As the Minnesota Twins near the end of yet another unsuccessful season, all-star closer Glen Perkins finds himself 10 innings away from the 500 innings pitched milestone.
Perkins is in his eighth season with the Twins, and has made significant strides since being drafted first round in 2004. The Twins have experimented with the Minnesota native over the years, using him in numerous positions as a starter, reliever, and a closer. Perkins has had the most success as a closer, after taking over when the Twins traded their all-time saves leader, Joe Nathan, to the Texas Rangers in 2012.
In a time of uncertainty, it would have been easy for Perkins, whose experience as a closer was limited, to buckle under the pressure and become another failed footnote of a perpetually struggling Twins bullpen. However, this was not the case. Perkins responded well to the challenge and has since served up 50 career saves for the Twins, cementing himself as the most reliable member of the pitching rotation.
Perkins’ efforts were rewarded this season, as he was voted to the 2013 American League All-Star team for the first time in his career. Despite the struggles had by his team, Perkins continues to utilize his dangerous fastball and currently posts an ERA of 2.63 in 54 games. Of these 54 games, he has 32 saves with two wins and zero losses.
Perkins is not projected to reach 500 innings until next season, unless the Twins decide to go to their closer in non-save opportunities over the next few weeks, in hopes of helping him accomplish the milestone.
At this point, however, it really doesn’t make a difference. I say give the man the ball to allow something positive to come out of the 2013 season.
Caroline Ponessa is a Minnesota Twins writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter @sweetCaro_____