Sid Hartman: Perkins doesn't dwell on past with Twins

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 8, 2013 - 11:12 AM

The former Gophers lefthander appeared to be on the way out three years ago, now he is an All-Star closer.

hide

Glen Perkins has a very affordable contract for the Twins that likely would keep him in a uniform with his hometown team through 2016.

Photo: Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

For the past three seasons, Glen Perkins, who was named to his first All-Star Game on Saturday, has been a dynamic relief pitcher for the Twins, posting a 2.40 ERA over 164⅔ innings with 38 saves and 188 strikeouts to just 44 walks.

But coming into the 2011 season, Perkins’ future was anything but certain with the Twins. From 2008 to 2010, the former Gophers lefthander, working primarily as a starter, had posted a 5.05 ERA over 269 innings while battling injury issues and being demoted to Class AAA Rochester for 24 starts in 2010.

The team and Perkins also had issues over how the Twins dealt with his shoulder injury in 2009 — the team sent him to the minor leagues instead of placing him on the major league disabled list, a move that cost Perkins about $500,000 in salary arbitration due to major league service time. Perkins filed a grievance with the players’ union that was later resolved.

There was even heavy discussion that 2009-10 offseason that Perkins would be traded for San Diego Padres third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff.

But now three years later, Perkins and the Twins have a rejuvenated relationship. Last year, he signed a three-year, $10.3 million contract that includes a $4.5 million option year for 2016. This year, he is an American League All-Star thanks to a 1.93 ERA in 32⅔ innings along with 20 saves in 22 chances and 45 strikeouts to only seven walks.

Perkins said Sunday that he doesn’t want to dig into the past, but instead concentrate on how he and the team have come to work together.

“We don’t need to go back there,” Perkins said. “That was four years ago now and it has been a pretty good run for the past three years here. This is another step in my career, and something that I can be proud of and that my family can be proud of. That is the most important thing right now, is doing the Twins right. They trusted me and I’m glad that I can return that trust to them.”

Asked what Perkins thought was the biggest factor in turning around his career after struggling through 2009 and 2010 as a starter, the Stillwater High School product replied: “You know what, I think it is just working hard and getting some breaks along the way. They trusted me and they had faith in me and I returned the favor.

“It has all worked out. I couldn’t be happier to be an All-Star and I couldn’t be happier to be an All-Star for the Minnesota Twins.”

In the first year at Target Field in 2010, the Twins lost Joe Nathan to elbow ligament replacement surgery, began the year with Jon Rauch as closer and then traded for Matt Capps, who split closer duties with Nathan in 2011 and then had the job to himself to begin 2012 after Nathan left for Texas.

But when Capps struggled last summer, Perkins made the transition to the closer role. In the final two months of 2012 Perkins had 11 saves in 23 games with a 1.82 ERA, an opponents batting average of .125 and 26 strikeouts in 24⅔ innings.

Asked if he had any difficulty in transitioning from setup man to closer, Perkins said: “No, you know it’s just pitching later in the game. Relievers are relievers, I think, and I’ve been able to transition pretty well and not make too much out of it, not make it a bigger deal than it is. I just stay within myself and focus on getting the three outs.”

Bullpen to blame

While talking about the role of relievers, Perkins also mentioned that the Twins’ inconsistency of late can be blamed on the bullpen.

“Early in the season, our starters had struggled a little bit and our bullpen was holding it down and we were doing a good job there,” he said. “I think our starters have been a lot better and now we’ve been struggling a little bit out in the bullpen. … We’ve scored enough runs to win some games, and our bullpen lately here just hasn’t done as good of a job protecting those leads. It’s the guys down there and we need to be better as a group.”

Perkins said he would like to remain with the Twins going forward, even while there are rumors out there that a contending team would love to have a bullpen arm like his for a pennant run.

“That is out of my control, I guess. All I can really do is go out and play, and when I signed here I had the intention of being here to help this team get back to where we’ve been for a long time,” he said. “Hopefully I’m a part of that, and I believe that’s the case. Other than that, it is out of my control, but I think they’ll do what is right for the team and what is best for me, as well.”

Study to be presented

Gophers executive associate athletic director David Benedict reported that the longtime study to reveal what new or remodeled facilities are needed by Gophers athletics to compete with other Big Ten schools will be presented to the Board of Regents this week.

“I think it’s just going to be an opportunity for us to explain the process that we went through to assess the needs of the athletic department and its facilities,” Benedict said. “I think it all comes down to the priority [of what buildings need to be built], and we’re working with the university to identify what those priorities are and there will be some significant investments.”

He added: “I believe there are people in this community that want to see us be very competitive in the Big Ten, and that will find a way to fund those priorities.”

Among the priorities are a men’s and women’s basketball practice facility. “Certainly that is high on the list,” Benedict said. “I know it has been talked about for a long time, but that is definitely a high priority for us.”

Jottings

• Seven former Twins made the All-Star teams, and five of the seven are free agents who left, with the Twins getting nothing in return other than a handful of draft picks. Those five are Nathan, Jesse Crain, Michael Cuddyer, Torii Hunter and David Ortiz, who of course became a free agent when the Twins didn’t offer him a contract for 2003. The other two former Twins who are All-Stars are J.J. Hardy and Carlos Gomez — players that were traded for each other in 2009.

• Former Gopher Mike Kvasnicka, whom the Twins acquired from Houston, is healthy now and hitting .299 with six home runs and 19 RBI for Class A Fort Myers. … Being promoted from Cedar Rapids to Fort Myers hasn’t slowed down 2012 first-round pick Byron Buxton, who is hitting .375 in nine games since he changed teams.

• The word from good sources is that former Timberwolves player and executive Fred Hoiberg, who is now the coach at Iowa State, was a finalist for the job of coaching the Boston Celtics before Butler’s Brad Stevens got the job.

 

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

 

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago 17 FINAL
Detroit 34
Philadelphia 33 FINAL
Dallas 10
Seattle 19 FINAL
San Francisco 3
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Edmonton 0 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 1
ULM 54 FINAL
Robert Morris 71
Santa Clara 57 FINAL
Tennessee 64
Oklahoma 59 FINAL
Butler 46
Austin Peay 79 FINAL
Brown 58
Princeton 56 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 62
Coastal Carolina 67 FINAL
Chattanooga 78
Kansas 76 FINAL
Rhode Island 60
Wisconsin 68 FINAL
Georgetown 65
FIU 53 FINAL
USC Upstate 68
Long Island 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 73
San Diego 71 FINAL
Xavier 82
Illinois 88 FINAL
Indiana State 62
Cal State Fullerton 67 FINAL
Wright State 62
Western Ky 62 FINAL
Saint Josephs 59
Michigan State 77 FINAL
Rider 45
UCLA 56 FINAL
North Carolina 78
Long Beach State 73 FINAL
Western Mich 55
Marquette 72 FINAL
Georgia Tech 70
Stephen F Austin 73 FINAL
Prairie View 61
UAB 47 FINAL
Florida 56
Rice 71 FINAL
Mercer 77
San Jose St 56 FINAL
Washington 78
Washington St 19 2nd Half 15:55
UC Santa Barbara 41
Baylor 69 2nd Half 1:35
Memphis 47
LSU 23 FINAL
Texas A&M 17
(6) TCU 48 FINAL
Texas 10
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) 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
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) 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
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
UCF 12/4/14 6:30 PM
East Carolina
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Hartford 43 FINAL
Furman 53
Clemson 77 FINAL
Ohio State 86
Idaho State 53 FINAL
San Diego State 68
East Carolina 58 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 69
Santa Clara 0 Cancelled
Texas-El Paso 0
Florida State 68 FINAL
Washington 80
Wichita State 39 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 56
Wisconsin 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 67
Kansas State 0 Cancelled
LSU 0
BYU 73 FINAL
BYU-Hawaii 52
Charlotte 58 FINAL
Montana 67
Illinois 77 FINAL
(9) Kentucky 71
Central Michigan 61 FINAL
Richmond 56
Oklahoma 68 FINAL
South Florida 83
Princeton 72 FINAL
Wake Forest 55
(19) Oregon State 85 FINAL
Butler 53
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