TORONTO -- The seven finalists have been selected for the first All-Star Fans Choose grant, the Twins and Major League Baseball announced Tuesday.
More than 100 non-profit groups from the Upper Midwest applied for the $500,000 grant, which is a part of the most extensive legacy giving campaign in All-Star history. With the Twins set to host the Midsummer Classic on July 15, more than $8 million will go toward local projects and national charitable initiatives.
Fans can now vote at AllStarGame.com/FansChoose through July 10 to help choose their favorite non-profit among the seven finalists.
"We're thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity to local non-profits thanks to the generosity of Major League Baseball, the Pohlad Family Foundation and the Minnesota Twins Community Fund," said Twins senior director of community affairs Bryan Donaldson. "This is the first time a charity project of this nature has been done in conjunction with the All-Star Game and it's truly unique to put this decision in the fans' hands."
A panel of judges, consisting of representatives from MLB and the Twins, determined the final seven non-profit projects based on the following criteria: impact on community, scope, timeline, environmental improvement, sustainable design, and quality of application.
The seven finalists are all from Minnesota: Camp Fire Minnesota (Chanhassen), Channel One Regional Food Bank (Rochester), Cookie Cart (Minneapolis), Hmong American Farmers Association (Vermillion), Madison Claire Foundation (Woodbury), Minnesota Adult and Teen challenge (St. Michael) and People Serving People (Minneapolis).
Pelfrey has elbow surgery, to miss at least two months
TORONTO -- Right-hander Mike Pelfrey underwent surgery on Tuesday to clean up scar tissue in his right elbow that was causing pressure on his ulnar nerve, the Twins announced.
Pelfrey met with Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion on his elbow in Pensacola, Fla., on Monday, and Dr. Andrews performed the surgery on Tuesday. He's expected to be out two to four months.
Pelfrey had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on May 1, 2012, which caused him to miss the rest of that season and led to the scar tissue buildup in his elbow that necessitated Tuesday's operation. But his ulnar collateral ligament is fine now, as the injury was related to the ulnar nerve.
Pelfrey began to feel numbness in his fingers during Spring Training but never notified the training staff, as it was something he'd dealt with earlier in his career without any issues.
He went on to post a 7.99 ERA in five starts with diminished velocity before going on the 15-day disabled list with a groin strain on May 2. He made two rehab starts with Triple-A Rochester before he began to feel what he thought was shoulder pain, but turned out to be related to the ulnar nerve in his elbow after he had both his shoulder and elbow checked out by Twins doctors in late May.
Pelfrey, 30, posted a 5.19 ERA in 29 starts in his return from Tommy John surgery last year, and the Twins were hopeful he'd bounce back this season after being another year removed from the surgery. He signed a two-year, $11 million deal in the offseason to remain in Minnesota.
Morales makes second Twins start, first vs. southpaw
TORONTO -- Kendrys Morales was back in the lineup Tuesday for a second straight day after making his season debut with the Twins on Monday.
Morales, who officially signed with the Twins on Sunday, started at designated hitter and batted fifth against Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ -- hitting from the right side for the first time this year in Minnesota's 4-0 win. He went 1-for-3 with a walk in his debut on Monday and 2-for-5 with a run scored on Tuesday.
Morales indicated he wants to be an everyday player moving forward, and Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he'll continually check with Morales to see how he's feeling given his long layoff.
"He was out early for extra BP, and like he said yesterday, he's tired of sitting after not playing for four months," Gardenhire said. "He wants to play. I think you saw he can still turn on a fastball like he did last night. So we're going to just keep running him out there. I'll kinda let him dictate that and check on him every day to see how his legs and body are doing."
Ailing shoulder keeps Hicks shelved for third game
TORONTO -- Center fielder Aaron Hicks remains sidelined with a sore right shoulder, and could head back to Minnesota to get his shoulder examined if it's not feeling better by Wednesday.
Hicks was held out of the lineup for a third straight game on Tuesday after suffering the injury while making a game-ending diving catch in center field on Saturday. He's still having trouble throwing, but is available to pinch-hit and pinch-run.
"It still bothers him," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We're going to have to figure this out in the next day or so. It's not really getting much better so we'll make a decision here in the next day or two."
If Hicks is placed on the 15-day disabled list, the Twins could look to activate fellow center fielder Sam Fuld from the DL to take his spot on the roster. Fuld, who has been out of action since May 7 with concussion-like symptoms, has been on a rehab assignment with Double-A New Britain since Saturday.
Fuld hasn't suffered any recent setbacks and has been feeling good while on his rehab assignment, according to Gardenhire.
Rookie Danny Santana, a natural shortstop, made his third straight start in center field with Hicks still unable to throw.