MINNEAPOLIS Mike Pelfrey feels blessed.
The Twins right-hander feels blessed simply for the fact that he gets to play baseball for a living. He also considers himself blessed because of his rapid recovery from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He had the surgery on May 1 and it usually takes players a year to fully recover from the procedure.
But here Pelfrey was Thursday, taking the mound in his Minnesota Twins debut just over 11 months after his right elbow was surgically reconstructed. There was never a shadow of a doubt that his arm would be fine, never any hesitation from Pelfrey or his manager.
In fact, when Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire tried to take Pelfrey out after five innings, Pelfrey told his new manager that he could keep going, elbow surgery be darned. While Pelfrey didn't complete the sixth inning, he did earn his first Twins win as Minnesota topped the Detroit Tigers 8-2 to win the opening series of 2013.
"It felt good. Going into a year, whether I was...