'' he said.
It's unclear whether Baker will be allowed to face live hitters Wednesday, which is the first day of full squad practices. But the Twins do feel better about his condition.Other pitching observations
• Righthander Pat Neshek: It's hard to gauge someone like Neshek because of his funky sidearm delivery, but he came away very pleased about his bullpen session. His pitches appeared to have good movement and he felt his control was good.
• Righthander Kyle Gibson: He has impressed the coaching staff in his first major league camp. His pitches have a lot of life and he looks polished. Again, everything changes once pitchers start facing hitters and spring training games begin.
• Lefthander Francisco Liriano, barring a late change, is expected to throw in the bullpen on Tuesday.
• Pitching coach Rick Anderson spent plenty of time with lefthander Scott Diamond during his bullpen session. Diamond is a Rule V pick who would have to be offered back to the Braves, the organization the Twins selected him from, if he doesn't stay on the major league roster the entire year.Etc.
• Justin Morneau, Denard Span, Matt Tolbert and Ben Revere reported Monday. The only regular not in camp is outfielder Delmon Young.
• Alexi Casilla, in the few drills he's had with Tsuyoshi Nishioka, has been going through hand signals to communicate with him. Some are basic. If a fast runner is on first base, Casilla will turn to Nishioka and alert him by moving two fingers quickly.
THINGS ABOUT ... DUSTY HUGHES
Position: Lefthanded reliever
1 Attended Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss.
2. Throws four pitches, fastball, slider, changeup and curve. His changeup is his best weapon, but he'll use a cut fastball and slider against lefties. Fastball tops out at 92 miles per hour.
3 Feels he's more than a lefthanded, one-out guy (LOOGY).
LA VELLE E. NEAL III