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8/19/2014 8:38 P.M. ET

Ex-Twins skipper Kelly works with Vargas on defense

MINNEAPOLIS -- Former Twins manager Tom Kelly came to Target Field on Tuesday to work with rookie Kennys Vargas on his defense at first base.

Vargas has been primarily serving as the club's designated hitter since being called up from Double-A New Britain on July 31. He made his 14th start at DH on Tuesday compared to just three starts at first base.

But the Twins want Vargas to keep working on his defense at first base, and Kelly was called in to help him, as they've worked together plenty in the past, especially during Spring Training.

"It was a good session," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I called TK and asked him to come out here. I wanted him to work with him at first base. He worked with Vargas in the Minor League system, so we wanted to make sure he was seeing the same things with his footwork and arm action. So it was nice and Kennys got a lot of work in."

Gardenhire said the Twins specifically want Vargas to work on his throwing motion and his footwork around the bag. Vargas played 81 games at first base at Double-A this season and continues to improve his defense, but it still needs work.

"It's his arm angle," Gardenhire said. "He's dropping it down and the ball is moving all over the place. And some footwork. But it's about protecting his arm. Some of the throws he's making, he can hurt his arm if he throws that way consistently. So he needs better mechanics."

Pelfrey progressing, but won't pitch this year

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins right-hander Mike Pelfrey said he has progressed to throwing from 105 feet with a target date of Sept. 8 to throw off a mound, but won't return before the end of the season.

Pelfrey, who is on the 60-day disabled list after undergoing elbow surgery in June, threw on both Sunday and Monday but took Tuesday off. The plan moving forward is to continue throwing back-to-back days and then taking a day off.

He said he rehabs his elbow on the days he doesn't throw, including a towel drill where he does his normal throwing motion but with a towel in his hand instead of a baseball.

"I'm just building up," Pelfrey said. "Everything is good."

Pelfrey last pitched with the Twins on May 1 before being placed on the DL with a groin strain. He made two rehab starts with Triple-A Rochester, but felt discomfort in his elbow. He ultimately had surgery to clean up scar tissue in his right elbow that was causing pressure on his ulnar nerve on June 10.

Pelfrey, 30, is under contract next year after signing a two-year, $11 million deal before this season. He posted a 7.99 ERA in five starts before going on the DL.

 "We'll start him fresh next year," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "He'll be ready for Spring Training. But I don't see any reason why we have to push that one." 

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.