Pressly hoping to break camp with Twins as he did in '13

Right-hander vying for bullpen spot with Minnesota

Pressly hoping to break camp with Twins as he did in '13

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Ryan Pressly will never forget his first day of live batting practice with the Twins as a Rule 5 Draft pick just two years ago.

The right-hander, who had only reached Double-A in the Red Sox organization, was thrown into a group with former American League MVPs Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau as well as Josh Willingham and Trevor Plouffe. But Pressly was able to impress that spring and ultimately stuck with the club the entire 2013 season.

Pressly is looking to replicate that type of performance this year, as he's competing for a spot in the bullpen after not breaking camp with the Twins last season. It starts in earnest Saturday, when Pressly will be thrown into live batting practice against a group that includes Torii Hunter, Aaron Hicks and Oswaldo Arcia.

"It'll be fun to see Torii Hunter up there because he was my first strikeout," Pressly said with a laugh. "I haven't told him yet. But I'm sure I'll get enough confidence one day to tell him."

Pressly notches first career K

Pressly was the victim of having three Minor League options left last spring, which left him on the outside looking in while relievers out of options such as Samuel Deduno and Anthony Swarzak made the club. But he was solid at Triple-A Rochester, posting a 2.98 ERA with 63 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings before getting called up in late July. He had a 2.86 ERA in 25 outings with the Twins to lower his career ERA to 3.60 in 105 innings.

But with Glen Perkins, Casey Fien, Brian Duensing and Tim Stauffer all considered locks in the bullpen as well as either Mike Pelfrey or Tommy Milone, the Twins likely only have two spots open. Minnesota could go with a lefty, such as Caleb Thielbar or Aaron Thompson, with one of those spots, leaving Pressly to compete with right-handers Michael Tonkin, Lester Oliveros, Rule 5 pick J.R. Graham and non-roster invitee Blaine Boyer.

"We'll see how everything kind of plays out," Pressly said. "It's going to be interesting. You've got guys like Tonkin and Lester who are going to come out of the gates swinging. I just have to control what I can control. So, it's about who shows up and who has a good spring, and I'm hoping I have a good spring like I did in 2013."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for 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.