SAN FRANCISCO -- The Twins received good news on rehabbing outfielder Josh Willingham on Friday night but the report on right-handed veteran starter Mike Pelfrey wasn't as encouraging.
Even though Pelfrey tossed five scoreless innings for Triple-A Rochester, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out none, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Pelfrey will remain with the Red Wings for the time being.
"His velocity's still not back to where it needs to be," Gardenhire said. "It was at 88-90 miles an hour, somewhere in there. He'll tell you the same thing; he's trying to figure out mechanically what's wrong with his velocity. That's another hurdle that we'll have to clear. Once he gets to the point when he's ready to come back, we'll just have to make a decision."
Friday marked Pelfrey's second rehab start as he tries to return from a groin injury. Gardenhire said the 30-year-old might be shortening his stride, which could be leading to slower pitches. But the skipper also said he's seen countless pitchers come back and add velocity while they rehab, saying it could just be a matter of time.
Pelfrey returned to the Twins on a two-year, $11 million deal this winter but was hit hard in five starts to begin the season, posting an 0-3 record, 7.99 ERA and 1.99 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched). For now, Gardenhire said he has no reason to believe Pelfrey is dealing with any other injury or setback.
"His arm feels great," Gardenhire said. "The only person who can tell us if he's hurting is Mike Pelfrey."
Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.