La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Twins sign reliever Perez to minor-league deal

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: February 14, 2013 - 12:07 PM
The Twins might have added some depth to their bullpen Thursday by signing lefthanded reliever Rafael Perez to a minor league contract. Twins fans should be familiar with Perez, who pitched the past seven seasons for AL Central rival Cleveland.
The lefthander has a 21-12 career record with a 3.64 ERA. He was a combined 11-3 in 2010-11, but had shoulder problems last season that eventually required surgery. He appeared in just eight games last season for the Indians.
Perez will report to camp on Thursday. The Twins, technically, will have 35 pitchers in camp but Nick Blackburn and Lester Oliveros are on the minor league side rehabbing injuries.
He has decent stuff, as evidenced by 268 strikeouts in 329 career innings.  Perez has pitched mostly in set-up roles, and could be in that same spot with the Twins, since former lefthanded set-up man Glen Perkins is now the team’s closer.

UPDATE: Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was pleased with the signing, because Perez has a career 1.89 ERA in 41 games against them. Joe Mauer approved of the signing too.

``He hides the ball well,'' Mauer said.

Caution is needed here. Shoulder surgeries can be tough to come back from. But if Perez is all the way back, he could be a valuable middle relief option. For more info on Perez's surgery, check out this story. 

Day 2

The Perez signing was the biggest news on a day in which the Twins had to move their work indoors to avoid the rain. Some drills had to be scratched, but the pitchers got their work in, which is important.

Some quick observations:

Jared Burton and Darin Mastroianni are in fantastic shape.

Josh Roenicke is a reliever to watch in camp. Roenicke posted a 3.25 ERA with Colorado last season despite a high walk rate. There's also Tim Wood, a two-time International League reliever of the year. Both players are out of options

Brian Dozier is switching his uniform number from No. 20 to No.2. ``No. 20 didn't work out too well for me last year,'' he said. ``Maybe I can get some of that Denard Span magic.''

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Minnesota20       220
Colorado00       010
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Chicago WSox 3 Bottom 6th Inning
Cleveland 0
Atlanta 2 Bottom 2nd Inning
Chicago Cubs 2
NY Yankees 1 Bottom 3rd Inning
Baltimore 0
Arizona 0 Top 3rd Inning
San Francisco 0
St. Louis 5 Bottom 2nd Inning
Milwaukee 0
Miami 0 Top 3rd Inning
NY Mets 0
Boston 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Houston 0
Minnesota 2 Bottom 2nd Inning
Colorado 0
Toronto 1 Bottom 3rd Inning
Tampa Bay 1
Detroit - R. Porcello 6:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Washington - S. Strasburg 6:15 PM
Philadelphia - C. Hamels
Pittsburgh - C. Morton 6:15 PM
Cincinnati - M. Leake
LA Angels - J. Weaver 6:15 PM
Texas - M. Mikolas
San Diego - I. Kennedy 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - P. Maholm
Oakland - J. Chavez 9:10 PM
Seattle - H. Iwakuma
Colorado 6:00 PM
Houston 6:00 PM
Toronto FC
Columbus 6:00 PM
Red Bull New York
Chicago 6:30 PM
New England
Sporting Kansas City 6:30 PM
Chivas USA 9:00 PM
Vancouver FC
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Winnipeg 34 FINAL
Montreal 33
Ottawa 11 FINAL
Edmonton 27
Calgary 5:30 PM
Brt Columbia 8:30 PM
Edmonton 7/17/14 7:30 PM
Toronto 7/18/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 7/18/14 9:00 PM
Montreal 7/19/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Atlanta 6:00 PM
Washington 7:00 PM
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