Everett feeling closer to normal
Shortstop looking forward to showing Twins what he can do
MINNEAPOLIS -- The inbox on Adam Everett's phone was nearly full on Sunday night from all the messages congratulating the Twins shortstop on his first home run of the season.There was one from his former teammate Morgan Ensberg that simply read "Homers!!!!!" Another came from a buddy in Florida that said, "If you had been doing yoga, that second one you hit would have been out, too." "Even my pastor from back home text messaged me," Everett said. "It was fun to have all of that happen." For Everett, the barrage of text messages and voicemails was special considering everything the shortstop has gone through since his last home run. The two-run shot by Everett in Sunday's 9-8 win over Boston was his first homer since June 2, 2007, when he was a member of the Astros. That homer came less than two weeks before Everett would break his leg in a collision with teammate Carlos Lee on June 14. The injuy forced him to miss three months and nearly the entire rest of the season. With that setback and then his right shoulder injury early this season -- which required a stint on the disabled list -- Everett has spent quite a bit of time on the bench. It's something that has been a particular hindrance to him offensively. Following his 1-for-4 night with the homer, Everett is hitting just .200 on the season, and the two RBIs from the home run were also his first of the season. "It's just one of those things where for some guys, it's like riding a bike -- right back on and ready to go," Everett said of his offense. "Some guys, it takes a little longer. For me, it has taken a little longer. Obviously, I don't have the offensive numbers of some of the guys in this room. But it's something I work hard at and will continue to work at." The home run was a boost for Everett, but it's been the return of his arm strength that has been the most encouraging sign for the shortstop. With his shoulder getting closer to 100 percent, Everett said he feels like he's regaining the ability to make strong throws. It showed on a throw Everett made in the seventh inning of Sunday's game. After laying out to nab a ball deep in the hole between short and third on a hard hit shot by Kevin Youkilis, the shortstop bounced up quickly and threw a dart to first baseman Justin Morneau to nip Youkilis. "It's always nice to make a play like that," Everett said. "I'm starting to get a lot more carry on the ball. It's still not quite 100 percent, but it's getting there. It's definitely going in the right direction." Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said recently that the club isn't really sure they've seen Everett's arm at 100 percent -- at least he doesn't remember the type of arm strength the shortstop possessed in the past. Everett's hope is that with plays such as the one he made Sunday, the team is going to get a better sense of exactly who he is as a player -- when he's healthy. "It's going to take time for it to be back to normal, but I hope they are starting to see it," Everett said of his arm. "It was hard. I think when you are out there and you don't feel like you can throw the ball to first base or make it to first base without really giving it literally everything you have, it's tough. So hopefully now my teammates can put some trust in me and see what I can do."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.