Glen Perkins is “strong and healthy” after late-season arm problems

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In late August closer Glen Perkins was cruising along to another fantastic season for the Twins with a 2.44 ERA and 64/9 K/BB ratio in 55 innings when forearm and elbow problems popped up.

Perkins struggled for the rest of the year, first trying to pitch through the injury and then finally shutting things down in mid-September after allowing 10 runs–including five homers–in the span of eight appearances.

Because of how his season ended Perkins’ health was a big question mark all winter, but after facing live hitters for the first time this spring–and tossing some particularly good sliders–the left-hander pronounced himself “strong and healthy.”

As part of a below-market contract extension signed last spring Perkins is under the Twins’ control through 2018 and since shifting to the bullpen full time in 2011 the Minnesota native has a 2.74 ERA and 286/63 K/BB ratio in 256 innings to emerge as one of baseball’s top lefty relievers.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.