Found February 20, 2012 on Fox Sports North:
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Twins pitchers and catchers officially reported to Fort Myers on Saturday, and many pitchers have been easing their way into workouts. Several, including left-hander Francisco Liriano, threw their first bullpen sessions of the spring on Monday. FOXSportsNorth.com will track reports from the news outlets already in Florida until March 4, when Tyler Mason will begin covering the team in Fort Myers. A look at Monday's news: Another game on the docket: Minnesota has added a "B" game toits spring training schedule on March 1. The Twins willplay the Red Sox at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, beginning at noon CT. Twins general manager Terry Ryan told reporters Monday that the team is also hoping to add one more "B" game. "That"ll help both of us," the Twins general manager told MLB.com. "They have more pitchers than we do; they have 34, we have 33. So it will help both of us. Then, if we can get another one scheduled maybe a few days after that, that'll lead us into the split-squad March 10 at Pittsburgh. That will take care of some of the concerns about making sure every one of these guys gets a fair shake." Nishioka shows up early: Infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka was one of many position players to arrive early to camp, the Star Tribune reported. Nishioka struggled last year in his first season in the majors after playing in his native Japan. During spring training last year, Nishioka spent time working out by himself on the back fields of the Twins' complex. According to the Star Tribune, Nishioka was hitting in the cages behind Hammond Stadium, a change from his routine last year. All systems go for Blackburn: After a forearm injury cut starter Nick Blackburn's 2011 season short, the right-hander had surgery to alleviate the problem. And while he showed off the scar last month at TwinsFest, Blackburn told reporters that he has no restrictions this spring training. "I'm not holding back," Blackburn said. "I have a hard time with mechanics if I'm going at, like, 75 percent because then I'm slowing everything else down. Obviously, my arm isn't at full strength, but it's not like I'm holding way back. I'm still out there working on everything. I would say I'm pretty close." Before his injury last season, Blackburn was 7-10 with a 4.49 ERA in 26 starts. He struck out 76 but walked a career-high 54 batters. His 3.3 walks per nine innings was the highest of his career by more than one walk (his previous high was 2.2 in 2010). Liriano throws first bullpen: Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano threw off a mound Sunday, but he threw his first official spring training bullpen session on Monday, throwing 53 pitches to catcher Rene Rivera, according to 1500 ESPN. "I just worked on my mechanics, staying tall, not getting too low," Liriano told MLB.com. "Just working on that and trying to control my fastball, too." Dozier takes BP: Twins infielder Brian Dozier suffered a cut on his finger, but 1500 ESPN reports that Dozier took batting practice Monday in Fort Myers. Dozier, 24, finished the 2011 season with Double-A New Britain, where he batted .318 with 34 RBIs and seven homers in 78 games.
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