MINNEAPOLIS -- Reliever Kyle Waldrop, who is on the disabled list with a strained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, threw his third bullpen on Friday and is set to head out on a rehab assignment on Saturday.
Waldrop said he's scheduled to fly to Fort Myers, Fla., where he's set to pitch in extended Spring Training. He said there's no official timetable for his return, but that he expects to see action in three or four games before he'll be ready to come off the DL.
"I'll be able to get into game action and really test it out and let it go," Waldrop said. "Hopefully everything will be fine and it won't be too long after that."
The Twins still haven't said whether Waldrop will be optioned to Triple-A once activated from the DL or if he'll stay on the big league roster. But Waldrop said this is a positive step in his recovery.
"It's good," Waldrop said. "We're obviously not out of the woods yet. But it's nice to see light at the end of the tunnel. We're moving forward and progressing on a steady schedule. So far it's worked well, so it's good to get back to a competitive atmosphere."
Willingham set to return from paternity leave
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins will reinstate outfielder Josh Willingham from the paternity list in time for Saturday's game against the Royals, the club announced after Friday's 7-6 loss to Kansas City. Outfielder Ben Revere will be optioned to Triple-A to make room for Willingham on the roster.
Willingham was placed on paternity leave to attend the birth of his son, Rogan Jaynes, on Wednesday.
Revere was recalled in his place, and went 3-for-7 with a walk in two games with the Twins.
Willingham has been the club's best hitter this season, batting .333 while leading the team with five homers and 13 RBIs in 18 games.
Parmelee nearing return from hit-by-pitch
MINNEAPOLIS -- First baseman Chris Parmelee, who was struck on the helmet by a Justin Thomas fastball on Wednesday, said Friday he's feeling much better and hopes to return to the lineup soon.
He was hit by a 93-mph fastball from Thomas in the sixth inning of Wednesday's 7-6 loss to the Red Sox, and stayed on the ground for a few minutes before walking off the field with the help of team trainers.
But team doctors ruled out a concussion, as he only suffered a black eye and a headache as a result of the pitch, which hit the bottom of his helmet.
"I had my bell rung," Parmelee said. "I was a little dazed when it happened but the concussion part never crossed my mind. But I did the testing and the docs said I'm doing real good. I'm feeling great."
Parmelee was out of the lineup against the Royals on Friday, as Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he's still day to day.
"There's a little bit of swelling in his head, when he got hit, and little black eye, but he's actually OK," Gardenhire said. "He's out there running around, and doing pretty good. Just have to go day by day with him. Says he feels good. I'll let the doctors and trainers tell me."
Pitchers, catchers have closed-door meeting
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson held a closed-door meeting with all 13 pitchers and both catchers after the club's 7-6 loss to the Red Sox on Wednesday.
Minnesota's starting pitchers have struggled this season with a Major-League worst 7.09 ERA entering Friday's game against the Royals. And the club also enters Friday's game with the second-worst ERA in the Majors at 5.76 ERA.
It was Anderson's decision to hold the meeting, according to Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.
"He wanted to take the pitchers in and I agreed with him," Gardenhire said. "We talked about after the ballgame about getting all the pitchers in there and talking about trusting your stuff. Sure there's scouting reports that say this guy hits this better than this, but a pitcher has to stay with his strengths. We've probably got some of our pitchers getting away from their strengths."
Catcher Joe Mauer also shed light on what was talked about during the meeting, which lasted 20 minutes.
"I just think it's [that] we're a lot better than what we've shown," Mauer said. "That's kind of what the meeting was about. Just try and get back on track. That's about it."