La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Twins-Jays: Pelfrey has surgery, will miss at least two months and maybe the season

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: June 10, 2014 - 6:18 PM

Twins righthander Mike Pelfrey on Tuesday had surgery to alleviate pressure on his ulnar nerve and will miss several weeks, possibly the season.

The Twins said that recovery time is anywhere from two to four months, depending on the individual.

The good news is that his ulnar collateral ligament, which was replaced on 2012, is fine. The problem was that scar tissue from that procedure was pressing up against the nerve, leading to problems.

Pelfrey felt tingling in his fingers going back to spring training, but didn't think it was a big deal and did not notify the training staff of the development. But the velocity on his fastball, as high as 95 miles an hour last season, was down to the low 90's once the season started. After going 0-3 with a 7.99 ERA in five starts, he was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a groin strain and sent to Class AAA Rochester for a rehabilitation assignment.

He as 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA at Rochester but said his velocity dropped to 86-90. That's when Pelfrey decided to have it looked at, so he went to Pensacola, Fla., on Monday to be examined by noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who preformed Tommy John surgery on him in 2012.

That's when the decision was made to have today's procedure.

Outfielder Aaron Hicks tried throwing during early batting practice today and his right shoulder is still bugging him.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he'll give Hicks one more day to improve. If he doesn't, Hicks could be placed on the DL and sent back to the Twin Cities for an exam. Hicks injured the shoulder while diving for a ball during the ninth inning of Sunday's loss to Houston.

Hicks can pinch run and pinch hit. But he can't throw.

That leaves shortstop Danny Santana as the centerfielder. Gardy mentioned Chris Parmelee as an emergency center fielder if needed. Parmelee played center in high school, when the Twins first scouted him,

Sam Fuld will be in the lineup tonight for Class AA New Britain as he works his way back from a concussion. He was expected to replace Hicks on the roster sometime during this road trip anyway. The Twins also were looking around the league for center field help, but that search might have been put off since Santana has played O.K. there while providing a boost to the offense.

Twins trying to avoid falling to a season-worst five games under .500

Twins (29-33)

Danny Santana, CF

Brian Dozier, 2B

Joe Mauer, 1B

Josh Willingham, LF

Kendrys Morales, DH

Oswaldo Arcia, RF

Eduardo Nunez, 3B

Kurt Suzuki, C

Eduardo Escobar, SS

Kevin Correia, RHP

Blue Jays (39-26)

Jose Reyes, SS

Melky Cabrere, LF

Jose Bautista, RF

Edwin Encarnacion, !B

Adam Lind, DH

Brett Lawrie, 2B

Dioner Navarro, C

Juan Francisco, 3B

Anthony Gose, CF

J.A. Happ, LHP

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