FORT MYERS, Fla. — Mike Pelfrey is worried, and you can’t blame him.
Not about the fifth-starter job — he’s satisfied with what he’s shown the Twins so far, and Wednesday’s four-inning, one-run performance was just the latest evidence he’s healthy again. But Pelfrey, a Wichita State alum but a Kansas basketball fan, is stressed about a potential Shocker-Jayhawks showdown in the NCAA Basketball Tournament, a Sunflower State showdown that will take place Sunday night if Kansas survives New Mexico State and Wichita State beats Indiana on Friday.
“If Wichita State wins, I’m going to have to change my phone number. I’ll never hear the end of it,” Pelfrey said of the 2-seed-vs.-7-seed-possibility. “I’ve been talking trash for a long time to all my buddies who are die-hard Wichita State fans, about the Jayhawks. I don’t know, I hope maybe one of them gets beat in the first round so that doesn’t happen. I’ll be real nervous when they play Sunday night.”
A few more notes from the Twins’ game in jetBlue Park:
— Pelfrey will start Monday’s game in Clearwater against the Phillies, giving him center stage as he battles for a spot in the rotation. That’s also the day Ervin Santana is supposed to pitch next, but with his spot already sewn up, Santana will pitch in a minor-league game at the Twins complex instead.
— Glen Perkins will pitch in a minor-league game Thursday, the first time he’s faced hitters since the Twins’ exhibition with the Gophers on March 4. Perkins is recovering from a strained right oblique, but hasn’t felt any pain the last two times he threw.
— The Twins’ day had an early start, with a pair of meetings. One was a team meeting to go over some new ways of communicating by using iPads, Molitor said, and the second was a presentation by the MLB Alumni association, which helps players transition to their post-career lives.
— Chris Herrmann started at first base and, judged manager Paul Molitor, “today was the best day he’s had out there.” Herrmann, learning the position in addition to the outfield and catching, saved a couple of outs by scooping out throws in the dirt, and he made a nice play on a hard-hit ball. “I like that he didn’t panic,” on the play, Molitor said, and he flipped to the pitcher for the out. “As he gets more comfortable [at the position], I will as well.”
— Wednesday’s game got off to an odd start. The singer performing the national anthem accidentally skipped four lines, going directly from “twilight’s last gleaming” to the “rocket’s red glare.”