De Vries vies for spot in rotation

JUPITER, Fla. -- Twins right-hander Cole De Vries continues to make a case for the final spot in the rotation with two perfect innings on Monday afternoon against the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

De Vries threw 23 pitches ---14 for strikes. His first strikeout came on a curveball and the second on a slider. He didn't issue any walks.

There is no scheduled date for his next start or how many pitches he will throw. De Vries believes it will probably progress to three innings or 30 to 35 pitches. His previous two spring outings had been just one inning each.

"It's an open position and I'm looking at it as mine to lose," said De Vries, who has allowed just one baserunner in three Grapefruit League starts. "I'm going out there and trying to prove every day that I want it, and I'm the guy to take that last spot. That's how I'm approaching it."

A surprise on last year's ballclub following his May callup, De Vries went 5-5 with 4.11 ERA in 17 games (16 starts) over 87 2/3 innings.

Two starts against the Rangers in Arlington stood out for Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. In the first, De Vries pitched seven scoreless innings for the no-decision. A month later, he allowed two runs over five innings for the win.

"Bottom line is, he pitched some pretty good ballgames for us, so this should be fun to see him get some starts and go from there," Gardenhire said.