Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Postgame: Pelfrey costing himself money with subpar starts

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: September 12, 2013 - 12:04 AM

    Mike Pelfrey is closing in on a $100,000 bonus for pitching 150 innings this season. But this isn't the way he wanted to get there.

    Pelfrey suffered what may have been his worst outing of a difficult season Wednesday, surrendering seven runs and recording only nine outs as Oakland pounded the Twins, 18-3. By pitching so poorly, he is undoubtedly costing himself some money on his next contract, after he becomes a free agent in November. But he's costing himself some money this season, too.

    Pelfrey, who earns $4 million as a base salary, has pitched 142 1/3 innings, and is due the bonus at 150 innings, and another $150,000 if he reaches 160. The Twins have discussed shutting him down for the season, considering he's a year removed from elbow surgery, but "I would like to finish the season," he said, though not because of the bonus. When healthy, he's always started 31 games or more, and he expects himself to live up to that standard, he said. "I always take pride in taking the ball every fifth day. Whatever I end up getting to is what I end up getting to."

    Pelfrey says he still feels strong, though his last two starts have been disastrous; he allowed six runs in six innings against Toronto last Friday, and has a 12.00 ERA this month. He's also now 5-12 on the season.

    His manager said before the game that there are no plans to remove Pelfrey from the rotation, but "We're definitely monitoring pitch counts right now," Ron Gardenhire said, of both Pelfrey and Andrew Albers. "If he feels like he's starting to run out of gas, we'll take him out. ...  We're paying attention to it. 

    Even with a six-man rotation, Pelfrey could make three more starts this season, so it's not out of the question that Gardenhire's decision could mean as much as a quarter-million dollars to the 29-year-old righthander.

    Players keep track of that, Gardenhire said. Managers cannot.

     "You're aware. It's money, it's cash," Gardenhire said of bonus clauses -- which he had himself in his contracts while with the Mets. He got paid for playing a certain number of games. "That's why I was happy we had Rusty Staub," he joked, "because I pinch-ran for him all the time. And I made my appearances [bonus]. Because I would never have gotten them as a hitter."

    But because of the possible conflicts of interest, he tries to remain oblivious about his player's incentive clauses, like the $1 million Josh Willingham won't earn this year because he won't reach 525 plate appearances, or the bonuses Glen Perkins receives for finishing games as the team's closer all year.

    Or Pelfrey's innings incentive. "I don't pay attention to that stuff. I can't. I would never want anything like that to affect the way I handle a pitcher out there," Gardenhire said. "I've actually, in the past, had players try to tell me that stuff. That doesn't work out very well with me. I can't. We just have to pitch the best way we possibly can. If they deserve the innings, they'll get their innings. If they pitch well enough, they'll stay out there. But to try to force the issue, and have somebody make money because of that, I don't get involved in that stuff."

7:05 PM ET123456789RHE
MinnesotaK. Gibson (11-10)000
BaltimoreC. Tillman (11-5)000
@theBallpark
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - M. Pineda 12:07 PM
Toronto - D. Hutchison
Detroit - M. Scherzer 12:10 PM
Chicago WSox - C. Sale
Chicago Cubs - F. Doubront 1:15 PM
St. Louis - J. Masterson
Cincinnati - A. Simon 3:05 PM
Pittsburgh - V. Worley
Minnesota - K. Gibson 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Philadelphia - J. Williams 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
Miami - J. Cosart 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Boston - A. Webster 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Cleveland - T. Bauer 6:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Detroit - K. Ryan 6:10 PM
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt
Texas - R. Ross Jr. 6:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
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
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
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 7 1st Qtr 0:49
UAB 14
(7) UCLA 7 2nd Qtr 13:35
Virginia 0
Western Mich 7 2nd Qtr
Purdue 7
(5) Ohio State 3 2nd Qtr 14:04
Navy 7
Appalachian St 0 2nd Qtr 13:30
Michigan 14
Ga Southern 7 1st Qtr 8:55
NC State 0
Boston College 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(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
Colorado 3:00 PM
Seattle
New England 4:00 PM
Toronto FC
Columbus 6:30 PM
Montreal
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 6:00 PM
Indiana
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