Pelfrey anxious to prove himself with Twins

Twins starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey is 55-70 in his career and 12-29 in 70 starts since the 2009 season

Jesse Johnson/Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The 2014 season was a tad short for Mike Pelfrey.

"I was feeling good at the end of the year," Pelfrey said Tuesday morning before taking the field for the second day of spring training with the Minnesota Twins. "If the season had been one week longer, I could have pitched."

That appears to be his mindset as he approaches the 2015 season.

"I feel good," the 6-foot-7, 250-pound veteran of nine seasons said. "This is probably the best I’ve felt since before Tommy John (surgery)."

That was in 2012 after making three starts with the Mets, who drafted Pelfrey with the ninth pick of the first round in 2005 and had him pitching in the major leagues in 2006.

"Obviously it was pretty quick," he said of his quick ascent to the Mets. "It was more from need by the (Mets) than me being ready."

After making 13 starts in 2007, compiling a 3-8 record, Pelfrey became a regular in the Mets rotation for four seasons. His best season was 2010 when he went 15-9 with a 3.66 ERA.

However, in late December 2012 he was a free agent and signed by the Twins, who still hope he can reach the level of his success five years ago.

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Even though Pelfrey is 55-70 in his career and 12-29 in 70 starts since that brilliant 2009 season, there is confidence by both Pelfrey and All-Star catcher Kurt Suzuki that more victories can be secured.

"He’s obviously got that presence on the mound," Suzuki said. "It’s just a matter of going out there and being consistent.

"If he can do that, he could be one of the best pitchers in the league."

Pelfrey said he’s healthy and anxious to prove himself after making only three starts in 2014 before being sidelined again. That was after a 5-13 record and 5.19 ERA in his first season with the Twins.

"What’s been frustrating is that early in my career I didn’t miss any starts," he said. "As a competitor, you want to play."

"I feel I’ve gotten myself ready to provide some quality innings," Pelfrey said. "I’m ready to go."

If he joins the rotation that is headed by Phil Hughes, Ricky Nolasco, Ervin Santana and Kyle Gibson, there will be plenty of time to show the organization that he’s deserving of the two-year, $11 million contract he signed before the 2014 season.

"I want to make the rotation," Pelfrey said. "I want to take the ball every five days. We’ll see what happens."