The Twins liked enough of what they saw in pitcher Mike Pelfrey in 2013 to give him a two-year contract in the offseason. On Friday, he chatted with the Star Tribune's Michael Rand:
Q People always talk about Tommy John surgery [Pelfrey had his in the spring of 2012] and the second year after it being better than the first. What's the difference in your mind?
A I feel like I've never had surgery before. So I feel normal, I guess you could say. I haven't had to deal with all the rehab I did before. It's been a normal offseason for me in terms of working out, so I feel pretty good.
Q What made you want to re-sign with the Twins?
A I enjoyed my time here. The guys are good, and I obviously believe this is a good organization that's headed in the right direction. We went out and got [Ricky] Nolasco and [Phil] Hughes, which are two huge additions that are definitely going to help us.
Q Do you almost feel like the forgotten signing with those guys?
A No, not at all. Those guys, their careers speak for themselves.
Q How good can the staff be?
A Pretty good. Obviously last year, maybe we were ranked worst in baseball. That's definitely not acceptable, so hopefully we'll be a lot better than that and take a lot of the innings off the bullpen. We taxed them a lot.
Q You were only here for one of the three 95-loss seasons, but what do you gather from the sense of urgency to stop that?
A I think you go out in the offseason to change the philosophy. They knew there was a change needed, so they went out and made it. Now it's up to us to go out and execute and perform and do the things we're paid to do. Last year, you can look back and say not too many guys had career years. When that happens, it makes for a bad year. Hopefully, we can at least get back to our norm.
Q Glen Perkins tells me you're one of the smartest guys on the pitching staff. True or false?
A I don't know if he really said that.
Q Oh, he really did say that.
A I always tell these guys who try to say that I'm not very bright, I tell them I had a 4.0 [grade-point] average in college at Wichita State. I'm smart when I need to be, but I like to joke around and have a good time and maybe that takes away from it.
Q Speaking of Wichita State, do you follow the basketball program?
A I'm a season-ticket holder. The only problem is that I grew up a Kansas Jayhawks fan. I've been a Jayhawks fan for 26 years and a Shockers fan for maybe three years. But I'm a season-ticket holder, and 20-0 [at the time of this interview, 21-0 now], that's hard to top.
Q If it's Jayhawks vs. Shockers in the Final Four, who do you root for?
A I'll be rooting for the Jayhawks. I have to.