FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Pitching prospect Kyle Gibson, who is coming off Tommy John surgery, threw live batting practice to hitters for the first time this spring on Tuesday.
Gibson, who is competing for a spot in the rotation after undergoing the surgery in September 2011, said everything went well. It was the first time he'd faced hitters since pitching in the Arizona Fall League last year.
"Any time you can go out there and work on your command and face guys who want to hit the ball hard is always good," said Gibson, who threw 32 pitches, including eight sliders. "It's good to face guys before games because I still have some things I'm trying to work on."
Gibson said he feels healthy and will continue on the same schedule as the rest of the pitchers in camp. He was able to get several swings and misses despite telling hitters what was coming because he was using the protective L-screen.
"It's still early for them, too, so I'm not going to read too much into that," Gibson said. "I'll wait until I get into a game. It's probably the first time those guys have seen me throw."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire watched the live bullpen session, and came away impressed with the way Gibson looked while facing Joe Benson, Brian Dinkelman and Eric Fryer.
"He was good," Gardenhire said. "Nice angle, the ball goes down. Don't know if he was missing the strike zone a little, he was still down around the knees. It was nice to see. Nice breaking ball. I like the way he's got good mechanics, doesn't alter them too awful much."
Deduno added to Dominican's preliminary roster
Deduno, who is not on the Twins' 40-man roster but is competing for a spot in the rotation after posting a 4.44 ERA in 15 starts last season, is tentatively scheduled to leave the Twins in early March. The rosters are still not official but he's one of 12 players in Minnesota's organization tentatively slated to participate in the Classic.
"I'm pretty excited," Deduno said. "I'm from the Dominican Republic and I want to help my team and my country."
Infielder Jamey Carroll was also added to Team USA's reserve list for the Classic. Carroll will join the roster if anyone gets hurt. Team USA currently has Twins catcher Joe Mauer and closer Glen Perkins on its preliminary roster.
Gardenhire taking own notes on prospects
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire got a glimpse of the future on Tuesday, as he saw Vance Worley and prospects Alex Meyer and Kyle Gibson throw live batting practice to Twins hitters.
Of that group, Worley, who came over in the trade that sent Ben Revere to Philadelphia, is the only lock to make the rotation this spring, while Gibson is competing for a spot.
Meyer and Gibson, however, are regarded as two of the better pitching prospects in baseball, as Meyer was ranked the No. 40 overall prospect and Gibson was ranked No. 49, according to MLB.com.
"I saw some pretty good arms on my field," Gardenhire said. "Kids throwing the ball, winging it. Pretty good angles with some pretty good arms. Always fun to watch, get a chance to see them versus hitters. But it's still just versus our hitters. First time out there, throwing live BP in a while for these guys, so you have to calm them down a little here and there. Most of them handle themselves pretty well. The younger ones want to show the world."
Gardenhire said his goal this spring is to see as much as he can of the prospects and new additions in camp instead of just relying on scouting reports.
"I'm making my own decisions," Gardenhire said. "I haven't seen these guys enough to sit there and read reports and have somebody tell me this or that. I want to see them. I need to see these guys. I want to make my own decisions."
Gardenhire said he'll lean on his coaches, especially pitching coach Rick Anderson, for reports on the players in camp but ultimately he's in charge of putting together the roster for Opening Day along with general manager Terry Ryan.
"I still want to see what these guys have individually," Gardenhire said. "I want to see them. I want to get a feel for them. That's why I get out there on the drills and spend a lot of time with the pitchers, and fundamentals. Because I get to know them there, I get to see their makeup, I can see if they really want to get into this stuff or if they just want to go through the motions. I can see it all. It's pretty easy to see. So I want to make my own decisions, rather than seeing a scouting report."