Pirates right-hander A.J. Burnett continues to make steady progress in his recovery from surgery to correct an orbital bone fracture below his right eye.
According to Tom Singer of MLB.com, Burnett tossed a successful 52-pitch bullpen session Wednesday in Pirates camp and has been cleared to throw a couple of innings Saturday in a simulated game. If all continues to go well, he should begin making minor-league rehab starts in early-to-mid April.
The Bucs acquired Burnett from the Yankees back in February for a couple of minor leaguers and cash considerations. He’s expected to be ready for live major league action by the first week or two of May.
According to MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger, Twins GM Thad Levine told 1390 Granite City Sports that reliever Glen Perkins will retire.
Perkins, 34, has battled shoulder injuries over the last two years, limiting him to a total of 7 2/3 innings between 2016-17. His decision doesn’t come as much of a surprise given the circumstances. The Twins declined his $6.5 million club option back in October, making him a free agent.
Across parts of 12 seasons, all with the Twins, Perkins compiled a 3.88 ERA with 120 saves and a 504/158 K/BB ratio in 624 1/3 innings. He ranked among baseball’s best closers from 2013-15, racking up 102 of those saves with a 3.08 ERA. The lefty made the American League All-Star team in each of those three seasons.