Glen Perkins Showing He Is One Of The Best Closers In Baseball
By Andrew Dill
The Minnesota Twins have always been pretty fortunate when it comes to having a guy at the back end of the bullpen who can seal the deal. Names such as Eddie Guardado and Joe Nathan come to recent memory, yet the current closer for the Minnesota Twins may be one of the best in baseball — his name is Glen Perkins.
Perkins, 32, has been featured on the Minnesota Twins roster dating back to the 2006 season, where he made his Major League debut. After seeing what the southpaw could do out of the bullpen, the Twins tinkered with the idea of having Perkins start games. Let’s just say that didn’t bode too well the second time around.
Perkins posted an impressive 12-4 record during his first full-year of starting, including an ERA of 4.41 in 26 starts. The hard throwing left-hander logged more than 151 innings during the 2008 campaign, yielding 183 hits while striking out 74. The following season put an end to the experiment.
Perkins fell to a 6-7 record in 2009, seeing his ERA reach 5.89 to cap the year. Perkins gave up 120 hits over 96.1 innings, walking 23 while striking out just 45. The Twins moved him back to the bullpen the following season, yet showed the same results. The southpaw collected an ERA of 5.82 in 13 appearances out of the pen, finding himself splitting time between Triple-A Rochester and the Majors.
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From 2011 and on, Perkins has been lights out for the Minnesota Twins, including two All-Star appearances back-to-back in 2013 and 2014. Let’s just say, Perkins is well on his way to making it back-to-back-to-back. So far during the 2015 campaign, the 32-year-old closer is 0-1 with a 1.53 ERA. The lefty is 23-of-23 in save opportunities, which is tied for first in the Major League’s with Pittsburgh’s Mark Melancon.
Perkins faced adversity Wednesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals. Twins skipper Paul Molitor elected to go with Perkins in a four-out save situation. With Joey Wong up to bat and Peter Bourjos in scoring position, Perkins induced a fly-out to left to end the side. The very next inning, he faced even more adversity.
Matt Carpenter led off the top of the ninth with a single to center as Jhonny Peralta followed up with a single of his own to left. With runners on first and second with nobody out, Perkins struck out Mark Reynolds and Randal Grichuk back-to-back. Down to their final out, Yadier Molina grounded out to Perkins to end the threat.
That game against St. Louis was a prime example of just how good Glen Perkins is in sticky situations. On the season, Perkins has given up just five earned runs over 29.1 innings, including 26 strikeouts. What’s even more impressive is that the southpaw has given up just four walks in that span. When it’s all said and done, Glen Perkins is proving that he is one of the best in the game at his position.