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.

Bryce Harper will participate in the Home Run Derby if he makes the All-Star team

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Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.

Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.

Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.