Catcher Josmil Pinto might not have enough time left in camp to earn a spot as the backup catcher, but he can at least get a few games in with the major league club.

Pinto, however, has not been cleared to return to games after suffering a concussion March 21, when he was hit in the head three times by Adam Jones' bat during the All-Star's follow-through.

He spent Saturday going through a regular pregame routine in addition to catching a couple of bullpen sessions. And he was in a cheerful mood. The Twins will have him play in some minor league spring training games once he's been cleared to play, which they hope will be Monday.

"He's going through the process," Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said. "And we're hoping that soon he can clear and once he does that we start him over on the minor league side and go from there."

Still, Pinto is running out of games to show the Twins he can help them, leaving Eric Fryer and Chris Herrmann in a two-man battle to back up Kurt Suzuki.

Thorpe done for year.

Lefthander Lewis Thorpe, considered one of the Twins' better pitching prospects, has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament and will need Tommy John reconstructive surgery. He will miss the entire season,

Thorpe, 19, exited a spring training game on March 18 after 10 pitches because his elbow did not feel normal. Thorpe then underwent a magnetic resource imaging exam, which confirmed the tear.

"He can rebound from it, but it is one of those situations, as with any pitcher, it's not good," Ryan said. "He's going to have to go through the process and battle back."

Thorpe signed in 2012 for $500,000 but wasn't a hard thrower at age 17. He filled out over the next year and saw his fastball creep toward 95 miles per hour with late movement.

Thorpe joins righthander B.J. Hermsen as Twins prospects needing Tommy John surgery this season.

Moment of silence

A moment of silence was held before the game for Mary Gardenhire, mother of former manager Ron Gardenhire. Mary Gardenhire passed away earlier this week at age 86, and Ron Gardenhire was in attendance at her funeral Saturday in Okmulgee, Okla.


• Tyler Grimes, in major league camp as a catcher before being cut earlier this week, has decided to retire.

• Caleb Thielbar, fighting for a bullpen spot, pitched a scoreless eighth inning Saturday. He was followed by Blaine Boyer, who pitched a scoreless ninth. Boyer is a near lock for a bullpen role.

• Lefthander Glen Perkins pitched a scoreless seventh and will be a busy man this next week. "He's behind in teams of preparedness," Twins manager Paul Molitor said, "but I think we're going to be able to shore that up here the next week."

On deck

Righthander Ricky Nolasco will make his fifth appearance of spring when he faces the Orioles in Sarasota. Righthander Miguel Gonzalez will start for the Orioles.

LA Velle E. Neal III