Hartman: Perkins says Twins have better feel this year

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 17, 2013 - 11:47 AM

The closer believes the team has turned the corner following its difficulties the past two seasons.

hide

Minnesota Twins closer Glen Perkins

Photo: Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Looking back at the past two seasons when the Twins nearly lost 100 games each year, reliever Glen Perkins said this year feels different because of new chemistry in the clubhouse, and that has helped the team get off to a much better start.

“There’s a lot of fight here, and I think that having some new guys and new starting pitchers,” said the 30-year-old former Gophers lefthander, who made his Twins debut in 2006. “It doesn’t have that feel of, ‘Here we are again.’ If we lose a game, we lost two tough games here [against the White Sox], and I think that we can come back in tomorrow and it’s a fresh start. It doesn’t have that [negative] vibe. The guys in here have done a good job getting it done so far, and hopefully that will continue.”

Perkins contrasted that feeling with the team’s difficult 2011 and 2012.

“The last two years we’d kind of let things snowball and this year when we’ve struggled — like we had two bad series in Detroit and Cleveland and we came back and played in Boston, where we haven’t historically played well and won three out of four, and especially after losing the first one [in Boston] where we gave that away. I think that it’s a completely different vibe in here so far and it has been fun so far,” Perkins said. “Some of that is the new blood, the new starting pitchers with Vance [Worley] and [Mike Pelfrey] and [Kevin] Correia, they come in and they didn’t experience the last two years here, I think that helped.”

In the Twins’ previous road trip, they lost two out of three to the Tigers and Indians before taking three of four from the Red Sox, who pay a visit to Target Field this weekend. “To come back and fight those last three games [in Boston] and win, I think that shows what we’re capable of,” Perkins said.

Still Perkins knows that there is room for improvement all over the club.

“I think we still haven’t played our best baseball, to be honest with you,” he said. “I think there’s a little bit more consistency on both sides of the ball with our offense and our pitching. There’s more in the tank.

“I thought that when we had Texas here [at the end of April] and that was a series that was going to be a good barometer for us and we split that one. Then going to Boston and winning three out of four, they were hot and they’re going to be there at the end. We battled with them.”

Perkins has converted 24 of 26 saves since being named the closer in the middle of last season, including 8-for-8 this year. Asked to rate his performance, he said: “Good so far. You know, I’ve been out there at times and got it done all right, so I can’t complain.”

Perkins was a starter for the Twins in 2008 and 2009, but he turned into an excellent lefthanded setup reliever before being asked to take over the ninth-inning role. “The last couple of years I’ve been pitching the eighth and it’s still do or die,” he said. “It’s just pitching later in the game and you try not to make any more out of it.

“ I think everyone tries to get later in the game … it’s more fun and all that, I think that is everyone’s goal in the bullpen is to be the closer.”

Big Ten tourney soon

Next weekend, Target Field is playing host to the Big Ten baseball tournament. Twins President Dave St. Peter said the 2015 tournament will be played there as well.

In between those years, the Twins are playing host to their first All-Star Game since the 1985 event at the Metrodome. This week, Earl Santee, the stadium architect for the firm Populous, was in town for his annual review and walkthrough, and he also had discussion with Twins officials about ideas for the All-Star Game.

The Twins also plan to announce a 5,000-seat amphitheater-style concert at the ballpark soon.

Jottings

• St. Peter said the team is expecting to attract more than 100,000 fans for the three-game series with the Red Sox this weekend. … The Twins will honor Mariano Rivera, the great Yankees closer who is retiring at the end of the season, before their July 2 game here. … Speaking of closers, former Twins great Eddie Guardado will be inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame June 14, along with Tom Mee, the team’s longtime head of public relations. … Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings will throw out the ceremonial first pitch when the Milwaukee Brewers visit the Twins on May 29. … The Twins and Target Corp. remain in discussions with Hennepin County regarding sponsorship and programming related to the new transit interchange and plaza that is being built next to the ballpark.

• Xcel Energy Center was recently named the No. 1 building in the NHL by StadiumJourney.com, a website that rates sporting venues across the country.

• Sports Illustrated released its “Fortunate 50,” which lists the highest-paid athletes in terms of salary, winnings, bonuses and endorsements. The lone Minnesota professional athlete to make the list was Joe Mauer at No. 20 overall. He made $23 million in salary last year and $2 million in endorsements. Former Twins ace Johan Santana made the list at No. 13 after earning $25.5 million in salary last year with the Mets and $800,000 in endorsements.

• Rashad Vaughn told the website Tar Heel Illustrated that he came close to committing to North Carolina last week, but after talking to his parents the Cooper basketball star decided to wait. But right now it appears that Vaughn, who is ranked as the sixth-best recruit in the country, favors the Tar Heels. An indication of how bad North Carolina coach Roy Williams wants Vaughn is that right after his team was eliminated from the NCAA tournament, Williams was in Vaughn’s home recruiting him.

• Former Twins center fielder Carlos Gomez began Thursday leading the National League in batting average at .365. He was 50-for-137 at the plate with six home runs, three triples, 11 doubles, 22 runs scored and 18 RBI for Milwaukee. Gomez had only seven games without a hit in 36 games played, and three of those came in the first five games of the season.

• ESPN baseball writer Keith Law released his top 100 prospects for the Major League Baseball amateur draft and there were a few Minnesota connections. Gophers pitchers Tom Windle and DJ Snelten made the list, Windle at No. 60 overall and Snelten at No. 71. No. 37 prospect Logan Shore is a pitcher at Coon Rapids High School and No. 40 is injured Red Wing outfielder Ryan Boldt.

• Former Gopher Paul Martin is tied for second among NHL defensemen in playoff scoring with two goals and five assists in seven games for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He is also second on the Penguins in ice time.

 

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Tennessee 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Detroit 11/23/14 12:00 PM
New England
Green Bay 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Jacksonville 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Cincinnati 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tampa Bay 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Arizona 11/23/14 3:05 PM
Seattle
St. Louis 11/23/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Miami 11/23/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Washington 11/23/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
Dallas 11/23/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
NY Jets 11/24/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Baltimore 11/24/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 11/27/14 11:30 AM
Detroit
Philadelphia 11/27/14 3:30 PM
Dallas
Seattle 11/27/14 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Phoenix 122 FINAL
Philadelphia 96
Orlando 105 FINAL
Charlotte 100
Detroit 89 FINAL
Atlanta 99
Milwaukee 83 FINAL
Toronto 124
Boston 100 FINAL
Memphis 117
Cleveland 78 FINAL
Washington 91
Brooklyn 94 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
San Antonio 121 FINAL
Minnesota 92
LA Lakers 106 FINAL
Dallas 140
New Orleans 97 FINAL
Denver 117
Chicago 87 FINAL
Portland 105
Utah 88 FINAL
Golden State 101
NY Rangers 0 Postponed
Buffalo 0
NY Islanders 5 FINAL(SO)
Pittsburgh 4
Boston 4 FINAL(SO)
Columbus 3
New Jersey 2 FINAL
Edmonton 0
Texas A&M 59 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 50
USC 72 FINAL
Drexel 70
Clemson 70 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 72
Dayton 64 FINAL
Connecticut 75
Akron 51 FINAL
Miami-Florida 79
Seton Hall 68 FINAL
Nevada 60
Valparaiso 59 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 46
UNC Greensboro 79 FINAL
Longwood 81
Syracuse 66 FINAL
Iowa 63
Central Conn St 49 FINAL
Towson 58
Boston College 66 FINAL
West Virginia 70
Ill-Chicago 58 FINAL
Yale 70
Alcorn State 69 FINAL
Hampton 82
LSU 61 FINAL
Old Dominion 70
Prairie View 45 FINAL
Baylor 60
Montana State 0 Postponed
Buffalo 0
Maine 48 FINAL
Central Mich 76
Youngstown St 62 FINAL
Eastern Mich 71
Wofford 54 FINAL
Fairfield 36
Troy 60 FINAL
Georgia 82
IUPU-Ft Wayne 69 FINAL
Georgia Tech 78
Stony Brook 65 FINAL
Hofstra 66
Boston Univ 65 FINAL
Kentucky 89
Loyola-Chicago 52 FINAL
Michigan State 87
Toledo 68 FINAL
Oregon 78
Lehigh 74 FINAL
Rider 78
Charlotte 65 FINAL
South Carolina 63
UNLV 60 FINAL
Stanford 89
George Washington 42 FINAL
Virginia 59
Hiwassee 53 FINAL
Western Carolina 72
Texas 71 FINAL
California 55
Florida Memorial 48 FINAL
FIU 74
Southern Ill 51 FINAL
Kent State 74
Bethune-Cookman 50 FINAL
Monmouth 73
New Mexico 69 FINAL
George Mason 58
Delaware State 71 FINAL
Arkansas 99
ULM 56 FINAL
Florida 61
Austin Peay 66 FINAL
Illinois 107
Morehead State 64 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 73
Jarvis Christian 70 FINAL
McNeese State 85
Milwaukee 68 FINAL
Oklahoma State 82
Stephen F Austin 63 FINAL
Xavier 81
Kennesaw St 55 FINAL
North Dakota St 68
North Dakota 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 74
Iona 85 FINAL
Wake Forest 81
Louisiana 80 FINAL
Auburn 105
Georgia State 70 FINAL
Colorado State 80
Marshall 67 FINAL
Louisville 85
Oral Roberts 42 FINAL
Oregon State 55
UC Riverside 42 FINAL
Utah 88
Idaho State 68 FINAL
Washington St 80
Illinois State 73 FINAL
Weber State 64
Florida A&M 49 FINAL
Grand Canyon 64
Sam Houston St 93 FINAL
South Dakota 85
Temple 54 FINAL
Duke 74
Penn State 72 FINAL
Cornell 71
Delaware 60 FINAL
Cal Poly 78
Washington 63 FINAL
Seattle 48
Kansas State 60 FINAL
Long Beach State 69
Presbyterian 38 FINAL
American Univ 63
Pittsburgh 70 FINAL
Hawaii 74
(12) Kansas State 26 FINAL
West Virginia 20
North Carolina 45 FINAL
(25) Duke 20
Arkansas State 27 FINAL
Texas State 45
Kent State 0 Cancelled
Buffalo 0
Texas-El Paso 13 FINAL
Rice 31
Air Force 14 FINAL
San Diego St 30
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Utah State 41
Char Southern 11:00 AM
(9) Georgia
South Alabama 11:00 AM
So Carolina
Rutgers 11:00 AM
(10) Michigan State
Minnesota 11:00 AM
(21) Nebraska
Northwestern 11:00 AM
Purdue
(18) Marshall 11:00 AM
UAB
Kansas 11:00 AM
(23) Oklahoma
Indiana 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Penn State 11:00 AM
Illinois
(14) Eastern Ky 11:00 AM
Florida
TX-San Antonio 11:00 AM
Western Ky
SMU 11:00 AM
UCF
Virginia Tech 11:30 AM
Wake Forest
Washington St 12:00 PM
(13) Arizona State
Louisiana Tech 12:00 PM
Old Dominion
Western Mich 12:00 PM
Central Mich
New Mexico 12:30 PM
(22) Colorado State
Eastern Mich 1:00 PM
Ball State
Appalachian St 1:00 PM
Louisiana
Tulsa 2:00 PM
Houston
(15) Arizona 2:30 PM
(20) Utah
FIU 2:30 PM
North Texas
(8) Ole Miss 2:30 PM
Arkansas
Louisville 2:30 PM
Notre Dame
Maryland 2:30 PM
Michigan
Texas Tech 2:30 PM
Iowa State
(14) Wisconsin 2:30 PM
Iowa
Syracuse 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Boston College 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Georgia State 2:30 PM
Clemson
Tulane 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Stanford 3:00 PM
California
Western Carolina 3:00 PM
(2) Alabama
ULM 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
So Florida 3:00 PM
Memphis
Colorado 3:30 PM
(3) Oregon
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Samford 6:00 PM
(16) Auburn
Miami-Florida 6:00 PM
Virginia
Vanderbilt 6:30 PM
(4) Miss State
(19) Missouri 6:30 PM
Tennessee
Oklahoma State 6:30 PM
(6) Baylor
(24) USC 7:00 PM
(11) UCLA
Cincinnati 7:00 PM
Connecticut
Boise State 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9:30 PM
Washington
Fresno State 9:30 PM
Nevada
UNLV 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Ohio U 11/25/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
LSU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas A&M
(5) TCU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
(21) Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(18) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(19) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(15) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(11) UCLA
(22) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
BYU 11/29/14 2:00 AM
California
(20) Utah 11/29/14 2:00 AM
Colorado
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 2:00 AM
Oregon State
Kentucky 11/29/14 2:00 AM
Louisville
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:00 AM
(24) USC
So Carolina 11/29/14 2:00 AM
Clemson
Florida 11/29/14 2:00 AM
(1) Florida State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 2:00 AM
(25) Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
Montreal 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/23/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
TBA 11/30/14 5:00 PM
TBA
Delaware 60 FINAL
East Carolina 89
Wiley 65 FINAL
Sam Houston St 48
SE Louisiana 78 FINAL
Troy 80
St Francis-NY 63 FINAL
North Dakota 70
Eastern Kentucky 56 FINAL
Central Arkansas 55
Chattanooga 53 FINAL
(3) Notre Dame 88
LSU-Alexandria 0 Cancelled
Nicholls 0
UT Martin 47 FINAL
Dayton 78
William & Mary 59 FINAL
NC A&T 57
Eastern Illinois 55 FINAL
Florida State 91
Marquette 77 FINAL
Wake Forest 89
Columbia College 55 FINAL
SC State 97
Rider 51 FINAL
Towson 53
Cleveland State 74 FINAL
Florida Atlantic 79
Jackson State 48 FINAL
Mercer 80
Elon 67 FINAL
Charlotte 54
Hofstra 46 FINAL
Fordham 60
High Point 62 FINAL
NC State 66
Lehigh 74 FINAL
NJIT 54
Alabama A&M 50 FINAL
Samford 61
Morehead St 57 FINAL
Indiana 98
San Diego State 43 FINAL
Furman 60
Columbia 68 FINAL
Stony Brook 82
East Tenn St 79 FINAL
St Francis-PA 63
Evansville 59 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 77
Winthrop 48 FINAL
(4) Tennessee 81
Mount St Marys 42 FINAL
Campbell 60
Alabama 85 FINAL
Kansas 80
Canisius 68 FINAL
Bryant 71
USC 90 FINAL
Long Beach St 85
Saint Louis 74 FINAL
SE Missouri St 56
Graceland 54 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 89
Tulsa 71 FINAL
Oral Roberts 73
ULM 54 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 82
Hampton 46 FINAL
Kansas State 66
Bradley 55 FINAL
Oklahoma 104
Houston 68 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 66
North Florida 53 FINAL
Miami-Florida 81
Arizona 54 FINAL
Texas Tech 57
Massachusetts 56 FINAL
North Texas 46
Kent State 54 FINAL
Northwestern 72
Pepperdine 68 FINAL
(19) Iowa 97
Denver 41 FINAL
Wyoming 82
(24) Gonzaga 89 FINAL
Montana State 60
Boise State 64 FINAL
Southern Utah 66
Temple 81 FINAL
Georgetown 58
Missouri 79 FINAL
UNLV 60
Cal Poly 87 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 79
Montana 50 FINAL
Pacific 62
Portland 41 FINAL
CS-Northridge 45
Villanova 50 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 43
Seattle 62 FINAL
Washington St 82
(14) California 79 FINAL
Hawaii 72
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What do you think of the new Twins home uniforms?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close