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Twins like Liriano’s progress

By Dave Campbell

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins, heading into a meaningless final month with the playoffs almost out of reach, got some good news for next year with Francisco Liriano.

Liriano has been at the Metrodome this weekend for his rehabilitation from reconstructive elbow surgery, taking a break from the Florida heat. He’s been busy working at the team’s facility in Fort Myers, a frustrating assignment for a 23-year-old left-hander who was dominating the league as a rookie last year until he got hurt.

But Liriano has experienced no setbacks in his recovery, and he is still on track to be ready for spring training in February. After going 12-3 with a 2.16 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 121 innings, Liriano’s season was cut short by soreness in his elbow in early August. He had Tommy John surgery, a ligament transplant procedure, in November.

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"Everything’s perfect, how I feel," Liriano said Saturday. "I don’t feel any soreness, any pain."

He has begun to throw lightly, and this week he’ll continue that on a mound. Liriano won’t be allowed to have a bullpen session until November, but he has lost some weight and passed every step in the rehab process so far.

"No problems at all," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He’s feeling fantastic with his arm, and we want to keep it that way."

Slowley will be called up

The Minnesota Twins will recall Kevin Slowey from Triple-A Rochester in time for today’s game against Cleveland.

The team said it will also purchase the contract of Nick Blackburn from Rochester.

The right-handed Slowey, who was 3-0 with a 5.84 ERA in seven starts earlier this year for Minnesota, is scheduled to start Tuesday against Cleveland. He was 10-5 with a 1.89 ERA in 20 Rochester starts.

Blackburn, also a righty, was 7-3 with a 2.11 ERA in 17 starts for the Red Wings. He began the year at Double-A New Britain, where he was 3-1 with a 3.08 ERA in eight appearances, including seven starts.

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