FORT MYERS, FLA. - Mike Pelfrey considers the doubts about whether he will be ready for Opening Day to be pretty silly. He's ready now.
Pelfrey threw more than 50 pitches in his first bullpen session of spring training camp on Thursday, more than any other pitcher in camp. Pretty aggressive for a guy who underwent Tommy John surgery last May.
"I have a little different program. Guys finished their throwing and I was still throwing," said Pelfrey, 29, who signed as a free agent last December after seven seasons with the Mets. "I wanted to get all my off-speed pitches in. I have a routine I do before every game, and I went ahead and did that."
Did it with no problem, either. Pelfrey said his rehab from surgery has been exceptionally smooth, and he has no restrictions on him as he prepares for the season.
Which could start tomorrow, as far as he's concerned.The rains came
Heavy rain fell overnight, making the practice fields too slick to use, then began again shortly after the Twins' scheduled workout. But the team still got its work in Thursday, using a 45-minute pause in the showers to conduct bullpen sessions for the 16 pitchers who had planned to throw. Meanwhile, the other pitchers practiced bunting, then rehearsed pickoff signs and moves with catchers. Position players, who aren't required to be here yet anyway, retreated to batting cages and the weight room to work out.
"We got just about everything done, other than some of the fundamentals [like] covering first base," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "But they do that a lot, so we're OK."Perkins picks up tab
Glen Perkins honored a Twins tradition on Wednesday by taking his bullpen catcher and more than a dozen clubhouse staff members to dinner at a local seafood restaurant. It's a thank-you night out that Michael Cuddyer began in 2007.
"Cuddy did it for five years, and when he signed with the Rockies [before last season], I felt like it needed to keep going," said the Twins closer. "Those guys do so much for us. They've all been here long enough now where some of those guys are my closest friends."
One clubhouse worker, Frank Hanzlik, "towed my truck down here from Minnesota," Perkins said. And not just any truck -- it's a 1964 Chevy pickup truck that Perkins bought from a collector and had restored over the winter.
Acquired: As a minor league free agent, Dec. 7
2012 stats: Hit .259 with nine home runs in 127 games with Class AAA Indianapolis (Pirates)
Role: He's a darkhorse candidate for the center-field job, and with a .381 on-base percentage in five Class AAA seasons, he could be a leadoff hitter, too. More likely a fourth-outfielder possibility.
Did you know? Majored in science, technology and culture at Georgia Tech.