FORT MYERS, FLA. — Glen Perkins is back on track to return to action this week after having a slight scare during drills Friday.
Perkins, while throwing a ball, felt a pull on his left side. He completed drills before telling the training staff about the development. The Twins had Perkins take it easy for a couple of days to make sure he didn’t have something seriously wrong. The Twins feel he’s out of the woods now and will let him throw on the side Monday as he begins the process to return to playing games.
“A cramp or a little tug or whatever it was, he’s feeling better,” manager Paul Molitor said. “I think everyone is thinking that it was not as bad as originally feared.”
The Twins decided to be very careful with Perkins, who saved 34 games last season before being shut down in mid-September due to a left forearm muscle and nerve irritation in left elbow. He might be their Twins’ most irreplaceable player.
The Twins didn’t disclose Perkins’ condition until asked about it Sunday.
Perkins’ only appearance of spring so far came Wednesday, when he threw a scoreless inning against the Gophers, his college team. He could not pass up the opportunity to pitch against the school he once played for.
The gravel in Brian Dozier’s voice made seem like a lock that the second baseman was going to be sent home a second consecutive day because of the flu.
“I’m going to do a couple things here then go home,” he said before pregame work began.
But then Dozier rallied and was able to stick around for a workout. So he could be back in spring training games sooner than later. He’s appeared in one game so far, going two for three with a double on Thursday against Boston.
“He might sound horrible,” Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said, “but sometimes that doesn’t mean much.”
In an odd scene early Sunday morning, Ryan and Twins President Dave St. Peter were interviewed on the field by … the Weather Channel.
Yes, the popular network is stopping at spring training complexes to chat with clubs. Ryan said he was asked what it was like for a team to leave sunny Florida at the end of camp and head north to colder weather. He was also asked how they prepare players throughout the organization to deal with the cold.
“We mostly talked about the weather,” Ryan said. “I was a little out of my element.”
The network arrived at 3:30 a.m. to set up for a show that ran from 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
The Twins will play the Pirates twice Monday in Bradenton. Lefthander Taylor Rogers will start the six-inning B game in the morning and be followed by lefthander Jason Wheeler and righthander Tyler Duffey.
Righthander Ricky Nolasco will start the regularly scheduled game. Righthander Alex Meyer will follow Nolasco as he makes his spring debut. Righthander Gerrit Cole will start for the Pirates.
La VELLE E. NEAL III