Liriano looks promising in rehab

Francisco Liriano says "everything is perfect" as he recovers from Tommy John surgery on his elbow.

The Twins are getting a good look during this homestand at someone who could be a part of their 2008 rotation — and he's not even active.

Lefthander Francisco Liriano, recovering from Tommy John surgery in November, is in town for another checkup after spending most of the summer rehabilitating in Fort Myers, Fla.

One look at Liriano shows that he's taken his rehab seriously.

"Everything is perfect," he said. "I haven't been feeling any soreness or any pain."

Liriano is now throwing from 140 feet as he begins to rebuild his arm strength. If everything goes well, he will throw lightly from a mound on Friday so he can get used to being on the mound again.

Don't confuse that with pitching. Liriano isn't scheduled to have a real bullpen session until November.

"If everything goes the way it is going now, I think I will be ready by spring training," he said.

Liriano sat down with the Twins on Friday to map out his next several months. He will spend the entire offseason in Fort Myers and not pitch winter ball. He'll report to instructional league, which begins Sept. 18, and participate in drills with other pitchers.

If his November bullpen sessions go without a hitch, he could arrive in spring training with a chance of breaking camp with the club. There has been talk of tinkering with Liriano's mechanics, but pitching coach Rick Anderson said it might be some minor things to eliminate Liriano's violent follow-through.

"We had a meeting [and there's] no problems at all," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He feels fantastic, and we want to keep him that way."

Perkins struggles

Lefthander Glen Perkins also figures prominently in the Twins' future, but he's struggled during a rehab stint following a muscle strain near his shoulder.

The Twins have recalled Perkins from his rehab assignment so he can work out under their watchful eyes.

If Perkins can throw in the bullpen pain-free over the next few days, he will be activated and used out of the bullpen. If not, he'll be shut down for the rest of the season.

Perkins had a poor outing Tuesday while pitching for Class AA New Britain, giving up six runs over two innings and not fielding his position.

According to Gardenhire, Perkins apologized to the team after the game, explaining that he was so worried about his shoulder he lost focus on other things.

Baker's afterglow

Twins righthander Scott Baker sounded on Saturday as if it was just sinking in how close he was to history on Friday when he took a perfect game into the ninth inning but ended up with a one-hitter.

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