Twins closer Glen Perkins hasn’t pitched since September 1 due to a back injury, but he’s beginning to make some progress.
According to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Perkins played catch today up to a distance of 90 feet. It was his first time throwing since he received a cortisone injection in his lower back on Wednesday.
Perkins also dealt with a bulging disk in his neck in August, which required a pair of cortisone injections. It’s unclear when the southpaw will be ready to get back on a mound, but he’s still hoping to rejoin the Twins down the stretch as they attempt to secure a Wild Card spot in the American League.
Perkins has been excellent when healthy this season, posting a 2.68 ERA and 46/8 K/BB ratio in 50 1/3 innings while going 32-for-34 in save opportunities. Kevin Jepsen is currently filling in at closer for the Twins.
Marlins right-hander Jose Fernandez is a client of Scott Boras, so with the recent controversy between the Mets and Matt Harvey, naturally he’s hearing questions about what his first full season back from Tommy John surgery might look like. While he didn’t get into specifics, Fernandez told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald that he doesn’t expect it to be an issue.
“Whatever it is, we’ll figure it out and we’ll all try to be on the same page,” Fernandez said. “In the offseason, I feel pretty comfortable we’ll all have a meeting with the team, the doctor, (agent) Scott Boras and myself. I don’t think it will be hard at all.”
“I think we’re going to be careful,” Fernandez said without going into specifics about a potential innings limit. “I think we’re going to try to be careful, because it’s a long run, and you want to make sure you stay healthy and you stay good as much as you can.”
Fernandez underwent Tommy John surgery in May of 2014. He made his return this July and posted a 2.30 ERA and 53/10 K/BB ratio in 43 innings over seven starts prior to going down with a right biceps strain. He’s coming off the disabled list to start tonight against the fading Nationals.
Fernandez threw 172 2/3 innings when he won the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2013. Managing his workload shouldn’t be a major source of drama, especially if the Marlins aren’t contenders. They’d have to make a lot of progress over the next year for that to be the case.
In preparation for the postseason, the Royals have moved left fielder Alex Gordon into the leadoff spot. He’s expected to get his first opportunity today, but the Royals and Orioles are currently waiting out a rain delay in Baltimore.
Gordon has 296 career starts out of the leadoff spot, including seven this season. However, he hasn’t done it regularly since since 2013. Gordon just returned after missing eight weeks with a groin injury, so Royals manager Ned Yost told Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com that he wanted to ease him back into things before making the lineup change.
“You just do a lot more running from the leadoff spot,” Yost said. “I see now he’s able to trust himself, so the move makes sense now.”
Alcides Escobar has been the Royals’ regular leadoff man this season, but he owns an ugly .296 on-base percentage. Gordon has a .360 on-base percentage dating back to 2011.