Pitchers take early BP, with focus on bunting

Pitchers take early BP, with focus on bunting

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins pitchers took early batting practice for the first time this year before Monday's game against the White Sox in preparation for their upcoming Interleague games in Atlanta and Milwaukee.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said the most important part was working on bunting, as he's not expecting much offense from his pitchers. The Twins play in Atlanta from May 20-22 and in Milwaukee from May 27-28.

"In those bunt situations, get the bat on the ball and deaden it a little bit and get it in fair territory," Gardenhire said. "And as far as hitting goes, just do the best they can. They don't do it very often. Some of the National League guys have a little more savvy about hitting than our other guys and we have a few guys from National League ballparks."

As Gardenhire pointed out, the Twins added three pitchers this year who previously only pitched in the NL in Kevin Correia, Vance Worley and Mike Pelfrey.

But all three have struggled at the plate, as Correia is a career .116 hitter (32-for-276), Pelfrey is a career .098 hitter (26-for-264) and Worley is a career .153 hitter (13-for-85). But based on the first day of drills, Gardenhire was impressed most by Correia, who has 41 career sacrifice bunts.

"Looks to me right out of the chute that it's Correia," Gardenhire said. "He's a good bunter and has the stats to prove it. He definitely handled the bat really nice out there. But that's just the initial thing. But Pelfrey knows what he's doing and Worley looks like he can swing it."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.