Perkins to Disabled List

22 May

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If you stayed up to watch the Twins and Diamondbacks finish their second of three games this weekend, I’m sorry! Many of you likely went to bed with the Twins leading 4-3 or maybe even 6-3 going into the 8th inning. Joe Nathan, who needed just eight pitches to get through the 7th inning, gave up a leadoff single in the 8th frame. Ron Gardenhire went to Glen Perkins as the Diamondbacks had three straight left-handers coming to the plate, well, and Perkins has been the team’s top relief pitcher this year. Just a few pitches later, the game’s outlook changed completely. Perkins gave up a single to right-field, but as he was moving toward the 3B line to back up the bag, he stopped and summoned the training staff. He immediately left the game and was replaced by Matt Capps.

Obviously these were the correct moves for the manager to make at the time, but things just went bad. Capps allowed a couple of inherited runners to score, but the team held on to a one-run lead when Kelly Johnson came to the plate. I immediately tweeted that Kelly Johnson is so similar to Adam Kennedy in my mind that this would not be a good matchup. A couple of pitches later, the Johnson crushed a Capps fastball into the right field bleachers to give the Diamondbacks the 9-6 lead that they would hold on to.

But, back to the key point in the game, the Glen Perkins injury. After the game, the manager acknowledged that the Perkins injury would put him on the Disabled List. He said that it was an oblique injury.

UPDATE – less than 3 minutes after I posted this, StarTribune’s LaVelle E. Neal informed us that the Twins announced that Dusty Hughes was being promoted to replace Perkins. No surprised at all, but definitely disappointing. You can still read the below to see what some of the other options were.

This of course brings about several questions.

1.)     Which Rochester reliever will come up, and

2.)     If that pitcher is not on the 40 man roster, who could be removed from the 40 man roster?

Let’s start with the first question: Which Rochester reliever will come up? Terry Ryan and Tom Kelly are actually in Rochester right now evaluating players. Bill Smith likely called them not long ago to ask who the right person to promote would be. Seemingly, these would be the options:

1.)     Chuck James – Why he wasn’t called up and added to the 40 man roster last week instead of Phil Dumatrait is unknown to me, but he has been terrific for the Red Wings. He threw two scoreless innings last night, but he is now 1-1 with a 1.75 ERA in 17 games. In 25.2 innings, the left-hander has allowed 17 hits, walked nine and struck out 35. Seems the most deserving, but again, he is not on the 40 man roster.

2.)     Dusty Hughes – If they want to replace the lefty Perkins with another lefty, Hughes is an option. He has posted a 5.06 ERA in 5.1 innings over five games with the Red Wings. However, he is on the 40 man roster so the paperwork would be easier.

3.)     Carlos Gutierrez – I said all winter I thought he could come up in July or August and really play a big role for the Twins bullpen. That timeline may be pushed ahead. Gutierrez is 2-2 with a 2.67 ERA in 16 games. In 27 innings, he has given up 20 hits, walked 13 and struck out 18. He has been very good of late and may be an option. He throws hard, and has a big sinker and groundball rate. He is right-handed, and the Twins may feel that they need a second left-hander in the bullpen to go with Dumatrait.

4.)     Kyle Waldrop – Another right-hander, Waldrop’s season numbers don’t look too good. He is 1-3 with a 5.48 ERA. This would be a case of going with the hot hand. In his last two games, he has seven strikeouts in four innings. He came in to one game and struck out the International League’s best hitter to record the save. Two days later, he struckout six in 3.2 perfect innings. He had given up runs in five of his previous six outings. He admitted to me the other day that he finally found his proper release point and believes that will make a huge difference.

5.)     Others – Eric Hacker and Scott Diamond have struggled in their last 2-3 starts. Kyle Gibson has been struggling his last four starts. It wouldn’t make sense to bring up a starter, unless the plan would be to move Brian Duensing back to the bullpen, which would be a mistake. Anthony Slama is still working his way back to success since missing most of spring training and early April. Jeff Manship has moved back and forth between the bullpen and the rotation and it hasn’t gone well. Jim Hoey needs to stay down there to work on control and that split-finger pitch that has potential to be a great one for him.

Of those four options, only Dusty Hughes is on the 40 man roster, so if the Twins choose one of the other three, someone will need to be removed from the 40 man roster. Who could that be? Here are some options:

1.)     Deolis Guerra – still just 22 years old, Guerra is about two years younger than the average player in the Eastern League. However, in his seven starts for the Rock Cats this spring, he is 3-4 with a 9.85 ERA. In just 28.1 innings, he has given up 31 earned runs on 43 hits and eight walks while recording just 19 strikeouts. A year ago, he posted a 6.24 ERA in 19 starts and went 2-10. He was added to the Twins 40 man roster on November 20, 2009, which means he can stay in the minor leagues until the 2013 season. Despite the struggles and numbers, there is a lot of talent here, so it would be hard to remove him from the 40 man roster.

2.)     Dusty Hughes – With Jose Mijares and Glen Perkins now on the Disabled List, it is hard to imagine the Twins would take a lefty off the 40 man roster.  Hughes is likely better long-term than Dumatrait, so removing him would not make sense.

3.)     Phil Dumatrait – If they were going to call up James in Dumatrait’s place, they would have called up James last week instead of Dumatrait.

4.)     Alexi Casilla – This is an interesting option. When Jason Repko comes off the DL on Monday, Ben Revere likely goes back to Rochester. Jim Thome will also come off of the DL on Monday. The Twins could option Matt Tolbert or Luke Hughes, or they could designate Casilla for assignment. If DFAing Casilla is an option on Monday, it should be an option on Sunday. Of course, then someone else would need to be optioned on Monday still (Burnett, Hughes or Tolbert probably).

There are a couple of guys who could go to the 60 Day Disabled List to open up a spot:

1.)     Joe Mauer – if the Twins don’t believe that he will be able to play until late in June, then this is a possibility. If they think he could be back any sooner than that, it won’t happen.

2.)     David Bromberg – This has some gray ground for me. He is on the Disabled List right now, and could be out until mid-June already, he would be a possibility. However, he is on a minor league Disabled List, so would the Twins have to promote an injured player to the big leagues first?

3.)     Tsuyoshi Nishioka – This may make the most sense. Again, depending upon when it is realistic for him to return, Nishioka has not played since April 7, so if he is going to be out until about June 10th or so anyway, this could buy them some time.  

In my mind, those are the options (unless they have some sort of trade lined up, which is unlikely. What do you think will or should happen? Comment here.


18 Responses to “Perkins to Disabled List”

  1. Twinsoholic May 22, 2011 at 8:32 am #

    Hughes has been a joke this season at the major league level and at AAA. He reminds me of Scott Aldred, a lefty whom the Twins signed when they were really bad because they liked the way he pitched against them in a few games for the Tigers. Aldred was really bad for the Twins also.

    The odds are much against the Twins being able to get to .500 baseball and beyond. What a great story that would be if they could. However, even if they continue to suck this season, they cannot be this bad next season, and, moreover, they should have a contending team again by then with most of the same players, paradoxically, from this season:

    C: Mauer + backup not named Butera
    1B: Morneau
    2B: Nishi
    3B: Valencia
    SS: Plouffe
    LF: Young
    CF: Span
    RF: Kubel (or Tosoni or FA/Trade Player)
    DH: FA
    UOF: Repko or Revere
    UI: FA & Hughes

    Their rotation next season will likely look as it does this season unless they trade Liriano and slide Gibson into the rotation. Gibson might be a good fit for the bullpen if the Twins keep Liriano and their rotation. Back in the day, many top starting prospects got their feet wet in the pen (more recent examples include Santana and Deunsing).

    The bullpen will have Perkins & Mijares and a lot of tinkering.

    The Twins likely will trade Slowey, and they could trade Liriano, and the AAA team should be deeper with the addition of prospects from AA.

  2. JA May 22, 2011 at 8:42 am #

    48 hours ago, I thought this team turned a corner. Now, as bleak as ever. This is now a really bad bullpen. The starters have all looked better lately, and the offence has shown signs. But who does Gardy trust? Who can Gardy trust? I guess you hang with Capps and Nathan.

  3. mike wants wins May 22, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    Dusty Hughes is not a good pitcher. But for some reason, he’s still on their roster. He’s just not good. We know that. Time to move on.

    • TT May 22, 2011 at 10:40 am #

      “He’s just not good. We know that. ”

      How do you “know” that? The Twins obviously didn’t agree with you last winter. Why would they change their minds based on limited play this spring. He struggled, but so have other pitchers who later turn things around. There were people last year who “knew” Perkins was “just not good.”

      • Seth May 22, 2011 at 10:48 am #

        Agreed. Way too early to have an opinion on Dusty Hughes… Last year, it was around May 20th that everyone (myself included) were ready to give up on Jesse Crain. That said, Crain had much more track record. But with lefties, you just never know when it clicks.

      • mike wants wins May 23, 2011 at 8:02 am #

        Because this isn’t his first time in the majors. He has history before coming to the Twins. That is what I am basing it on. It’s not like they have some magic bean to transform the guy. Why would you assume I am judging him on his time with the Twins?

      • TT May 23, 2011 at 9:07 am #

        You apparently agree Hughes recent struggles aren’t sufficient to make that judgement. As I pointed out, the Twins didn’t agree with you last winter, why would they change their mind bases on his struggles this spring.

        Of course, the real reason Hughes was called up is that, with Perkins and Mijares both on the DL, the only other lefty in the bullpen is the equally uncertain Dumatrait.

      • USAFChief May 23, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

        I’m sure there are people who think it’s “way too early” to judge Drew Butera too, including TT.

        And Bill Smith, unfortunately.

  4. TT May 22, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    Defense appears to be a bigger problem than the bullpen. Last night a ground ball gets by Cuddyer playing second and the third baseman misplays a popped up bunt. It sounds like Gardy is starting to lose his patience with Valencia. He isn’t hitting and he’s making the same kinds of mistakes that has Casilla in everyone’s doghouse.

    That said, losing Perkins is obviously a blow. It probably leaves Dumatrait as the lefty in critical situations. If the Twins were contending, Smith might make a move. But with the current state of affairs a situational lefty who is any better than the ones they have isn’t going to be worth the cost.

    As for opening roster spots. I would be a little surprised if they let Casilla go, I would be shocked if they jettisoned Guerra. But I expect Luke Hughes to be back at AAA soon.

    If Hughes can’t play second base ahead of Cuddyer, his bat isn’t going to make up for his lack of defense. Its really a classic example of a AAAA guy. If you want offense, Cuddyer is better. If you want defense, Tolbert and Casilla are better. Hughes has no big league role and he isn’t good enough to play every day. So his value is as an extra part at AAA.

  5. Jeremy May 22, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    The day that Casilla was removed from the Twins starting lineup, he should have been removed from the active and 40-man as well. In the unlikely chance he stays on the active roster for the rest of the season, I have to believe that the he’ll be non-tendered instead of enter his 2nd arbitration year.

    He may be the worst player on an active roster in all of baseball. (BA said last year he’s a 20 on the scale as a hitter. He doesn’t defend real well and there are a number of other options as pinch-runners.) So is there any risk in exposing him to waivers?

    If he was DFA’d and I had to bet on it, he would clear waivers and end up in Rochester… where he can build his confidence. I’d prefer someone does claim him… that way, after he plays really well at Rochester, we don’t have to suffer through another off-season of hearing he can be an everyday player.

    Tolbert can do everything as unspectacularly as Casilla can and for half the price (literally!). Getting rid of Casilla would open up that extra roster spot (for Chuck James or Waldrop or Devries or Gutierrez or whoever).

    Ultimately though, this is going to happen the day that Nishi proves he is healthy, so I just wasted a lot of typing on what I believe is the inevitable anyway… oh well, it felt good to vent a little.

  6. TT May 22, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    “BA said last year he’s a 20 on the scale as a hitter.”

    I don’t know what BA was looking at, but last year Casilla had a better average, better on base percentage and a higher SLG than Hardy did. He also stole more bases. He’s ahead of Tolbert in all those categories this year. Casilla is the new Punto, a convenient guy for some fans to complain about.

    • mike wants wins May 23, 2011 at 8:05 am #

      No, Casilla has over 1000 plate appearances, where he has been bad. Judging the quality of a player does not make you a hater. It makes you someone that is looking at what is and what is not working on the team. We can all draw different conclusions from the evidence, but the evidence is there (and was there before the season).

      • TT May 23, 2011 at 9:01 am #

        “Judging the quality of a player”

        It isn’t a good idea to make judgments on the quality of a 26 year old player based on how well they hit at 22. There is nothing magic about 1000 plate appearances, as we can see from Delmon Young and Justin Morneau’s production this year.

      • USAFChief May 23, 2011 at 9:05 pm #

        “It isn’t a good idea to make judgments on the quality of a 26 year old player based on how well they hit at 22.”

        Is it a good idea to make judgements on the quality of a 26 yr old based on how well they hit at 26, TT?

  7. Jeremy May 22, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    I guess I don’t know what BA looks at either, but they’re a more knowledgeable baseball source than I am. (The only reason I remember reading that is because I thought, “Wow, I knew he was a bad hitter… I didn’t know he was that bad.”) But a career .240 hitter with an OPS of 619, can you find much worse? (Tolbert and Butera must be a 20 on the scale too!)

    I, admittedly, wasn’t a Punto fan. When he inked the 2-yr deal with the Twins, I was shocked. I thought he’d come back on a minor league deal. The big difference between Punto and Casilla is that Punto had a playable tool (defense). We can split hairs and argue how good of a defender he was… (in my opinion, much better than Casilla).

    I was surprised to see how good Casilla has been at stealing bases (38 of 43!), now he just needs to get on base more.

    I guess the fact is that Casilla and Tolbert are redundant and weak-hitting-unspectacular-fielding-infielders-with-decent-speed are a dime a dozen and easily replaceable (as long as we’re being redundant).

    • TT May 23, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

      “unspectacular-fielding-infielders-with-decent-speed are a dime a dozen ”

      Only in the imagination of fans. The Twins minor leagues certainly isn’t producing very many of those if you are talking about players whose speed and defense are major league assets. Tolbert is not nearly as fast as Casilla and doesn’t have the range or other defensive tools Casilla has. What he does do is play three positions well without a lot of mistakes. Casilla has struggled with that.

      • Jeremy May 24, 2011 at 10:48 am #

        Players like Tolbert and Casilla are a dime a dozen. The Twins picked up a bunch more this off season, they’re called Minor League Free Agents. (Which is what Tolbert’s and Casilla’s next deals will be…)

        Casilla has a good arm and is fast, but struggles with the routine play. I’m agreeing with everything you’re saying about the two of them, simply adding that they are “replacement-level-players”. And yes, the minor league isn’t exactly overcrowded with better options. Plouffe may not be a better option…

        I’d much rather discuss how the Twins should use Kyle Gibson as their set-up man.

  8. thrylos98 May 25, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    About this Bromberg to the 60-day minutae:

    Indeed, they do need to call Bromberg up to place him to the 60-day DL. Once they call him up his arbitration clock is ticking and will continue to tick while registered as a MLB player (at the MLB minumum salary, btw) and unable to play, which is likely the rest of the season. This is the reason that this is a no go.

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