Perkins gets called up to help out bullpen

The Twins called up lefthander Glen Perkins on Wednesday to help out their depleted bullpen. To make room for him, the club sent catcher Chris Heintz to Class AAA Rochester.

The Twins called up lefthander Glen Perkins on Wednesday to help out their depleted bullpen. To make room for him, the club sent catcher Chris Heintz to Class AAA Rochester.

Perkins allowed one run through six innings on Monday in his only start for Rochester, one that included a run of 13 consecutive batters retired. While the Twins' long-term view is for Perkins to start, he will be used in relief until the bullpen stabilizes.

"Things changed pretty quick out of spring training with a couple of injuries, and then our bullpen got beat up here pretty quick," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Perkins will add depth to a bullpen stretched thin because of soreness, emergencies and weariness.

Righthander Jesse Crain will be shut down for a couple of days because of a sore shoulder. Crain felt some soreness in the shoulder while taking long tosses Wednesday.

"I guess the cold got me," he joked. "I think I just have a little tendinitis."

Crain, with a 2.45 ERA in four appearances, said he's taking anti-inflammatory medication for the soreness and won't rush to get back to action because he doesn't want to aggravate it so early in the season.

Righthander Juan Rincon wasn't at the park Wednesday and might not be available today because of the death of his mother-in-law. Rincon is home with his wife, Roselen, who is pregnant and unable to fly to Venezuela for the funeral.

Before Wednesday's game, lefthander Dennys Reyes and righthander Pat Neshek informed the staff that they could use another day off. That left the Twins with Matt Guerrier in the bullpen and with Sidney Ponson in the wings as an emergency reliever.

Slumping Bartlett gets day off

Twins shortstop Jason Bartlett got benched Wednesday, and he refused to blame anything.

Not the Metrodome's turf. Not his sore groin. Not his vision.

"There's no excuses," he said.

Bartlett entered Wednesday leading all major leaguers with four errors, and he was batting .050, with one hit in 20 at-bats. Bartlett also strained his groin Tuesday, trying to field a base hit up the middle from the New York Yankees' Melky Cabrera.

So Gardenhire started Alexi Casilla at shortstop, saying Bartlett would be back in the lineup today.

Bartlett, who started the final 99 games of last season, along with all three playoff games, said his defensive struggles bother him a lot more than those on offense.

"I do take a lot of pride in [defense]," he said, "But right now, it's ridiculous how bad it is."

Bartlett tried wearing contact lenses April 4 against Baltimore. He said his vision is close to 20/20, but the contact lenses brought it to 20/15. He ended that experiment after one game in the Metrodome.

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