Oliveros declares himself ready for spring debut

Recurring sore shoulder flared in his second live bullpen session in early March

Oliveros declares himself ready for spring debut

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins right-hander Lester Oliveros, who has been dealing with right shoulder soreness, threw a bullpen session on Wednesday and said he's ready to make his Grapefruit League debut this weekend.

Oliveros, the lone pitcher in big league camp yet to make an appearance this spring, dealt with a similar shoulder issue while pitching in his native Venezuela this offseason. He was shut down with shoulder soreness after throwing 10 innings for Caribes de Anzoátegui, but was cleared to throw early in camp. The issue popped up again during his second bullpen session in early March, which forced him to miss time early this spring.

Oliveros, though, said his bullpen session went well on Wednesday and that he believes he'll have time to get ready for the season.

"I feel good," Oliveros said. "I'm hoping to get into a game this weekend."

He's one of several relievers competing for a spot in the bullpen after impressing in the Minors last year. He posted a 1.64 ERA with 88 strikeouts in 65 2/3 innings between Double-A New Britain and Triple-A Rochester, which earned him a callup in September. He had a 7.11 ERA in 6 1/3 innings with the Twins, but his final 5 2/3 innings were scoreless after a rocky start.

"I did well in the Minor Leagues, but my first couple outings in the Majors weren't that good because I was little excited," Oliveros said. "But the last few outings were pretty good."

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.