Just one thought tonight, on the Glen Perkins situation:

You can read Thursday's notebook here, which details Perkins' back soreness


In short: the Twins on Thursday night will leave on a three-city road trip that begins with stops at AL West-leading Houston and AL Central-leading Kansas City. It's quite possible Perkins won't join the team to start the trip.

We're hoping to chat with Perkins tomorrow. I'm guessing he's pretty frustrated right now because he hasn't been available for the most of the last two weeks. Kevin Jepsen has been a savior, but it's going to be a challenge for them to move forward without their closer. Can it be done? Certainly. The Twins have remodeled their bullpen on the fly during the second half of the season. They've added Jepsen and Neal Cotts and moved Trevor May into the bullpen. Throw in Casey Fien, who was on a roll until he gave up a home run on Tuesday, and the bullpen has the arms to protect late leads. The rotation comes into play here, because their starters can't run out of gas in the fifth inning down the stretch. They have to get deeper into games.

And Phil Hughes' recovery from his back problems is huge. A healthy and in-form Hughes is a significant development for the Twins as they chase after a wild card spot. Their chances hinge on their starter and closer getting over back problems. How did it come to this?