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.

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.

Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.

Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.