Francisco Liriano's shoulder problems stem from him not keeping up with strengthening exercises during the offseason.
Liriano threw several bullpen sessions in the weeks leading to the start of camp but came down with tendinitis just before he left his native Dominican Republic for Fort Myers. An MRI done in Miami showed no structural damage.
Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson said he asked Liriano whether he did all of his shoulder exercises during the offseason, and Liriano said no.
"He's been doing them here, and now his shoulder is strong,'' Anderson said.
Liriano played catch from 120 feet on Sunday and will resume bullpen sessions on Tuesday.
Jim Thome reported to camp on Sunday and revealed that he had battled plantar fasciitis in his left foot for about a year and a half but now feels great.
"Really, the last couple years I was, I don't want to say limited in what I could do, but I could do a lot more things this winter than I normally have,'' Thome said. "It felt great. I got to work out and stay active. It was a great winter."
Ready to steal 20 bags?
"I'll let you say it,'' he said. "Not me.''
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was pleased to have Thome in camp.
"He is excited to be back so we will get him out there on the field and watch him sort of stretch and sort of run,'' Gardenhire said. "Not very fast on either one of them.''
Hittin' with the fellas
Thome, Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel took batting practice with Tsuyoshi Nishioka on one of the back fields at the Lee County Sports Complex.
"He's got a nice little swing,'' Kubel said. "He going to get a lot of base hits with that.''
Nishioka has been working out on his own the past couple of days while other position players worked out on another field. But on Sunday, Twins hitting coach Joe Vavra approached Nishioka about taking batting practice with a few of the regulars.
Righthander Jim Hoey has shown the velocity the Twins expected to see when they traded J.J. Hardy for him and a minor league pitcher during the offseason. But they would like to see more strikes. Anderson this morning will show Hoey the same adjustments he used to help LaTroy Hawkins when he took over as pitching coach in 2002.
THINGS ABOUT ...
1 He attended Rockhurst High School AND Rockhurst College in Kansas City, Mo.
2 He played for China in the 2009 World Baseball Classic (his parents were born in China).
3 He plays all around the infield and was signed to provide depth in the minors.
LA VELLE E. NEAL III