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Tag:Twins
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:03 am
Edited on: March 8, 2012 10:16 am
 

Twins give Glen Perkins 3-year, $10.3m extension



By Matt Snyder


The Minnesota Twins have signed relief pitcher Glen Perkins to a three-year, $10.3 million contract extension, the club has announced. Perkins was already under contract for $1.55 million this season and wasn't eligible for free agency until after the 2013 season. Still, this contract now eats up his first two years of free agency and also includes an option for the 2016 season.

Perkins, 29, had a 2.48 ERA and 1.23 WHIP with 65 strikeouts in 61 2/3 innings last season. It was his first full season in the bullpen, as he was a starter through 2009 and only appeared in 13 games in 2010.

“We are very pleased to reach this agreement with Glen”, said Twins general manager Terry Ryan. “He has been a reliable reliever for us and has helped stabilize the back end of our bullpen in the set-up role. When we were looking for someone to step up last year, it was Glen who seized the opportunity and pitched the way we knew he could, after selecting him out of the University of Minnesota.”

MLB Spring Projected Lineups

At this point, Perkins is part of the bridge to closer Matt Capps. In fact, Perkins is the top left-handed option in the bullpen and likely the primary setup man. It doesn't take much of a stretch to see him landing in the closer role, either, as Capps struggled in the role last season. And it's worth noting that Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reported via Twitter that Perkins' new contract does include incentives for games finished.

As Ryan mentioned, Perkins is a Minnesota product, having gone to the University of Minnesota. Before that, he attended Stillwater High School in Minnesota as well.

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Posted on: March 4, 2012 2:49 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2012 3:00 pm
 

Joel Zumaya to have Tommy John surgery

Joel ZumayaBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Joel Zumaya will attempt to return to baseball following his latest injury.

Zumaya will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow later this month. Dr. James Andrews will perform the surgery.

He signed a one-year deal with the Twins, but hasn't decided whether to rehab with the Twins or on his own.

"We haven't figured all that out yet," Twins assistant GM Rob Antony told MLB.com. "We just talked to his agent last night. He just called me and said that after thinking about it that he'd like to see Dr. Andrews and he'd like to have the surgery at the end of March. I spoke with [head trainer] Rick McWane this morning, and he's going to set it up with Dr. Andrews tomorrow."

The Twins right-hander tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow while throwing batting practice on Feb. 25. He hasn't pitched since June of 2010 when he was with the Tigers. The surgery will be the sixth of his career.

Zumaya had said he wasn't sure he'd go through with another surgery.

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Posted on: March 2, 2012 6:31 pm
 

Fielding Bible projections for 2012 released



By Matt Snyder


Highly-respected defensive analysts John Dewan and Ben Jedlovec have released their Fielding Bible projections for the 2012 Major League Baseball season, with the Tampa Bay Rays being projected as the best defense in the majors and the Miami Marlins proejected to have the worst.

The system used in the Fielding Bible is "defensive runs saved," which doesn't only factor in errors, it also uses range and player placement to determine how many runs a defense either saves pitchers or costs them. Clubs with a positive score are said to have defensively saved pitchers runs while those with a negative score have cost their pitching stuff some runs.

Last season, the Rays were the best in the majors with a +85 score. That's quite a feat, saving 85 runs for your pitching staff. On the flip side, the Marlins checked in with a -75, which is flat-out atrocious.

This season, the projections have the Rays saving 42 runs and the Marlins at a -30.

The top five projected defenses for 2012, in order, in the projections: Rays, Mariners, Reds, Rangers and Angels.

The bottom five, listed from 26-30: Orioles, Cubs, Mets, Twins and Marlins.

The Phillies made the highest leap from last year's score to this year's projection, going from a -59 ('11 score) to +6. Losing Raul Ibanez from left field helps, as does having a full season of Hunter Pence and someone other than Ryan Howard manning first base for a few months, the press release for the Fielding Bible noted.

Other teams with projections showing a big improvement from last season were the Mariners, Rangers, Yankees and A's (though the A's are still projected in the negative).

The clubs expected to take the biggest hit defensively are the Astros (going from 12th ranked to 25th) and Dodgers (11th to 24th). Losing Pence and Michael Bourn for the first half of the season has to be a major part of the Astros slide. The Tigers -- with Miguel Cabrera shifting to third base -- Brewers, Padres and Rockies are also projected to fall down the Fielding Bible standings.

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Posted on: February 27, 2012 10:06 am
 

Joel Zumaya unsure about his future

Joel Zumaya

By C. Trent Rosecrans


One of baseball's saddest stories of recent vintage may be coming to a close. Joel Zumaya, who suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament this weekend, is out for the season and sounds like a man who may retire.

Zumaya spoke to reporters on Monday morning and said he was considering not having another surgery on his seemingly cursed right arm. From La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune:

"I know I'm young, but I'm going to probably be going on six surgery if I get another one," Zumaya said. "I'm only 27 years old and I've taken a lot of wear and tear on my body, especially my arm, and then rehab -- it's a lot out of you. So I have a little two-and-a-half-year-old; maybe it's time to move on. I'm a pretty dang good fisherman, so I might pursue professional fishing…"

Zumaya said he hasn't made a decision yet, but he expects to do so soon.

"I went home, tried to make a decision -- I've got family here with me -- but it's a tough decision, so I'm going to go on within the next day or two and make a decision," Zumaya told reporters (again, via the Star Tribune). "I spoke to [Twins general manager] Terry [Ryan] and told him that I'll probably give him a call within the next 24 hours to determine if I'm going to get cut up or not."

I'm not sure you use the term "get cut up" if you're planning on having surgery. And at this point, who can blame Zumaya for not wanting to go through another surgery and rehab.

That said, Zumaya has said this before. In November of 2010, Zumaya told MLB.com's Jason Beck, "If I get hurt again, I'm basically going to be done with baseball. I'm going to have to find another job."

Of course, with that, the guy who called himself "china doll" go to have another surgery on his right elbow last May after making it through just one spring training outing last season. Zumaya then signed a one-year deal with the Twins. He will still be paid $400,000 this season, but it's unlikely he'll get another big-league deal even if he does try to come back again.

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Posted on: February 26, 2012 1:39 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2012 5:18 pm
 

Joel Zumaya has torn UCL, is out for season



By Matt Snyder


Saturday, oft-injured Twins relief pitcher Joel Zumaya had a bullpen session cut short when he felt something in his elbow. Unfortunately, it appears the news is as bad as it could be. An MRI revealed that Zumaya has torn the ulnar-collateral ligament in his throwing elbow, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman has confirmed. For those unaware what this means, tearing the UCL means the pitcher will need Tommy John surgery in order to recover.

"He feels bad, I feel bad. Not the news I wanted to hear on Sunday morning," said Twins GM Terry Ryan (Dustin Morse on Twitter). "This is a 12 month thing."

So Zumaya's 2012 season is already over. In fact, one has to wonder how much more he can take before calling it a career. Since the 2007 season began, Zumaya has suffered a ruptured hand tendon, separated shoulder, a fracture in his elbow area and more. He only appeared in an average of 27 games from 2007-10 and missed all of 2011 after exploratory surgery in his elbow.

“He’s distraught, as you’d expect,” Ryan said (Associated Press). “He’s going to come in here in the next day or so and we’re going to talk about the immediate future for him.”

Zumaya stormed onto the scene as a rookie in 2006 for the Tigers when he was just 21 years old. He lit up the radar gun in triple-digit fashion with ease, even getting clocked up in the 104 miles per hour range. He had a 1.94 ERA and 97 strikeouts in 83 1/3 innings that season. He appeared ready to be one of the league's elite bullpen pitchers for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, he's never been able to stay healthy since.

The Twins signed Zumaya to a one-year, $850,000 contract this past offseason for bullpen depth. They will, however, only be on the hook for $400,000 since he won't be on the opening day roster. In a very short time, he already made a strong impression in the Twins' clubhouse.

“He looks like some monster out there pitching against you,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said (AP). “But you get him in your clubhouse and you realize there’s special people and he’s a special person and it’s a really sad day for him and his family and our baseball team, too, because we were all hoping this guy would be able to get back on this thing and make it through. Unfortunately it didn’t work out.”

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Posted on: February 25, 2012 2:13 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 4:38 pm
 

Joel Zumaya hurt again

Joel Zumaya

By C. Trent Rosecrans


If Friday was a Grady Sizemore injury, Saturday must mean it was time for Joel Zumaya to get hurt, isn't it.

Unfortunately, that was the case. Zumaya, now a Twin, cut short a throwing session on Saturday after about 15 pitches. He is scheduled to have an MRI on Sunday, manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters (via MLB.com).

General manager Terry Ryan said the MRI would be on the inside of Zumaya's right elbow.

"Obviously he felt something that was discomforting so he came off, which was right," Ryan said, according to the Star Tribune. "We've had this happen down here  before. We've had people walk off the mound because they were hurt. I'm glad he came off there, we'll get it addressed tomorrow and see what the results of that MRI are. It would be a little less concerning if we didn't have the history with him, which he's experienced in his career.

"There's not a lot I give you until we get the results. They'll be out fairly soon. We'll get him in tomorrow morning, which is a good thing, Sunday morning."

Zumaya declined to speak to reporters.

CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman reports Zumaya said he felt "something" and wasn't happy as he left the field.

The right-hander missed all of 2011 after undergoing elbow surgery last spring training and hasn't played in a game since June 28, 2010, when he fractured his elbow while pitching for the Tigers against the Twins.

A rookie sensation in 2006, Zumaya appeared in 62 games, striking out 97 batters in 83 1/3 innings and lighting up radar guns, while putting up a 1.94 ERA for the Tigers. Since then, he's appeared in just 109 games over four seasons and no more than 31 in any season. His strikeout rate has been around one per inning since his rookie season, but hasn't exceeded it.

In 2007 he had a finger injury and a shoulder injury limited him in 2009 and 2009 before undergoing season-ending surgery.

The Twins signed the 27-year-old to a one-year contract in the offseason.

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Posted on: February 24, 2012 10:18 am
 

Morneau doesn't sound positive about his future

Justin Morneau

By C. Trent Rosecrans

It's tough to take tone from transcribed quotes, but reading what Twins first baseman Justin Morneau doesn't take much of a leap to assume he's not all sunshine and puppies in regard to his future.

Morneau hasn't been the same player since suffering a concussion in July of 2010 and even though he said he's been symptom-free for about a month, his meeting with Minnesota reporters on Friday didn't sound like someone very positive about his future.

Here's what he had to say (via La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune) when asked about his concerns about concussions in the future:
"Well, I don’t think there will be a career if it’s something I’m dealing with,'' he said. "That’s the reality of the whole thing. I’m obviously not going to continue to mess around with this if it continues to be a problem. There comes a point where you can only torture yourself for so long. It’s something I love to do but you keep preparing and you keep being left out, that’s something that nobody wants to go through.

"Obviously it’s been a tough winter that way. I try not to think about that kind of stuff. Obviously it’s crossed my mind and it’s something I’ve had to think about but when that stuff comes into my mind I continue to look for something positive, and look how far I’ve come in the last week or in the last month and just hope it continues to go well.''
Morneau has two years left on the six-year deal he signed before the 2008 season. He will make $14 million this season and next. The 2006 American League MVP played in just 69 games last season, hitting .227/.285/.333 with four home runs.

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Posted on: February 8, 2012 4:11 pm
 

Spring position battle: American League Central



By C. Trent Rosecrans


Gearing up for spring training, we're headed east -- -but not too far east, just east from west, or in other words, to the Central, starting in the American League and what positional battles will be fought in the American League Central this spring, continuing the spring position battles series.

Chicago White Sox
Closer: Matt Thornton vs. Jesse Crain vs. Addison Reed

With Sergio Santos in Toronto and Chris Sale headed to the rotation, the White Sox are once again looking for a closer. Thornton saved three games last season and Crain one, but both are more or less keeping the seat warm for Reed, the team's top (and perhaps only) prospect. Thornton, an All-Star in 2010, won the closer battle last season before blowing his first four save opportunities to start the season and he was ultimately replaced by Santos. Crain pitched well last season, but it's Reed that has a chance to be special.

Cleveland Indians
Fifth starter: Kevin Slowey vs. David Huff vs. Jeanmar Gomez vs. Zach McAllister

Ubaldo Jimenez is the team's opening-day starter followed by Justin Masterson, Derek Lowe and Josh Tomlin. The fifth spot is probably Slowey's to lose. The 27-year-old right-hander was twice traded this offseason, first to Colorado and then to Cleveland. While he struggled last season (0-8 with a 6.67 ERA in eight starts and 14 games), he's a proven back-of-the-rotation starter with a 39-29 record and 4.66 ERA. He's also familiar with the AL Central. Gomez made 10 starts for the Indians last season, as did Huff, the only lefty of the group. McAllister made four starts and wasn't overly impressive.

Detroit Tigers
Third base: Miguel Cabrera vs. third base

When the Tigers signed Prince Fielder, the stated plan was that Cabrera will move to third, leaving the DH spot for Victor Martinez -- who isn't playing this year. The Tigers, it appears, are trying to keep Cabrera from getting too big to play third in preparation for 2013 when they'll really have a logjam at the position with Fielder, Cabrera, Martinez and Delmon Young. For now, it seems like wishful thinking that Cabrera can play a passable third base. But if he can, it helps the team out -- especially defensively in the outfield with Young not trying to figure out what to do with that that thing on his left hand.

Kansas City Royals
Second base: Johnny Giavotella vs. Chris Getz vs. Yuniesky Betancourt

What you've heard is true -- there's a ton of talent in Kansas City. In fact, the lineup is nearly set, except for second base and center field. Center should be manned by Lorenzo Cain, who doesn't have a realistic competitor for the spot, but second could be a question. Giavotella came up in 2011 to middling results - .247/.273/.376 with two homers and five stolen bases in 187 plate appearances, but he has a chance to take the position if he can play at the level he established in the minors, where he was a .305/.375/.437 hitter since being taken in the second round of the 2008 draft. While just 5-foot-8, he has shown the ability to make contract (striking out no more than 67 times in any of his minor league seasons) and walk nearly as much as he strikes out (192 minor-league walks to 212 strikeouts). He's not the best defender, but he's adequate. Getz is nobody's idea of a long-term answer. He hit .255/.313/.287 last season, but plays good defense. And then there's Betancourt, who was signed not add depth. The former Royals shortstop will not and should not be pressuring light-hitting Alcides Escobar, but he could add some pop to the infield at second.

Minnesota Twins
Disabled list: Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau vs. the disabled list

No two players may be as essential to their team's success as Mauer and Morneau. The two made a combined $37 million last season -- more than the entire Royals team. And, by the way, Kansas City finished eight games ahead of the Twins in the AL Central. The Twins just barely avoided being a $100-million, 100-loss team, but it took a 1-0 victory over the Royals on the last season to do it. Mauer played in 82 games, while Morneau played in just 69, with the two combining to hit seven home runs between them. Morneau's never seemed to fully recover from the concussion he suffered in July of 2010 and Mauer's had a variety of injuries, missing games with a leg injury, as well as lower back stiffness, a bruised shoulder, neck stiffness and pneumonia. Both players will play first base and DH some to try to keep them healthy, but questions will continue until either plays a productive 130-game-or-so season.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com