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Glen Perkins to the disabled list: Bullpen fallout

The Twins are facing an early test for a bullpen not designed to take a lot of early hits.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Before the season started, I think most of us had made peace with the fact that the Twins hadn't really done anything significant to address the bullpen, as one of 2015's bigger weaknesses. Keeping Trevor May and his swing-and-miss potential in his role and rolling the dice on Fernando Abad is about as much of a tourniquet as the relief corps was given, and any in-season help would be pushed onto the developing youth.

The issue there is that Nick Burdi, Jake Reed, J.T. Chargois, and even Alex Meyer aren't any further along in their development now than they were about two weeks ago. And it's safe to say that losing Glen Perkins is going to rock the boat more than losing someone lower on the depth chart.

Calling up lefty Taylor Rogers is probably the best, if safest, decision the club could make. The decision keeps two left-handed relievers in the Twins' bullpen, and of all left-handed relievers available the consensus seems to be that Rogers is the most Major League-ready.

While Rogers plugs a hole, and should do so competently, the rest of the bullpen gets promoted. Kevin Jepsen will likely be handed closer duties again, after looking good for the club down the stretch last autumn when he put together ten saves. Trevor May, who has now struck out ten in 5.2 innings, might slide into the set-up role, although knowing Paul Molitor he could elect to use a bridge-the-gap strategy to get from his starter to his closer, thereby giving himself the freedom to use the best pitcher at his disposal whenever the situation calls for it.

Jepsen's hold on the closer position could also be tenuous. He's struggled to locate in the early going, and getting roughed up in his first two outings has given him some ugly numbers from the off. If batters continue to square up on him and drive the ball, then Molitor will have a whole new issue on his hands.

May, Abad, and Ryan Pressly have been the bright spots in Minnesota's bullpen so far, but they won't be enough to keep the team afloat if Jepsen can't regain the form he had after arriving in Minneapolis last year. Just as worrying, I'm not sure the Twins won't feel rushed if they're forced into calling up one of their high-end relief prospects before the month is out.