The Twins have returned home to play their final regular-season series of the season against the Detroit Tigers, and somewhat surprisingly, Glen Perkins will be with them. It’s somewhat surprising because, at one point not too long ago, it looked like Perkins might never pitch in the majors again. After just two outings in 2016, Perkins was placed on the DL with what turned out to be a torn labrum—one of, if not the, hardest injury for a pitcher to come back from. But Perk was determined to pitch for the Twins again, and by golly, after sixteen months rehabbing from surgery, he did just that.
Though he made it back to the majors, it’s unclear what will happen to the twelve-year Twins veteran and Twin Cities native after this season ends.
Perkins has a $6.5 million club option for 2018, but the Twins will almost certainly decline it. That deal was made before Glen’s injury, back when he was a perennial All-Star. He’s not that kind of pitcher anymore. Since his return on August 17th, Glen has only made seven appearances, and almost all of them were in low-leverage situations (which was done on purpose). Even given that, Perkins hasn’t been good—he’s given up six earned runs over just 5.1 innings of work. He just can’t throw as hard or as fast as he used to. I’m not even sure if he’ll make the playoff roster.
Perkins has said that even though he’s back in the majors, he really is still sort of recovering. “I am [still in the rehab process] in a way in just that I need appearances,” he told reporters earlier this month. “I’m sure there’s probably more in the tank as far as stuff and those things that will come with throwing more.” However, Perkins has also hinted that he’s considered retiring after this year, even as recently as last July:
“(Rehabbing) isn’t the kind of thing that deters me from playing; it’s how my shoulder feels,” [Perkins] said. “It’s being away from my family. There are so many variables to me even playing next year. I’m not going to give up, but I also know I have an option next year that, I mean, let’s be realistic.”
“If we could work something out, then I would think about it,” Perkins says. “But that’s so far in the future. I still just want to pitch in a game. I mean, I do. I’m aware that the further along this goes, the less likely that is. But as long as I have a chance, I’m going to try.”
Since the Twins have already clinched the second wild card spot, this weekend’s series is pretty low-leverage. It seems like a perfect opportunity to let Glen pitch, maybe even the last opportunity—not just as a Twin, but as a major leaguer.
If you see Perkins coming out of those bullpen gates this weekend, I hope you Twins fans know what to do.