Twins closer Glen Perkins, who was named an All-Star for three straight seasons after saving 32 or more games over that span, could start the year on the disabled list, MLB.com reports. And that’s a bad sign for a player who appeared in two games last season, then decided to end it early by having shoulder surgery.
Perkins was set to throw his first bullpen session of the spring, but that scheduled bit of throwing got pushed back after some rotator cuff issues, according to MLB.com. The bullpen session eventually took place and Perkins threw 15 pitches.
Here’s what Twins manager Paul Molitor had to say:
“He was excited about getting out there today, so that was good,” Molitor said about Perkins. “I don’t know if I could give you a percentage on effort, but I’m guessing probably somewhere close to three-quarters. The good news was when he came to [pitchers’ fielding practice] after, he still was able to make pitches and throw to bases a little bit, too.”
If Perkins does start the year on the disabled list, what then? How many comebacks does he have in him? If he continues to struggle with injuries, I don’t see him staying in the game much longer. And that would be too bad because Perkins is a fan favorite and, like Joe Mauer, a Minnesota native.
While the Twins wait for Perkins to get healthy, the team appears to have the heir apparent in Brandon Kintzler. Kintzler, who signed as a free agent in 2015, filled in to notch 17 saves with a 3.15 ERA in 2016. Perkins has spent his entire 11-year career with the Twins and has 120 career saves.