Guerrier makes spring debut in intrasquad contest

Guerrier makes spring debut in intrasquad contest

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Right-hander Matt Guerrier made his first appearance of the spring on Tuesday, throwing a scoreless inning in a Minor League intrasquad game at the Lee County Sports Complex in Fort Myers.

Guerrier, who had surgery in mid-August to repair the flexor mass in his right elbow, allowed one hit and got three ground-ball outs against Triple-A Rochester.

Guerrier was originally scheduled to make his Grapefruit League debut against the Rays on Tuesday, but he was held back to pitch in a controlled environment in the Minor League game.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that despite the late start, Guerrier still has time to make the club as a non-roster invitee before the team opens the regular season against the White Sox on March 31.

"He's actually in great shape and his arm feels fantastic," Gardenhire said. "So now we start the process of him getting innings. But can he get enough innings? Absolutely. For a reliever, he can get enough innings to get ready for the season."

Twins closer Glen Perkins pitched in the same Minor League game, and he threw a scoreless inning with one hit allowed and a strikeout. Left-hander Brian Duensing also tossed a scoreless frame, giving up one hit.

Right-handed reliever Jared Burton struggled, however, as he gave up five runs on three singles, a double, a homer, a walk and three stolen bases before being removed.

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.