Glen Perkins was born in Minnesota, went to high school in Minnesota (Stillwater), went to the University of Minnesota, was drafted by and then signed with the Minnesota Twins, and since September of 2006, he has been able to call himself a big leaguer, a Minnesota Twin! Talk about living the dream! He enters 2009 in a position that he has not previously been in. First, he will be with the Twins for his very first Opening Day. Also, he came into spring training knowing that he has a role as a starter in the Twins pitching staff. In 2008 with the Twins, Perkins went 12-4 with a 4.41 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. In August, he won five games including shutouts against the Yankees and the Angels. Looking at his career statistics, particularly his minor league track record, I fully believe that he will have a breakthrough season in 2009.
During the offseason, Perkins participated in the Twins Winter Caravan. While on his travels that week in January, he wrote a daily blog at MLBlogs.com called Twins Confidential. Apparently he enjoyed it so much that he has continued to blog at MLBlogs.com at his new site called Perk's Place. His most recent blog posting discussed how busy he has been down in Ft. Myers! Because of that, I really want to thank him for taking the time to e-mail me and then offer to do a Q&A. Without further ado, or introduction, or whichever you prefer…
…Let the Questions Begin! (Please note, this is just an excerpt of the full Q&A, which you can find at www.SethSpeaks.net.)
SethSpeaks: First things first - the 2009 season is upon us. What is it about Opening Day, for you, that makes it so special?
Glen Perkins: This is going to be my first Opening Day with the Twins, so I think it will be a little more special than the rest. I think it's the promise of a new season, expectations, and the chance to prove people wrong.
SethSpeaks: You came into spring training this year with a different outlook than previous springs; you had a role on the team, a secure job in the starting rotation. Was spring any different for you this year?
Glen Perkins: This spring has been great and I think that my performance can attest to the position I am in. Every baseball player is a competitor and I could not ask for more than to be given the ball every fifth day with the chance to compete and get our team a win. There is more pressure on me this year than ever because they are entrusting me with 20% of our games and I think it has allowed me to be even more intense than I normally am.
SethSpeaks: Since the end of last season, what are some of the things that you have done to prepare for the 2009 season?
Glen Perkins: I ramped up my offseason workouts and also spent much time talking to people and also practicing throwing my slider. It is a pitch I started throwing midseason and I am committed to making that a reliable pitch for me.
SethSpeaks: As important, what do you do during the offseason to get away from baseball? Do you have hobbies, travel, or is all your time spent with your kids?
Glen Perkins: Having two daughters is busy, which I love, so playing with them does take most my time. My wife however allows me plenty of time to go hunting for both pheasant and deer. We went to Vegas again so that was fun. I won money, gave it to my wife, and she lost it. Vegas is always sweet.
SethSpeaks: Did you work on anything during spring to add to the pitches you throw? What pitches do you throw, and what would you call your out pitch?
Glen Perkins: I throw fastball, slider, and change up. I have really focused on improving my slider and I think Andy and myself are pretty excited about the progress I have made with it.
SethSpeaks: Looking to the 2009 season, many believe that the Twins will be fighting with three or even four teams for the AL Central title. In your mind, what are a couple of keys to the Twins success in 2009?
Glen Perkins: Get Mauer healthy, starters pitch deep in games, and our bullpen continues to rock and roll... Seriously, I think us playing as a team and playing to our strengths- things we have done well for a long time- and we will be just fine.
To read the rest of this Q&A with Twins starting pitcher and Minnesota native, Glen Perkins, please go to www.Sethspeaks.net. Have a great weekend!