Some players have joked that righthander Mike Pelfrey has found a way to get out of working longer.

“What’s the old saying? Don’t work harder, work smarter,” Pelfrey said.

Pelfrey spent the offseason using an altitude training mask, and he feels he’s at peak cardiovascular condition.

The mask makes him resemble the character Bane from the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.” In addition to wearing it around his offseason home in Wichita, Kan., and frightening his children, Pelfrey got a lot out of the device.

“It said it was for higher trained athletes. That’s definitely me!” Pelfrey said. “Seriously, it’s supposed to take your workouts to the next level. Instead of working out here, I can put that mask on and adjust it anywhere from 3,000 feet altitude to 18,000 feet, which makes it really hard to breathe.

“The holes go from the size of your mouth to your nose to really, really tiny. It’s pretty hard. You’re supposed to work out for 20 minutes and it’s supposed to have the same effect as a 60 minute workout.”

Pelfrey brought the mask to camp and has been seen running in the outfield with it on.

“I put it on and you totally have to suck in air in order to breathe,” Twins righthander Kyle Gibson said.

Now Pelfrey has to figure out a way to crack the Twins rotation, as he’s one of a handful of candidates for the fifth spot.

He’ll keep the day job

In between informal workouts this week, Brian Dozier has been getting plenty of camera time.

The Twins second baseman spent part of Monday filming a commercial for the Twins — six of their popular ads are being filmed this week, including one in Spanish — and on Sunday, he was in uniform all day as part of his new role as a spokesman for Pepsi in the Upper Midwest. That campaign will begin shortly after the season does.

In addition, the Twins had a cameraman following him around for a behind-the-scenes web profile this week, Dozier said, and a CBS Sports crew will be here next week to film an interview.

“It’s a good thing,” Dozier said. “It’s time-consuming, but it means people are excited for Twins baseball.”

Family first

Alex Meyer threw his second bullpen session on Wednesday, then headed for the airport. The Twins’ top pitching prospect is back in Greensburg, Ind., where his grandfather, Don Meyer, died Monday at 76. Meyer will attend the funeral of his grandfather, who owned Ford and Mercury dealerships, on Friday and return in time for Sunday’s workouts.

Let’s meet

Mitch Garver


Age: 24

2014 stats: .298 with 16 home runs and 79 RBI at Class A Cedar Rapids

Acquired: 9th round pick in 2013 draft out of New Mexico.

Role: After All-Midwest League season last year, likely will be starting catcher at Class A Fort Myers.

Did you know? As a senior for the Lobos in his hometown of Albuquerque, he led the nation in hitting by a catcher (.390), but lost the Johnny Bench Award to another Twins catcher, Stuart Turner.