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Pelfrey another Nathan: Velocity will come later

  • Blog Post by: Phil Miller
  • February 26, 2013 - 5:11 PM

DUNEDIN, FLA. -- Mike Pelfrey looks like another Joe Nathan. His fastball velocity is a regular-season thing.

"I've always been the kind of guy who takes a little bit to get going," the former Met said after the Twins' 8-4 victory over Toronto on Tuesday. "I looked back [at the scoreboard speed gun] a couple of times, and it said 87, 88 [mph]. I don't know if that's correct, but for February, it was pretty good.

Yeah, especially for a guy coming off Tommy John surgery. Pelfrey said he once thought he was throwing around 90 mph in an early spring game, and found out the next day he was clocked between 82 and 84 mph. By the time camp broke, though, he was in the mid-90s again.

Twins fans will recognize that pattern: Nathan used to alarm the team's pitching coaches because he couldn't throw above the mid-80s in training camp. But once the season started, that cut fastball was traveling 94 mph again.

One more note about Pelfrey: He threw a curveball that bounced past Joe Mauer for a passed ball in the first inning, and was embarrassed by it.

"I felt terrible. I thought I just crossed up the best catcher in the game," Pelfrey said. "But Joe said his contact lens had fluttered."

-- Ron Gardenhire liked the look of his bullpen on Tuesday, he said. Michael Tonkin, who pitched last season for Class A Fort Myers, especially impressed him. "Well, Tonkin just threw the living fire out of it," Gardenhire said, "and [Josh] Roenicke threw the ball really well. They all went in there and attacked pretty decent."

Left-hander Tyler Robertson surrendered a home run to Andy LaRoche, the second long ball he's given up, but Gardenhire liked how he responded. Ryan Pressly retired all four batters he faced, and Tim Wood pitched two innings, because he needed so few pitches to get through his first.
 

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