While Hernandez is currently in line to start the game, the Twins do want to see some improvement from the right-hander. He is now 1-1 with an 8.00 ERA in his three starts, which included a six-run, 10-hit performance in his second spring outing against the Orioles.Gardenhire felt Hernandez's outing on Tuesday against the Rays was "better." Hernandez had three quick innings in which he retired nine of the 10 batters he faced, and one that wasn't so easy -- giving up a pair of doubles, a walk and an RBI single in the third. There have been a few blips early on for the right-hander, but Gardenhire said the team isn't too concerned by the pitcher's Spring Training results. Instead, they are focusing on how his pitches are coming along. "He knows how to pitch; he's done it," Gardenhire said. "He's proven himself in this league, and I think he probably has another level. I think we've seen it before, so we've kind of learned not to panic." Hernandez agreed that there are some things he needs to work on before the start of the season, including the feel of his sinker. The right-hander said he's been working on the pitch in his bullpen sessions and threw a few extra in his latest start. But he said his sinker, a pitch that usually is one of the last to come for him, was starting to come around on Tuesday. So when that Opening Day start comes on the last day of March, Hernandez believes he'll be ready. "I'm very strong now," Hernandez said. "I'm thinking in two weeks, everything is going to be good."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.