Recovered Hendriks hopes to reclaim starting job

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Right-hander Liam Hendriks is fully recovered from having a bone chip removed from his right elbow in November, and said he's been throwing with no issues since Christmas Eve.

Hendriks, who had the operation done by team physician Dr. John Steubs, is on the same throwing program as the rest of Twins pitchers in camp. He's set to throw his second official bullpen on Saturday and is working on fixing the alignment in his delivery.

"I'm feeling good. I'm feeling strong," Hendriks said. "I feel a little more break to my offspeed stuff, which is nice."

Hendriks is in the mix for the fifth spot in the rotation behind Scott Diamond, Vance Worley, Mike Pelfrey and Kevin Correia. He's going up against other starters, including top prospect Kyle Gibson and non-roster invitee Rich Harden, as well as starters from last season such as Samuel Deduno, P.J. Walters and Cole De Vries.

Hendriks won a spot in the rotation last spring only to miss his first start due to a bout with food poisoning. So Hendriks said his goal this spring is to again make the rotation and this time stay in the big leagues, as he bounced back and forth between the Majors and Triple-A Rochester last year due to his inconsistency and 5.59 ERA in 16 starts with Minnesota.

"I'm kind of approaching it the same way as last year," Hendriks said. "This year, I'm going in there and trying to do what I did last spring and do well. I want to put my stamp on it and try to win that fifth spot."