Pelfrey's fastball gets even faster

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 4, 2013 - 12:17 AM

– Even after five months, the Twins still are learning about righthander Mike Pelfrey and the process of coming back from elbow reconstruction surgery. And what they’ve seen lately has been a pleasant surprise.

“I didn’t know he could throw 95 [miles per hour],” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “I thought he’d settle in at 91, 92. I didn’t know he could get to 95.”

Pelfrey has flashed increasing speed as he gets farther away from the Tommy John procedure he underwent on May 1, 2012. Two pitches were recorded at 96 mph in his Saturday start against Texas, according to mlb.com, and he hit 95 mph several times.

But if the Twins are impressed, Pelfrey really isn’t, not yet.

“I’ve thrown harder,” the 29-year-old righthander said. “Last year, my last outing in spring training I touched 97. And my last outing before I got hurt, I was hitting 95 in the eighth inning. My velocity’s getting there. I think the biggest question for me now is, how come some days I feel good, my arm feels live, and sometimes it just feels dead. That didn’t happen before.”

It’s a natural progression after surgery, however, and Pelfrey has been told the “dead” periods should become less frequent.

“I lot of people tell me, Year 2 after surgery is when you’re really back,” Pelfrey said, a fact his agent, Scott Boras, is sure to emphasize when Pelfrey becomes a free agent in November.

Gardenhire said he has enjoyed the transformation of Pelfrey from a take-it-slow, run-up-pitch-counts starter earlier this year to a more classic power pitcher of late. Pelfrey posted a 3.60 ERA in six August starts, and he’s given up only two runs in his past 12 innings, while striking out 10.

“He’s got great stuff now. He can punch people out, blow it by them,” Gardenhire said. “But quick outs is a way to stay in games longer, and he’s been trying.”

Keeping bullpen fresh

With another 7⅓ innings required Monday, the Twins have piled up 471⅓ innings of work from the bullpen this season entering Tuesday, only two innings less than Toronto’s major-league-leading total. Yet the heavy workload hasn’t burned out the relief corps; Minnesota’s bullpen ERA of 3.11 ranks fifth in the majors.

“From early in the season, our biggest worry was blowing up our bullpen, burning them out,” Gardenhire said, a concern that grew more serious as the starting rotation had difficulty getting to the late innings. “Our goal is not to try to hurt them. If a guy’s gone a couple of days in a row, we just say, ‘You’re not pitching tonight.’ ”

Etc.

• Joe Mauer took live batting practice at Target Field on Tuesday, and continued to report no return of his concussion symptoms, General Manager Terry Ryan said. How likely is a Friday return to the lineup? “I don’t know if we’ll know that until we get back,” Ryan said. “We’ll have him examined again,” likely on Thursday’s off day.

• Righthander J.T. Chargois, the Twins’ second-round pick in 2012 who missed the entire season because of a sore elbow, will undergo reconstruction surgery in two weeks, Twins minor league director Brad Steil said. Chargois, a relief pitcher out of Rice, saved five games and posted a 1.69 ERA for Elizabethton after being drafted last year, but was shut down after experiencing elbow pain this spring. Months of rest had him back to throwing live batting practice last month, but he reinjured the arm and will require Tommy John surgery.

• Oswaldo Arcia returned to the Twins lineup Tuesday, his wrist healed after missing all but one of the past 13 games.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Bottom 3rd123456789RHE
Minnesota000      040
Baltimore000      020
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
HR: MIN- None BAL- None

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 3
Minnesota 0 Top 3rd Inning
Baltimore 0
Philadelphia 0 Top 4th Inning
NY Mets 0
Miami 2 Bottom 3rd Inning
Atlanta 0
Boston 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Tampa Bay 1
Cleveland 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Kansas City 0
Detroit 1 Top 3rd Inning
Chicago WSox 0
Texas 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Houston 0
Colorado - T. Matzek 7:10 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada 7:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Gonzales
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:40 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 8:05 PM
San Francisco - J. Peavy
Oakland - J. Samardzija 8:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Washington - S. Strasburg 8:10 PM
Seattle - R. Elias
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 Delayed 9:55
(6) Auburn 38
(16) Clemson 21 3rd Qtr 11:27
(12) Georgia 24
Liberty 15 3rd Qtr
(23) North Carolina 21
Ohio U 14 3rd Qtr 12:44
Kent State 7
Louisiana Tech 0 1st Qtr 0:01
(4) Oklahoma 21
Stephen F Austin 0 2nd Qtr 14:51
(20) Kansas State 14
Fresno State 0 1st Qtr 7:46
(15) USC 7
Southern Miss 0 1st Qtr 11:10
Miss State 7
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
Idaho 0 Delayed
Florida 0
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 FINAL
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 0 1st Half 35:00
Montreal 0
FC Dallas 7:30 PM
Chicago
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 33 2nd Qtr 0:41
Indiana 42
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close