The Twins have announced that they’ve placed closer Glen Perkins on the disabled list with a left shoulder strain, and promoted lefty Taylor Rogers to take his place on the active roster. MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger was first to tweet the news.
It’s unclear how serious Perkins’ injury is at this time. He last pitched on Sunday in a game in which he allowed two runs and blew a save against the Royals. His velocity has been significantly down so far this season, from an average fastball velocity of 93.7 MPH in 2015 to 91.3 MPH this year, via FanGraphs. It might be too early in the season to assess the significance of those numbers, however.
Perkins has spent the last three and a half seasons as the Twins’ closer, and has pitched to a 2.98 ERA, 9.9 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 with 118 saves in 253 1/3 innings since the start of 2012. He has made the All-Star team in each of the last three seasons. However, he’s also missed time due to neck and back injuries in each of the past two seasons. Last year in Perkins’ absence, July acquisition Kevin Jepsen stepped into Minnesota’s ninth-inning role, making him a likely candidate to step up now with Perkins on the shelf. Hard-throwing Trevor May represents another option for second-year manager Paul Molitor.
Rogers, who turned 25 in December, rates as Minnesota’ No. 13 prospect per MLB.com and No. 14 per Baseball America. Both scouting reports note that Rogers has the durability to pitch at the back of a big league rotation (he threw a combined 199 innings between the minors and the Arizona Fall League last year), though he’ll presumably be used in a relief role in his first taste of big league action. Rogers is particularly tough on left-handed hitters, who batted a paltry .177/.209/.193 against him last season at Triple-A.