If the cortisone shot Twins shortstop Adam Everett received Wednesday doesn't work, the Twins might have to place him on the disabled list and call Class AAA Rochester for a replacement.

But who? Would Twins manager Ron Gardenhire replace Everett with another middle infielder?

"We've got [Nick] Punto and [Matt] Tolbert,'' Gardenhire said Thursday. "That's pretty good there. Maybe a pinch hitter off the bench, a lefthanded-hitting pinch hitter.''

It just so happens that third baseman Brian Buscher homered in four at-bats on Thursday afternoon in Rochester's 2-1 victory over Richmond.

Buscher, a late cut during spring training, is batting .352 with four homers and 11 RBI in 14 games for the Red Wings and could fill Gardenhire's needs.

It usually takes a couple of days for a cortisone shot to take full effect. Everett didn't throw Thursday but could test the shoulder as soon as today. The Twins think he has an impingement in the shoulder, which the shot should clear up. If it's something else, Everett would be out longer and would have to go on the disabled list.

A step forward?

Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson said Francisco Liriano threw very well in the bullpen while the club was in Detroit and is looking forward to today's outing, which will be Liriano's second start since being called up from the minors.

Anderson said a slight mechanical adjustment helped Liriano throw his slider much better, and his other pitches immediately improved.

"He was a totally different guy because the location of all his other pitches was great,'' Anderson said.

Liriano gave up four earned runs over 42/3 innings with five walks and four strikeouts Sunday, which was his first major league game since September 2006 because of Tommy John surgery.

Early work

The Twins began their pregame workout about 45 minutes earlier than usual so they could have a full fielding practice.

Gardenhire wanted his young outfielders to work on throws home, and he wanted catchers to get used to how throws bounce off the FieldTurf.

"Every other homestand we'll probably do something like that,'' Gardenhire said.

It was mentioned to Gardenhire that center fielder Carlos Gomez throws like he's a golfer hitting a fade shot.

"I'd call it a hook. I'm a golfer,'' Gardenhire said. "It's about him slowing down a little bit. You've got to get yourself set up to throw.''


While outfielder Michael Cuddyer took some soft-toss swings Thursday, he has indicated to Gardenhire that he won't be ready by Sunday, which is the first day he can be activated from the 15-day disabled list. He needs a few more days to recover from the dislocated right index finger he suffered two weeks ago.