FORT MYERS, FLA. – Righthander Tyler Duffey prefers to not use a protective screen — called an L-screen — when he throws live batting practice.
The Twins leave it up to the pitcher to decide, and a majority of pitchers in camp have elected to not pitch behind one. That increases the risk of being hit with a batted ball, but it’s worth the risk to them.
“I prefer to see their actual swings,” Duffey said. “One of the rules is that, if you use the screen you have to tell them what’s coming. Naturally, you’re going to get hit harder in BP. I think it is a false sense of security, too. I end up cutting [my delivery] off because I don’t want to hit the screen.”
Only Michael Tonkin and Kyle Gibson have been seen using screens during their sessions this week.
“It kind of has jumped out at me,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “It used to be the guy that didn’t use it was the exception. I haven’t seen anyone use it. I don’t know why it has transitioned. Comfortability for these guys? But it doesn’t really bother me too much. Does it increase risk? Probably to some degree. If that’s the way they feel they will get the most out of their work, I’m OK with that.”
Rain alters workout
Steady rain Wednesday morning forced the Twins to call an audible in regard to their workout schedule.
Pitchers are able to throw in the batting cages and the covered part of the bullpen. Position players stayed off the fields and worked indoors. Torii Hunter and Michael Cuddyer held meetings about baserunning in the batting cage area.
Lefthander Glen Perkins threw 15 pitches Wednesday, his third time doing so since he delayed throwing off the mound earlier this month when he didn’t feel his arm was ready for it.
Perkins said he has increased the intensity of his sessions each time he’s been out and is satisfied with where he’s at during his stage of his recovery from surgery on a torn labrum last year. While he has thrown sliders when he’s on flat ground, Perkins has thrown nothing but fastballs from a mound.
”I’m happy with how I feel,” he said.
Perkins, meanwhile, has been helping reliever J.T. Chargois with his slider.
“I’m just trying to help him along,” said Perkins, whose slider is one of the better ones in the game when he’s on. “ He’s got a really good arm.”
Fernando Romero, RHP
2016 stats: Was 9-3 with a 1.89 ERA in 16 starts between Class A Cedar Rapids and Class A Fort Myers.
Acquired: Signed by the Twins as an undrafted free agent in 2011 for $260,000.
Role: Will likely start season at Fort Myers but should end up at Class AA Chattanooga.
Did you know: Needed Tommy John surgery in 2014, forcing him to miss most of the season. A knee injury suffered during his rehab cost him all of 2015. Last year, he returned and established himself as one of the Twins’ best starting pitching prospects. He pitches at 95-97 miles per hour and has touched 99 mph on the gun.
La Velle E. Neal III