Twins reliever Glen Perkins is a stat-head

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Twins left-hander Glen Perkins is one of the American League’s best relievers and anyone who follows him on Twitter knows that he’s also a funny, interesting guy who likes to interact with fans.

And now thanks to this interview with David Laurila of Fan Graphs we also know that Perkins is into sabermetrics:

I like a lot of stats and go onto FanGraphs pretty much every day. I like FIP and xFIP, which give you an idea of whether you’re doing the right things. Not that it’s something you can control, but you know that if it’s down–and you keep doing what you’re doing–the balls are going to find fielders. If your FIP is one thing and your ERA is higher, they’re probably going to meet in the middle. My ERA this year started out high and came down to closer to what my fielding-independent is.

I didn’t get frustrated with my bad ERA. I had given up a couple of home runs and felt that maybe some balls were finding holes. You can’t start thinking, “Now I have to strike every guy out.” Understanding that things should even out gives me confidence in what I’ve done. [FIP] shows that I should be here, and not here.

Perkins also went on to make some interesting points about the issues with judging relievers by Wins Above Replacement and … well, you really should just read the whole chat.

And now I’m regretting not asking Perkins to come hang out at the annual SABR convention when it was in Minneapolis two weeks ago.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.